A little over six months after assuming their roles, the members of the “Memory Commission” investigating France’s role and involvement against Cameroonian independence movements and opposition, initiated by Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Paul Biya, have recently visited Yaoundé. This research and exchange trip aimed to reconstruct this tumultuous and largely unknown period in Cameroon’s history.
During their stay in Cameroonian territory since March 2023, the Memory Commission members, led by Karine Ramondy, visited Dschang, in the country’s west. The city is home to a university where the team engaged in discussions with teachers and students, some of whom are part of the commission.
The western region of Cameroon holds particular importance for Karine Ramondy. She emphasized that this area witnessed particularly brutal repression against Cameroonian nationalists. Notably, in Bafoussam, one of the UPC leaders, Ernest Ouandié, was executed in 1971. Back in Yaoundé, the team also visited the University of Yaoundé 1, seeking to gauge the perspectives of Cameroonian students and researchers on this tumultuous period in Cameroon’s history.
Unveiling atrocities in other regions
In the upcoming days, the commission plans to visit the central regions, the Bassa region, the Littoral region in Sanaga-Maritime, and Douala. These cities and localities have all experienced varying degrees of French military excesses during the pre-colonial period and the heavy-handed rule of the Cameroonian regime that succeeded French tutelage after independence.
The final report from this commission is expected in December 2024, and Karine Ramondy assured, “We will be on time for that.”