After the demise of the Queen, the Commonwealth, amongst which Cameroon , now faces an uncertain future in the hands of King Charles III as its stand regarding the Anglophone crisis may not change.
The Commonwealth remains without doubt one of the key emblems of his reign. Although it was conceived as a major tool of cultural influence and diplomacy for the United Kingdom at the time of its creation, the Commonwealth has today become a symbolic intergovernmental organisation whose usefulness is regularly questioned.
As King Charles III takes over, reactions are mixed, questions cropped up are ; What does the change mean for Cameroon? Observers expected the monarch to ensure members like Cameroon to stick to the Harare Declaration. A skeptician like Jomo Thomas was quoted in the Independent Newspaper saying ” Most leaders , if not the general population , ought to know by now that our societies are still underdeveloped because Britian has its neocolonial tenacles deeply embedded in these countries, the passing of the Queen will not cause any significant change. It rather providesn an opportunity to reset the status quo of systematic racism and inequalities”
The death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has sparked debate on a number of crucial issues amongst which the preponderant role of Commonwealth , which Cameroon joined in controversy at the 1995 Auckland summit. The GP newpapers penned that Cameroon’s democratic credentials failed to meet the standards of the newly devised Harare Priciples of 1991. The declarations anchored on the rule of law, democracy, human rights , freedom of the press and association.
Anglophone civil society with territory ruled by Britain Under UN trusteeship mandate on whose historical claim to commonwealth membership rested, also campaigned for membership application to be postponed until further democratization, including a revised constitution providing for federalism, had been secured.
Nigeria had been suspended from the commonwealth for failing to govern up to the bilings of the commonwealth, meanwhile Cameroon remains unaffected despite the ongoing atrocities in the North West and South west regions.
Now that the Monarchy is headed by King Charles the III, questions arisen to if Cameroon will have the same treatment against the ongoing anglophone crisis. A she takes the crown forward, there is much anticipation, around what the commonwealth will look like. This is triggered by the fact that, there are growing republican sentiment and calls for slavery reparations within former colonies and the advent of the fueled talks of self-actualization among formerly oppressed people.
In a nutshell, King Charles III may not live up to that high reputation and Cameroonians should not expect any change in its relations with the commonwealth, especially in regards to the ongoing armed conflicts in the North West and South West regions.
Falling back into the early 1960s, in terms of development, however, the relationship between the Commonwealth and Cameroon seems to have never been extinguished. Admittedly, economic ties between Cameroon and the member countries of the Commonwealth have always been relatively weak. Senior British officials, notably in the Foreign Office, emphasise the singular character of Cameroon: although it is not part of the Commonwealth ‘family’, it is not entirely foreign either, as a portion of the territory was managed by London for forty years.
It shoulf be noted that of the non-Commonwealth countries in Africa, Cameroon receives the most development assistance. The country was also a valuable ally for the British. With its desire to become the meeting point between French-speaking and English-speaking Africa, as with the reunification of English-speaking Southern Cameroon with the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon, Cameroon is a unifying element in Africa. The United Kingdom participated in the development and bilingualism promotion efforts of Ahmadou Ahidjo’s government: funds were released, equipment and teachers were sent to Cameroon, and a British Council office was established there at the end of the 1960s.