Cameroon Anglophone Conflict: A Role for Traditional Leaders?

Father Humphrey Tatah Mbuy, National Communications Secretary of the Cameroon Bishops’ Conference, has written a new book, Fons of ‘Traditional Bamenda’ and Partisan Politics in Contemporary Cameroon, asserting the politicization of traditional chieftaincies in Cameroon has worsened the conflict.

A “Fon” is the traditional tribal chief in Cameroon, and Bamenda is the area that makes of the English-speaking North West region. Mbuy is a priest of the Archdiocese of Bamenda.

“The Fon was the main custodian of land and culture, primarily the traditional High Priest, the incarnation of the ethnic grouping and divine ancestral institution not open to any manipulations, certainly not to partisan politics,” the priest writes.

Being “at the center of society,” the Fon has to be politically neutral, and should “never publicly express or identify with any political party.”


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