Editor’s Note: The original story was published in February 2016 but we returned to it because of how important it is. The Cameroon situation continues into 2018 and many worry it could lead to a full-scale civil war in the country.
The Southern Cameroons issue which is plaguing the African nation of Cameroon was the subject of a news story on Denver’s 9 News TV station on February 26, 2017.
While it was an interesting story about the local Cameroonian community that gathered to protest the government of President Paul Biya, the reporter missed several important aspects of the African country. Even so, the story itself lacked a proper perspective about what was going on.
First, the headline itself seemed misleading. The protesters did not gather to support Cameroon as the headline stated. What they came out to do was to protest the Cameroon government for its human rights abuse of the minority Southern Cameroonians who are part of the country.
Southern Cameroons historically is composed of two of the country’s 10 regions (Northwest and Southwest regions) that were part of a federated Cameroon nation immediately after independence in 1961.
The minority Anglophones from these two regions are being brutalized and subjugated by the government in Yaoundé because they are demanding equal rights within the Francophone-dominated country.
To state that the protesters who gathered in front of the Aurora Central Library came out to support Cameroon, which would mean the government in Yaoundé, was misleading. If the headline meant the protesters came out to support their family members in the country, Cameroon, that would be fine.
Reporter Dan Grossman started off right. “On Sunday, Cameroonians along the Front Range gathered in Aurora to show support for their loved ones enduring crisis at home.” It’s true the Aurora, Colo. protesters wanted to show support for their loved ones, but it is misleading when the headline states that the protesters gathered to show support for Cameroon. Who is Cameroon?
Second, Grossman referred to the regions or territory within Cameroon affected by the strike action as Southwestern Cameroon multiple times. Rather it is both the Northwest and Southwest regions or Anglophone Cameroon, not Southwestern Cameroon, which make up two of the country’s 10 regions. To refer to these regions simply as “Southwestern Cameroon,” is erroneous.
Lastly, I think the reporter failed to place the entire story into better context, such as why the event which happened on February 26 was occurring, and what was its connection to the local community in Colorado.
Suffice to say that with just about two to three minutes available to air such a complicated story within a news segment I doubt how Grossman would have packed the story with every bit of perspective that it needed to have.