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Ethnicité et pouvoir au Nord-Cameroun

Ibrahim Mouiche
Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Vol. 30, No. 2 (2. Quartal 1997), pp. 182-216
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43110443
Page Count: 35
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ethnicité et pouvoir au Nord-Cameroun
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Abstract

Social and religious cleavages in Northern Cameroon are major factors for ethnic conflicts in this region with regard to the accumulation of power. Traditionally, Cameroon — which comprises 234 ethnic groups — is divided into a "Moslem North" and a "Christian and Animist South". This idea was cultivated by the regime of President Ahidjo, a Peul himself, and is widespread in the minds of Cameronians. For Ahidjo, the North which he originated from constituted a political base held together by the "islam way of life". The article argues that this was and is illusionary, since Northern Cameroon is multi-ethnic and the non-Moslems, commonly called "Kirdis" (pagans), make up for over two thirds of the population despite their being subject to moslem hegemony represented by the ethnic group of the Peul. When President Paul Biya, a man of the South, came to power in 1982, his position was more and more questioned by a pro-Ahidjo moslem domination which he consequently undertook to dismantle with the help of the emancipated Kirdi. And since the restauration of multipartyism in 1990, the mostly christianized non-Moslems support President Biyas RDPC party and oppose the UNCP of the Peul Bello Bouba Malgari. Furthermore, the Kirdi constitute a very heterogeneous group in itself divided by numerous conflicts.

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