THE ROLE OF THE DIASPORA IN THE ANGLOPHONE CRISES OF CAMEROON
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Findings indicated that item out of the 60 respondents, 24(40%) strongly agreed to the fact that the diaspora usually contribute funds to support the conflict 22(36.67%), agree 10(16.67%) disagree and 4 (6.67%) strongly disagree respectively. Thus the diaspora usually contribute funds to support the conflict
Also results indicate that 29 (48.33%) strongly agreed to the fact that The diaspora usually organized protest in Cameroon embassies 22 (36.67%) agreed 5 (8.33%) disagreed and 4(6.67%) strongly disagree respectively, Therefore, The diaspora usually organized a protest in Cameroon embassies.
Furthermore, results indicate that 27(45%) of the total respondents strongly agreed that the diaspora has created television channels through which messages concerning the conflict are broadcast 25 (41.67%) agreed 6 (10%) disagreed and 2 (3.33%) strongly disagreed Meaning diaspora has created television channel through messages concerning the conflict are broadcast, 25 (41.67%) strongly agreed the fighters on ground usually receive instructions from the diaspora 22 (36.67%) agreed to the option 10 (16.67%) disagree and 3(5%) strongly disagree respectively Therefore The fighters on ground usually receive instructions from the diaspora. One of the major recommendations was that the government should call for a cease fire as the war is bringing untold suffering to women and children.
1.1 Background to the Study
The term conflict may be defined as an antagonism that occurs between two or more adversative peoples, groups, ideas and interests as a result of an incompatibility of goals. Conflicts are prevalent in society. They usually arise from an incompatibility of goals between two or more people, ideas or interests. When an inherent incompatibility of interests and objectives of two or more characters or forces takes place, a conflict is inevitable.
Conflicts have political, economic, social, and cultural implications and contribute to the lowering of economic productivity, weakening of political institutions of governance, incapacity to provide essential services, destruction and depletion of existing resources, loss of food production, and capital flight. It may be possible to measure the cost of conflict in economic terms by assessing the loss of potential foreign and domestic investment due to fear of crime and insecurity, loss of income from tourism, and losses in government sectors like agriculture. (Lancken, 2000:11)
intra-state violent conflicts are no longer fought solely in the actual war territories: in the villages of Ambon, the jungle of Sri Lanka, or the occupied territories of Israel. Increasingly, conflicts seem to become dispersed and delocalised. Stories about American Jewish groups supporting right-wing extremism in Israel, German Croats speeding the violent collapse of Yugoslavia, and the Tamil Tigers in London, Kurds in the Netherlands, Filipinos, Khmer, and Kosovar Albanians in Western Europe and the U.S. are not new to us. Within the field of Conflict Studies, however, the process of the deterritorialisation” of conflict is left surprisingly unexplored. Many questions about the political mobilisation of diaspora communities and their role in intra-state conflicts remain unanswered.
The nature of diasporic politics is manifold and highly case-specific. Kaldor (1996), for instance, points at the presence of both cosmopolitan anti-nationalist and reactionary ethno-nationalists within diasporas. Others (such as Homi Bhabha 1994, Appadurai 1995) see room for hybrid, diasporic third space standpoints. The impact of diaspora activities on contemporary conflicts is also highly miscellaneous. In some cases diasporic connections seem to feed and prolong the conflict. In other cases, diasporic voices and initiatives can plead for reconciliation and demobilisation.
Examples of diasporas acting as a strategic force in regional conflicts can be readily discerned. The sudden upsurge in the strength of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the summer of 1998 may have been at least partially due to fundraising efforts by the Albanian diaspora in the West. The Croatian diaspora was quite effective in helping swing the international community behind the Croats in their conflict with the Croatian Serbs in the mid-1990s.
Armenian migrants in the U.S. have been working hard in the past years to compel the U.S. government to halt both its diplomatic overtures to the government of Azerbaijani and its efforts to help U.S. oil companies secure exploitation and drilling contracts in that petroleum rich Caspian state. The object of these moves is to weaken the long-term potential of the future Azerbaijani military threat to landlocked, resource-poor Armenia.
Diaspora and exile groups may play an important, but sometimes also controversial role in conflicts and political unrest in their countries of origin. This is by no means a new phenomenon.1 Yet, the growing number of intra-state conflicts, the enhanced possibilities for transnational communication, mobilization and action as well as the upsurge in domestic and international security concerns after 9/11, have heightened attention to the role of diasporas. Two fairly polarized views can be identified in studies of diasporas and conflict.
On the one hand, the seemingly dominating position in the literature highlights the dark side of diaspora politics. In this view diasporas are long distance nationalists or fundamentalists that perpetuate conflicts through economic and political support or intervention without risking their own neck. It has been argued that in cases such as Ethiopia, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Israel, Palestine and Kosovo, diaspora groups have played major roles in augmenting conflicts (Collier and Hoeffler 2001; Lyons 2004; Vertovec 2005). Indeed, in the LSE yearbook on global civil society of 2003, diasporas fall under the heading of ‘regressive globalizers, that is, ‘groups which favour nation-state thinking through transnational means’ (Kaldor et al. 2003). Diasporas are seen as part of the problem not as part of the solution.
The political involvement of the diaspora in homeland politics is an area that has not yet been sufficiently studied. It is also an area like the financial remittances in which the African diaspora are actively involved with both positive and negative effect in the homeland. African diaspora largely relates to the development in the homeland through political channels instead of civil society or other non-political channels. The reason given is that most of the conflict-generated African diaspora was forced to leave home as a result of the political problems which resulted in violent conflicts and civil wars. (Benedict, Anderson. 1992: 3-13)
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Diasporas can have a positive agents of development through their remittances. However, with the case of the anglophone conflict, the situation of the Anglophone diaspora is different as their role has taken a negative impact on conflicts “back home” through direct support to combatants and victims of conflict, and by influencing the policies of their native and adopted countries.
Diasporas can secure tangible and intangible resources to fuel armed conflicts, and they can provide opaque institutional and network structures that enable the transfer of arms and money to terrorist groups. More positively, diasporas can give humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and they also support post-war reconstruction efforts.
Diasporas have the potential to make a powerful contribution to peace and reconciliation—a potential that remains largely untapped in international efforts to resolve conflict. However, this is very different in the context of the Anglophone conflict. This study, therefore, seeks to examine the role of the diaspora in the Anglophone war of independence
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the activities of the diaspora in the Anglophone conflict?
- How effective have the activities of the diaspora contributed to the escalation of the Anglophone conflict?
- What is the mediating role of the diaspora in the Anglophone conflict?
FURTHER READINGS: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS PROJECT TOPICS WITH MATERIALS