VISUAL PROPAGANDA AND (ANTI-)SEPARATISM IN THE CAMEROONIAN CYBERSPACE: A CONCEPTUAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE ROLE OF IMAGES IN THE AMBAZONIA WAR
A Conceptual Perspective on the Role of Images in the Ambazonia War
Keywords:Ambazonia Crisis, Propaganda, Secessionism, Separatism, Anglophone Crisis, Ambazonia Defence Force
Although the use of disinformation and propaganda in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon has been the subject of much debate, very little scholarly attention has been devoted, particularly to the use of images as tools for propaganda in the crisis. The leverage of images as a war strategy or a public diplomacy technique in the crisis is still grossly understudied. To fill this gap in knowledge, the present paper examines how images have been at the center of the information war opposing the separatist and anti-separatist movements in Cameroon, particularly in cyberspace. Using secondary sources, textual analysis, and critical observations, the paper specifically explores cases of manipulated images used by both separatist and nationalist movements in the Ambazonia war. The paper also examines foreign observers’ use or treatment of images related to the war to contribute to the socio-political discourse on the Ambazonia Crisis. In line with the above objectives, the paper is divided into three main parts. In the first place, the paper provides a theoretical construction of images, propaganda, and secessionist agitations. In the second place, it examines pro- and anti-secessionist movements’ use of images in the Ambazonia war, and in the last place, the paper explores how international organizations have been using images to mediate in the conflict.