Governor Adolf Lele Ladrique of the North West says the region is “under control” following more than four weeks of strikes and deadly protests that left four people dead and many injured.
Bamenda, the regional capital and heart of the protests, will soon return to normal, the governor said in Yaounde Tuesday, at the start of a routine conference of regional governors.
Ladrique said authorities had taken steps to restore public order and protect citizens and property, refusing the region has been militarized, in spite of heavy troop presence still visible in the streets Bamenda.
Schools and universities are still crippled while courts have been seriously disrupted in the region and in the South West, where teachers’ and lawyers’ strikes have entered the fifth week.
Lafrique gave no assurances, talking to the state radio, that schools will reopen. He said the closure of schools was “deplorable” and feared students may miss the academic year.
Teachers and lawyers are demanding an end to the dominance of the French language and practices in Anglophone schools and courts and have called for federalism to definitely solve the problem.
The standoff between the government and striking teachers and lawyers appeared to persist Monday in spite of moves this week to redeploy Francophone teachers working in Anglophone schools and an earlier move to translate the Business Law into English.
Lafrique sounded cautiously optimistic about an eminent solution on Tuesday, saying the government was pursuing discussions with stakeholders through a committee headed by the director of cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office, Paul Ghogomu.
The government has so far avoided the question of federalism, which teachers, lawyers and now other interest groups say is central to resolving their grievances. Without that the stalemate is likely to persist for many more months, it appeared.