The voice of the Fallen Baby, by KONGNYUY Derrick

God said I had a purpose and prepared a womb for me to enter

My first home was so great I thought I’d stay in it forever

Felt like the best 9 months ever but my first lesson « nothing lasts forever »

I knew I will miss the warmth and comfort but I couldn’t wait to meet my mother

My new home may not be this awesome but Mama’s love will make it better

I was close to the door and I could hear mama screaming in pain, the sounds broke my heart but I hoped to bring her joy in return

I made it ! Mama held me in her arms and I could feel a new fountain of excess love

I didn’t know what the world had in store for me but in her arms I knew I was safe

Days went by and all was well, months went by and something began to feel strange

The pounding motions I always felt on mama’s chest, they now seem to always pound faster

Loud and frightful sounds outside like claps of thunder, could that be what is bothering my mother ?

I wish I could speak so I tell mama all will be alright, I have a destiny to fulfil so all will be alright

Could hear footsteps coming and I laid there smiling, for each time people came mama got gifts for me

My smile was short lived as the door was smashed open, mama was crying I watched her imploring

Do they hate my mother ? Do they hate me ?

The big men turned to me as I heard mama wailing ! I did not know I was recording my last moments

I thought I had a destiny, I thought I would bring mama joy

But she cried as I came to the world and cried as I made my exit

It’s not fair, God gave me life and I deserve to live. Why take my life when you never gave it to me ?

The world will hear about me and people will know I once was, I hope my story helps heal mama’s world.

Ayah Paul Abine Says ‘Ambazonians are not Different from the Biya Regime’

“On April 4, 2019 as the new ‘Lockdown’ imposed on the people of Fako was just beginning, the impact was being felt across the affected areas, especially by the most vulnerable of the population.

Time and again, many of us have questioned the rationale behind the ‘lockdowns’ or ‘shutdowns’ which basically call for all activities to stop for a period of time, usually 10 days. The last lockdown in February resulted to a hospital being burnt in Kumba and till date, no one has been held to account.

It is therefor not surprising that Justice Ayah Paul Abine took to Facebook to condemn the lockdown, indicating that the actions of those calling for such actions have the exact same effects on the people as the actions of the Regime they claim to be fighting against.

Below is the full text which has generated diverse opinions on Facebook.”

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WE ARE NOT DIFFERENT by Ayah Paul Abine

Mrs. Ayah returned from CONGELCAM, Buea, yesterday, after two hours of unsuccessful effort to buy fish. The husband visited the scene in the late evening to appraise the situation. WHAT A CHAOTIC SCENE! Some elderly women had been there all day without as much as entering the building. There was no queue. Entry was by the fittest. Even then, those behind the counter decided whose money to take when…

Anglophones abroad at room temperature often do grossly fail to appreciate what patriots in the war zone go through daily. While they have sound sleep with the police pacing up and down, assuring their security, those back home are under constant apprehension of being killed by direct or stray bullets.

While they enjoy good earnings, coupled, at times, with windfalls, the ‘dogs of war’ back home have lost everything: ascendants/descendants, shelter, access to medical facilities, foodstuffs preserved for the rainy day

While their own children are going to school, excellent schools quite often, the children back home suffer educational privation as the price of war.

Their catch clause is ‘WE ARE AT WAR’. So what? What is the difference between us? You run away from the war. Then, from your safe sanctuary, you seek to induce others to volunteer into all kinds of battlefields. How more valuable are your own lives? And are there any relative values in human lives?

WE ARE AT WAR, YES! Why are you at war if there is no difference between your conduct and the conduct of the other party you are at war with: if the end justifies the means either way?

If, for instance, the other party kills directly and you kill slowly, is the latter killing not more painful – dying after suffering? To put it otherwise, if the one party destroys food preserved for future use, and you prevent the planting of crops for future use, what difference does it make?

The wise teach that leadership is constant introspection so as to avoid repeating mistakes. And that is the mainstay of credibility. Empty boasting (bluff) leads to contempt. After the previous lock-down; after the ban on food leaving or entering the land; did credibility not require proper introspection before venturing into another lock-down: all the worse, such a sudden lock-down? What is the intended objective? What if the festival holds after all? Would the privation of movement and food not have been in vain? Even if the festival did not hold, would the price paid by the people be commensurate to the failure of the festival?

Those questions are of immense importance and relevance. Fighting against someone for doing what you too do is self-infliction. There’s little difference between someone killing a patient on board an ambulance and you preventing the desperately sick, including women under labour, from being taken to the hospital in the name of LOCKDOWN. There is little difference between the one who forces people into the bushes/forests to die from want of food/medicines and you preventing people from planting food crops during the planting season like now.

It is absolutely facetious to shout out that people should ‘STOCK FOOD AND WATER’! There are families here hosting as many as 25 refugees (some prefer to call them ‘internally displaced persons’). The minimum wage in Camerouoon is 38.000 francs. Would any intelligent person call on any such family to ‘STOCK FOOD AND WATER’ to last them 10 days? If such a family bought a bag of rice for 25.000 and some trog-canda, would they eat the rice raw? How much water would the family store for, maybe, 30 persons for bathing, laundry, cooking and drinking for 10 days?

LET US BE MORE SERIOUS – MORE HUMANE!!!

We beg to opine that it is self-defeating to fight against the very people one claims to be fighting for. May we add that true leadership is more than copying and pasting – far more than safeguarding one’s own life while pushing others into self-destruction. Whoever advises, let alone, urges unlimited sacrificing should do so by examples: joining us back home, if only OCCASIONALLY!

EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER!

WE ARE NOT GUINEA PIGS!

Cameroon Crisis and the Normalisation of Death

I can remember vividly the day I first saw a corpse. I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time, and heard that someone had died. I left, ran with my friends and went in to see. It was a police officer and he was dressed in his official uniform. When we got back, we were told to wash our faces with water to avoid seeing the corpse in our dreams. It was a rare occurence to learn that someone had died, but over the years all that has changed drastically.

Watching the above video, I was shocked at how casually, the young persons therein, were carrying corpses, some of which were their friends. This video is a clear depiction of how far Cameroon has degenerated during the reign of 86 year-old Dictator Paul Biya.

Over the last couple of years, English-Speaking Cameroon has seem so much death, that it is no surprise that kids now carry corpses around in the back of a pick-up truck as if they were some sort of fancy toys.

My heart bleeds for my country. My heart bleeds for the country that was once known as “Africa in Miniature” because of its amazing riches. My heart bleeds as I watch helplessly and see my country slump into the morass of conflict that has engulfed most of Africa.

Death has been normalised in Cameroon, in the same way corruption, nepotism and lack of governance and development. I fear for the future of these children, I fear for the future of Cameroon.

Appeal to the Amba Boys (Separatist Fighters) In Nso – NW, #Cameroon

My dear brothers, we have got to talk. As you have seen the devastation of the army operation in Nso land has been terrible. A lot of innocent people have been killed and like I pointed out not even Tchiroma can make a case that those killed were amba sympathisers or terrorist. The 78 -year-old Pa Yuven killed in cold blood near his house cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to have been an amba supporter. He was just an old man who could not run when soldiers came shooting.

Bridge between Bamali and Ndop
The bridge linking Bamali and Bamunka allegedly cut by Separatists. This is the main link to Nso from Bamenda

As we speak close to 100 houses have been burnt down in Nso and there are signs that neither the burning of houses nor the killing is going to stop soon. This means our people are facing a terrible Christmas period. As you also know each time the army comes to have their fun in a neighbourhood people abandon their houses and escape into the bushes, in other villages and towns with children and sick family members. But not everybody has escaped the burnt towns, villages and neighbourhoods.

There are sick people who cannot go to the hospital and there are old people like Pa Yuven who cannot run each time the army comes calling. These old people will like to leave the towns or villages but they cannot. Some of them have remained as they only person in their houses even though they have no food and cannot even go out to buy provisions.

My dear brothers some of the problems our people are now facing is made worse by the actions of amba soldiers. At the beginning of last week, before things degenerated with the killing of the two princes, the small market at level land went open and women especially came out with their small wares to sell. vegetables, cabbages, beans, potatoes etc. A contingent of BIRS came there and as they approached the market people panicked and started moving away fast. The BIRS actually assuaged their fears and told them to continue buying and selling. Then they left. As soon as the BIRS were gone, amba boys came and fired in the air which attracted the BIRS back who came back shooting and that was the end of the market as people scattered in panic. There was no reason to disrupt this market, just as there is no reason why Kumbo has no portable water today and the roads are blocked making it impossible for medicines and other provisions from reaching Nso.

Your blocking the roads has not stopped the military from entering Nso and doing whatever they want. Instead, I am told by a lot of people that the amba checkpoints in Melim, Sob, Nkar and Wainamah now charge three times more than the amount the gendarmes used to take from drivers. So, my dear Brothers, you are making it even worse for our people, your own people who are trapped in Nso and cannot move because most cannot afford to pay you the exorbitant amounts you are charging for them to get through. Whatever you do please open up the road to Bamenda.

There are thousands of people in Nso who are HIV positive or who need insulin injections for their kidneys who are slowly dying because the drugs cannot come in from Bamenda. Especially for HIV positive persons, they will become resistant to the drugs they are using. Once that happens they cannot get the new drugs against that resistance. They exist but they are 30 times more expensive than what is commonly used now in Cameroon. You might not see this but in the end, your actions will be responsible for killing more of our people than the army has done.

It makes no sense.

As sons of the soil, I am begging you to open up the road to Bamenda and set our people free. Let those who do not have houses now because of the actions of the military leave and go to family members. And for heaven’s sake let provisions and medicines come through. The disruption of businesses serves no military purpose except to instil a reign of terror. What else will you do once everybody becomes impoverished?

Kemta Attacks Paul Biya, Again – On His Hospital Bed

Every human being has their nemesis. Biya’s nemesis seems to be CODE and its operations man, Emmanuel Kemta. After chasing Biya from his hotel in Switzerland on several occasions, after taking to music to attack and blame Biya for the escalation of the Anglophone crisis, Kemta has decided this time to push it a notch further.

On what promised to be a peaceful Sunday at the Geneva University Hospitals, on a day that a cross-generation of Anglophone leaders converged in Washington DC in a historic match, Kemta decided that Biya will have no rest.

Recounting the killing of women and children by the Cameroon military, the killing of Anglophones and Biya’s dismal 36 years of governance, that has left the country without credible medical facilities. Kemta goes on to ask Biya why he has failed to develop Cameroon’s infrastructure and is currently enjoying those of a foreign country.

Finally, Kemta promised Biya that he will be staying on in Switzerland for at least one month and Biya will be receiving a visit from him every week. Other activists have also promised to join Kemta.

Should other activists join in this quest of chasing Biya out of Switzerland, there might be a chance that he will eventually find it uncomfortable enough to stay in Cameroon and address the issues that require his attention. To begin with, he might call off the war that has been declared on Anglophones, which is claiming the lives of young people on a daily basis.

Biya is also hoping to run for the upcoming elections in Cameroon due to take place on October 7. Should Biya win another 7-year term, that will mean, failing to die in power, he will be over 94 years old when that term ends.

7 Things that the All Ambazonia Consultative Council (AACC) – Holding in Washington DC, Need to Address

In the invitations sent out for the AACC, the objectives for both days were stated as follows:

First Day August 18th. Will be a global telecast for thousands of Southern Cameroonian/Ambazonian Stakeholders and Friends of Ambazonia worldwide, who cannot travel to the US but are invited to make their voices heard, focusing on The Modalities of Separation of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia from The Republic of Cameroun. Leaders will recommend and vote on a Final Communique based on global inputs. 

Second Day August 19th. Will be highly restricted to Leaders of Liberation Groups, Civil Society, Episcopal Communities, and Human Rights Activists. They will talk about Unity and Collaboration, sign a Unity Declaration, and present a Joint Statement concerning our proposed Terms of Separation after the declaration of the restoration of our statehood of the former British Southern Cameroons /Federal Republic of Ambazonia.” 

I must admit that I clearly do not understand what the two days will achieve in the light of current events happening on the ground in Cameroon. If I am not mistaken, the first day will simply be a day when people across the world will repeat to each other, the same things that have been said from the beginning of time. I will therefore not be surprised if it turns out to be a day of history lessons of what happened and did not happen in 1961. As for the second day, there is some sort of contradiction. It states that a Unity Declaration will be signed and at the same time presentation of a joint statement about the proposed terms of ‘separation’.

If I understand from the invitation and from the confirmation that Dr. Simon Munzu sent out confirming his participation, this event will be both for Federalists and Separatists. Hence, how can a Unity of purpose be achieved? That said, I am going to propose Five Things that should be achieved at the Conference to make it a success.

1. Declare a Ceasefire:

I know that many people will immediately argue that as Biya is the one who declared war, he is the one who should call for a cease-fire. However, I will want to point out that the only reason Biya declared war over dialogue was that he was certain it will be one avenue in which he might have the upper hand. With superior weapons and training, and with support from the US, the Cameroon military has been using spy technology to locate the camps of Separatist fighters, leading to casualties that can be avoided. Let me just point out though, that calling for a ceasefire is NOT the same as surrendering. It is simply that Ambazonian leaders are taking the high ground to show Biya that they care about the lives of their citizens and will be willing to look for other ways of addressing the situation.

2. Announce School Resumption:

It is common knowledge that Anglophone kids have been going to school in many parts of the North West and South West, especially in the urban areas. However, given that there is no official declaration from the revolutionary leaders that schools should resume, everytime a child goes out, they are at risk.

However, some children, especially those from poorer backgrounds, have lost two years of studies. Children from affluent families have been sent over to cities East of the Mungo or sent abroad, where they are studying in peace. The paradox of this situation is that the kids making the most sacrifice – by not going to school – will be the ones who will have no place in a new dispensation. Be it a Federation or a New State, no one is going to employ kids who never went to school. Hence, those who made the sacrifices will remain slaves to the educated ones who made no sacrifices. This approach runs the risk of replicating the South African situation, whereby Freedom arrived but the critical mass of the population was incapable of taking leadership and control of their country, thereby effectively handing it back to the oppressors.

Also, depriving children of education has no impact on Biya’s Regime, as they do not care about the education of children in the first place. Finally, it is only the Taliban or Boko Haram that use the deprivation of children from schooling as a political tool.

3. Denounce in Strong Terms, the Killing of Civilians by Ambazonian Fighters:

I am sure some will again be quick to argue that Ambazonian fighters have not killed civilians. However, video and photographic evidence exist to prove the contrary. On several social media platforms, manned by Ambazonian activists, justification has been provided that the killing of civilians is usually because they are ‘traitors’. One of the key reasons for this struggle was that Anglophones claimed that they wanted to restore their Anglo-Saxon Heritage.

There is, therefore, no place in Anglo-Saxon culture whereby individuals arrogate to themselves the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. If anyone is truly a traitor, then evidence should be gathered for them to be tried in a competent Ambazonian court, whenever they have their independence. Killing people simply because they disagreed with an opinion or position, is exactly the things Biya did that made people stand up against him.

4. Denounce the Scapegoating of Francophones or Members of Political Parties:

Similar to the above, there have been attacks on Francophones, which were necessitated by the utterances of Tapang Ivo, Eric Tataw, and Chris Anu, who started asking that Francophones should leave. There is no mechanism to ensure that such will happen, and there is no tactical benefit from chasing out people who are also victims of the Biya monarchy of corruption and bad governance. However, such utterances, from people who are seen as leaders, have given room for the abduction of Francophones for ransom and for many to flee their homes in fear. Similarly, audios and posters asking that anyone wearing an SDF or CPDM T-short be shot at sight, have been making their rounds on social media. We know that as a result of poverty, many people wear those things simply as forms of dressing, rather than because they support those parties. Putting a target on them is, therefore, a dangerous move, that could lead to many unfortunate civilian deaths. Furthermore, we may not agree with elections, but we cannot force people to accept our views by killing them.

5. Call for an End to Ghost Towns:

I still struggle to see how forcing our people out of work or business on Mondays, has an impact on Biya’s regime. If anything, it hurts our people, and recently, has become an avenue for power-play. A case in point is that of Buea, whereby a few weeks ago, Ekema Patrick went out with thugs are were puncturing the car tyres of taxis that were not working. If the taxi men went out to work, they would have been attacked for violating ghost towns, however, they stayed at home and became easy targets of the monstrous gangster called Mayor of Buea. This struggle is about helping our people break free from bondage, we cannot continue to impose unnecessary ones on them.

6. Call for a Referendum:

That is the only way the voice of the people can truly be heard. I am not a fan of referendums, given the type of results that the Scottish Referendum and Brexit brought up, but in our situation, it seems the most viable option. Should calls for a referendum, however, lead to a negotiated outcome that does not involve the polls, but one which ends the bloodshed and gives Anglophones autonomy, then it will be applaudable. However, constantly talking of declaration of independence, without having any allies among the Fifteen members of the UN Security Council and perhaps none among the five permanent members with veto powers makes it a non-starter. I wrote a few days ago showing why gunning for independence through the UN was something that we might never achieve. The current trends of violence might only lead to UN involvement, which as we know, might only work in favour of the status-quo.

7. Link Up with Other Oppressed People across the World – Especially in Africa:

I made this suggestion during a march on Downing Street on the 2nd January 2017. We need to know that our strongest allies are other oppressed people across the world. We need to start by looking close to home. Francophones in other countries such around us who are also suffering from the shackles of French imperialism, might not have the same objective as us but will have the same goals, – breaking free. Reaching out and building coalitions with these groups will be a sure way of strengthening our bases.

It is my most fervent wish that some of these issues are considered during these two days so that some sanity might come back to our land.

Justice Ayah Paul Abine Speaks Out: Provides Logical Justification on why AACIII is absolutely Necessary

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Anyone with the remotest interest in the wellbeing of Anglophone Cameroonians (West Cameroonians, Southern Cameroonians, English-speaking Cameroonians or Ambazonians), would have been utterly dismayed by the wanton loss of lives and destruction of property that has engulfed the region over the last 24 months.

With Biya’s regime seeming the favour violence over dialogue, it should be obvious that the reason behind this could be because, like many dictators and bullies, they can only win using brute force. The way to defeat Biya’s tyranny therefore is to adopt an approach he is not comfortable with.

When it was announced that a fierce Biya critic, Chrisitan Cardinal Tumi and other Religious leaders were calling for an All Anglophone Conference, one would have expected dismay from the Biya camp and relief from the oppressed camp. Unfortunately, for some unexplained reason, some Anglophone activists have joined Biya’s camp in denouncing the conference.

I personally, was shocked that people will turn down any initiative that might provide a step forward in resolving the ongoing conflict.

It has been with a huge sigh of relief that I have seen many Anglophones of high-Standing expressing their support for the Conference and promising to attend.

Ayah Paul Abine, someone who understands the legal implications of all that is happening, someone who has every reason to be angry at the system; someone who was unjustly deprived of his liberty for many months, for simply speaking the truth; someone who is part of a foundation currently at the heart of humanitarian efforts to mitigate suffering of the people,; YES, someone who has worn the shoes, still wears it, and knows where it pinches, has just written in support of AACIII.

Below is his full statement. As usual, if you ag44 with him or not, feel free to express your views in the comment section below.

“One would have thought that the contention would have been where to meet rather than whether to meet”…

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For reasons impossible to explain naturally, I chose yesterday, July 31, 2018, to state my stance on AAC III. Just as I began writing the date, distress calls came from St Valentine Centre (Orphanage), Buea. I gathered on the spot that armed soldiers had come to the centre menacingly because the inmates were playing in front of their dormitory, shouting… As I sat down to write on my return, sad news was broken to us about the death of my only brother-in-law… I do hope the good Lord will allow me to write to the end this time around.

Since my release from captivity, I have published at least two posts on the absolute need for an AAC III to hold. Both received substantial positive endorsement as gleaned from the hundreds of comments. Before my captivity, I had published several articles in the same direction. It was when it received little attention that I went on to propose the English Cameroon Authority. Records show that the proposal received tremendous support!

The overwhelming opposition to AAC III championed by Cardinal Tumi of recent now is a huge embarrassment. I was convinced that it was understood the objective of the English Cameroon Authority was to create a forum for concertation among Anglophones; and to provide a team for prospective dialogue at the time. If the idea has caught up with the cardinal today whereby he craves that Anglophones come together to chart the way forward, one is at a loss as to the raison d’etre of hostilities.

There is no doubt that one may not agree entirely with the cardinal’s plan of action. Only during the AAC III would Anglophones, by unanimity or in their majority, chart the way forward: whether to trust Mr. President this time around to give him another chance., given his disdain for the Anglophones previously. But is it not only democratic for us to meet and make our points or opinions heard? If not, why does anyone believe that their own opinions are infallible and must be accepted by the others?

That’s why I consider the cardinal’s initiative invaluable, and that it comes at a propitious moment and opportune time! As a matter of fact, we, Anglophones, appear to have lost sight of certain indisputable facts. Anglophones are in two groups in location and in circumstance: those in the diaspora and those at home; those at room temperature and those taking the heat of hostilities. The one group cannot do without the other, lest we favour fragility at the expense of durability; dictatorship instead of democracy.

I am of the considered opinion that there can NEVER be unity of purpose until we have met to agree on the common purpose/goals. Such agreement can only stand the test of time if it emanates from reason rather than from emotion. Reason requires proposal, face to face arguments/debates and consensus or the majority vote. I am at a loss how this can come about otherwise than when we meet.

One would have thought that the contention would have been where to meet rather than whether to meet. At the moment, the diaspora has assumed leadership in monopoly for obvious reason. They have incurred the hostilities of the current dispensation. Obviously, their entry and safety cannot be guaranteed until there has been amnesty. Which is to say the Buea venue or any other within Southern Cameroon/Ambazonia is inappropriate. Nor can the diaspora organize a forum that the internal representatives would freely attend. It is in that light that the cardinal has put forward pre-conditions. Our standing united behind the acceptance of those pre-conditions ought to be the reasonable goal instead of bickering…

If the argument is that the term “Anglophones” is nugatory, what can we say we are? Whether independent or not, we remain Anglohones by definition or by description. Independence or no independence, is it not only normal that, as a people, Anglophones reserve the right to meet as a people to review their wellbeing as a people from time to time? To paraphrase William Shakespeare, what is in a name? Methinks, then, that invoking the point to defeat the search for peace seems utterly facetious…

There is no gainsaying that, during war, there are negotiations for truces, cease-fires, cessations of hostilities… And no war has ever ended without parties sitting at the table. How would we seriously contend that, in our case, it has to be otherwise? If, as the cardinal did suggest, there was the release of those in prison/detention; together with the downing of arms (and the necessary end of bloodshed, even just momentarily); would that alone not be a welcome relief? Do we, in the comfort of our homes, contemplate the inhuman living conditions of our people in refugee camps; in the bushes (forests); in dungeons?… We of the Ayah Foundation feel/live it daily, and we do appreciate what our people are going through…

Above all, no initiative aimed at restoring peace and normalcy ought lightly to be dismissed from emotional inner drives. Our guiding principle should be democratic flexibility: the readiness to accept that the other person has a right to a different opinion. We may never forget that democracy is, in fact, the dissenting voice. Lest we defeat the right to argue that we are different and/or want to be different!

To my mind, AAC III is inevitable! Let us lend Cardinal Tumi our support!

AND SO DO WE HEREBY SUBMIT

By Ayah Paul Abine…

Anguish of a Wife and Mother: Mrs Lilian Ayuk Tabe Speaks Out

He has been called many names – ranging from the President of Ambazonia to separatist leader. What many seem to forget is that Sisiku Tabe Ayuk was first and foremost, a father, husband, IT technician and Activist. When he stood up to demand for the freedom of English-Speaking Cameroonians from the enslavement they have been subjected to, Sisiku did not count on putting anyone in harm’s way, not least his own family.

Yet, Sisiku, through his quest for freedom, has sacrificed his job, family, and freedom. Reading from his family, one can only imagine what they are going through. What will Lilian tell their children, when they constantly ask – WHERE IS DADDY?

A vague idea of the anguish she and her family are going through and by extension, the families of all those who were abducted and have disappeared, are captured in this first statement she has issued since the disappearance of her husband.

Statement from the family of Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe

I need to start by thanking God for all good things come from Him, even difficult moments too.

With every passing day we are becoming more and more worried about the whereabouts of Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe. The last three weeks have been a nightmare, for all his family and friends and the people of former British territory Southern Cameroons (hereafter referred to Federal Republic of Ambazonia), not knowing where he is.

I issue this statement because we have reason to be worried for my husband’s life and safety and we know that the media, public, governments and organizations will pay attention.
Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe is a loving, caring, humble, and honest husband and father of my children. A trained and experienced computer engineer, he is calm and always desire to serve others and seek solutions toward improving human prosperity. These are the qualities that earned the confidence of Ambazonians who trusted him to lead legal and diplomatic efforts toward the independence restoration and international recognition of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia as a democratic and sovereign state.

My husband Julius is not a terrorist. He is not a criminal. Julius is an activist fighting for freedom, equality and justice in the land of our birth Ambazonia.

Julius and I last discussed on 5th January 2018, when he flew to Abuja ahead of a scheduled meeting with close members of the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. The meeting, he told me, was to focus on the rising humanitarian need of Ambazonia refugees in Nigeria and indiscriminate killing, arrest, and destruction of property and businesses of unarmed citizens in our homeland by armed soldiers and paramilitary forces of La Republique du Cameroun and appointed government officials of President Paul Biya regime in Yaounde.

In the evening of 5th January 2018, Julius had not returned home and was unreachable via phone. On the of 6th January 2018, after several inquiries and consultations, we received information that my husband Julius and eleven other leadership members of Ambazonia Interim Government were abducted by Nigerian Security Service during their meeting at Nera Hotel in Abuja. For three weeks, no single person, including Nigerian human rights lawyers Femi Falana and Abdul Oroh and family members of the abducted leaders including myself have neither seen nor heard from one of the abductees.

On 28th January 2018, the two lawyers defending my husband and 11 others issued a statement indicating that the Government of Nigeria extradited the 12 leaders to Cameroon. On 29 January 2018, Cameroon government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakary announced to Cameroun’s public and international community that 47 abductees in Nigeria including my husband Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe are in Cameroun’s territory and under custody. Until the announcement, my children and I still had no information of Julius’ whereabouts. Today is 31 January 2018, we have no proof that Julius and the 11 others are alive. And if they are alive, what are the charges against them and why have they not been allowed to talk to their families and to access legal due process under international law?

I did not choose to be born in Southern Cameroons. Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and other 11 leaders did not choose to be born in Southern Cameroons either. Our children and grandchildren did not choose to be descendants of Southern Cameroons. More than 8 million of us within Ambazonia territory and worldwide did not choose to originate from Southern Cameroons. It is our land of birth and our ways of life are shaped by our common culture and values. We will all die Southern Cameroonians.

Hear my cry and that of my children. Hear the cry of thousands of spouses, children and family members of those who have been killed, injured, kidnapped, detained and are missing. We appeal to the international community and governments to urge Mr. Paul Biya to produce video footages of Julius Ayuk Tabe and 11 others, grant access to lawyers and family members to meet them, and free them because they are not criminals. Our appeal equally applies to all other activists illegally detained in prisons and unknown locations across Cameroun territory.

I call on fellow women, Amnesty International, the United Nations, Commonwealth, and African Union to act swiftly and decisively by offering to mediate on finding a political solution to the independence restoration struggle of Southern Cameroons.

Hear our voices. We are not terrorists. We are Ambazonians. We are fighting for freedom, sovereignty, and human dignity for millions of Southern Cameroonians. Our birth rights have been suppressed, our liberties erased, our political, cultural and economic freedoms denied for more than half a century by the Governments of La Republique du Cameroun.

By Mrs Lilian Ayuk Tabe

The Return of Hon Wirba: Changing the Dynamics of the Anglophone Crisis?

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The government of Cameroon has taken a high-handed approach towards English-Speaking Cameroonians. The only response to the ongoing crisis has been the arbitrary arrests and detention of all those challenging the abuse of Anglophones. Things have however been different the time the corrupt regime decided to go after one of the Members of Parliament. The MP from the Jakiri constituency in the Northwest Region was chased around the region while the internet had been shut down and he was eventually reported to have escaped to Nigeria where he spent a few months planning his return. His reappearance at the House of Assembly took everyone by surprise. This was unexpected given that all the others who had fled the country had not dared return for fear of being arrested. Wirba did not only abruptly appeared in parliament; he seized the rostrum and addressed the house in the exact forceful manner he last did before going under months back. A visibly confused House Speaker, Cavaye

Joseph Wirba did not only throw caution to the wind and abruptly make an appearance in parliament; he took the moment to address the house in the exact forceful manner he had done before and was declared a persona non grata. A visibly shaken and confused Speaker of the House of Assembly, Cavaye Yegue Djibril, failed to stop Hon Wirba from putting across his message.  With the same eloquence he has come to be known for, with the same logical arguments for the government to pay serious attention to the plight of West Cameroonians, a determined Wirba made his arguments for justice for Anglophones.

Below are some excerpts:

“Where else should we say these things? If we belong to the National Assembly then Mr Speaker, you must hear me out. Mr Speaker, you will hear me out. With all due respect Mr Speaker, I have been chased through the bushes for the past three months. I cannot come here and you are discussing…
“Our children are out of school, our lawyers in jail and all that is happening in West Cameroon means nothing to you. Where is your standing order to suspend for us to discuss issues that have to do with the people of West Cameroon? You tell me because you don’t seem to have an agenda for us…
“Mr Speaker, I am now telling you that the person who ordered for my arrest… tell him I am here; he can come and take me out of this National Assembly and the people of West Cameroon will know that they don’t belong here…

“The representatives of the people have the power to say it as it is at any time. I mean, we come here and you shut us down… what should we do? I should have waited for them to bring my head to you. That’s what you would have wanted. I simply say NO!
Mr Speaker, can you now on this floor, give us where this National Assembly can discuss the issues that have to do with the people of West Cameroon? Because it is more important than anything you have discussed in this Assembly from independence. Can you tell us? Because if we cannot talk about these things here, where are we supposed to talk about them for God’s sake? “You keep humiliating us like this, every time, it is the same thing. Get to the church leaders, we are humiliated, get to the lawyers, we are humiliated. We come here to represent our people and you tell me that I cannot talk about my people then, you will need to shut my mouth with death.

Can I have the time when we will talk about the problems of our people? If you have no space here for that it means that the country completely excludes us from its programme and I do not want that to be. You are supposed to make sure that we come here and represent the people, talk about their problems so that you understand the problems.
“I am happy that I am coming here when the Minister of Territorial Administration is here and I am wondering because Mr Minister I said here on the 2nd of December that the reign of terror over in West Cameroon is bringing down the country and nobody seems to listen and then I come here and we are told that we cannot talk on behalf of those people? It is the right of the MP to represent his people, Mr Speaker.

“I am not bringing any disorder. If you let us talk about our problems, nobody will be wasting this time because I have a full file here to discuss the problems of my people, so can you give me space to talk about it? If I don’t have it, then you are saying and with the order on my head that I should be arrested for representing my people. You are saying that the last remnants of anything we call democracy has died in this country. If an MP cannot talk, who else? And if an MP for the country is not safe, who else is safe in this country…?”

The question now being asked by all remains: is there something Wirba knows that others do not know? What is the position of his party the Social Democratic Front (SDF) which seems to have abandoned him when he needed them most? Why did the government not go ahead and arrest Wirba?

One scenario is possible. Hon Wirba might be someone who clearly understands how the government of Cameroon operates and knowing that their hands are tied with regards to the prosecution of the other Anglophone leaders, chose the right moment to reappear.

If this is the case, he surely has exposed the government’s weakness and given a new lease on life to the Anglophone crisis. The renewed energy across the country and diaspora is a testament to the fact that Hon. Wirba could not have chosen a better time to return.

Foley-Hoag: Lobbyists, Activists or Lawyers? An Analysis of the SCACUF Dilemma

This analysis is published on Ambasbay Blog. The name of the author is not included, but the analysis is solid. From the introduction, it seems to have been written by Boh Herbert, but that also is not clear.
That notwitstanding, this article analysis the role being played by Foley-Hoag, the firm retained by SCACUF to help advance the legal case of human rights abuses being committed by the Cameroon government against the people of English-Speaking regions.
I am normally not a fan of Boh Herbert, but I must say I do agree, completely, with his assessment of the Foley Hoag interview and much more.

It was interesting that they cited, as an example of their work, the Polisario and the peoples of Western Sahara. That conflict has been going on for more than 30 years now and resulted in Morocco leaving the OAU only to get back a few years ago. That’s an ongoing conflict that is yet to be resolved. Not sure for how long the firm has been involved with it or what they would consider success in this scenario.

I would have thought they would cite their recent work with the Philippines in the case against China about the disputed islands. The legal aspect of that was a resounding success for the Philippines, the political aspect not so much. As usual, there was no enforcing mechanism in the judgment. So the Philippines has ended up in bilateral negotiations with China – something China always wanted and the Philippines never wanted. Not sure what, if any, is Foley Hoag’s role in this crucial part of the problem.

There is nothing inherently wrong with eliciting support from lobbyists. The problem lies with the approach. If I have an issue that needs the US government to intervene from a policy perspective, then a US lobbyist will be a logical approach. Even there, I will seek a firm closer to the current administration. A Clinton era lobbyist or surrogate is unlikely to be very helpful in a Republican, Trump government – note Foley Hoag’s Clinton connections.

Then there is the International aspect of this. How, would a US firm be helpful in lobbying the EU, Russia, Australia or the UN for that matter on our behalf? If we have to go down the expensive route of Lobbyist, should we then have to hire country or institution, specific lobbyists? Normally, these guys are hired by corporate interests for specific policy objectives in specific countries. Issues related to Human rights, minority rights, governance in tertiary countries have typically been dealt with through pro bono services and NGOs. Amnesty International, Transparency International the UN etc. are essentially not for profit organisations and their bureaucracies have little patience for profiteering law firms or lobbyists.

It is no wonder, the legal support teams of the ICC are usually pro bono or paid for by NGOs. The fact that we consider paying a left-leaning lobbyist in the US or any lobbyist for that matter indicates we have been either unable to, or unwilling to take advantage of the pro bono services out there at our disposal.

We have essentially outsourced the converted job of lobbying our case to a third party. In liberation struggles, the key role of leadership is lobbying the international community for support. The most effective way to do so is through individuals from, the country that are the direct victims of that abuse. Paying lobbyist gives the impression our leaders are either too rich or too busy to engage in such mundane tasks. If they see it fit to outsource the leadership of the struggle, should the people on the ground also outsource their support; Or should they look elsewhere to leadership?

I have read and watched videos of SCACUF leadership indicating that only $3k has been spent so far by the law firm as an argument that they have been diligent with finances. A couple of things come to mind.

 

1. Considering that there has been no change in the terms of the contract between Foley Hoag and SCACUF, then $3k, spent over a month working on the case would indicate they really have not been doing anything so far. If, as we know, the billing intervals is 15mins, then the interview alone, with 2 senior Foley Hoag partners already cost SCACUF about $350. Judging by how little information came out of that press conference, I am not
surprised they have not done much work at all.

2. A declaration by Atam Milan, of an item of expense, hardly rises to the realm of accountability; it actually raises more questions than it answers about SCACUF’s accounting practices. The government of Cameroon, unfortunately, has a better track record than that!

 

3. SCACUF was supposed to ensure $75k be in that account 30 days from the day they met the first $35k requirement. We are well past that threshold and have heard nothing in that regards. It is clear in the contract SCACUF provided, that failing to meet that obligation, the law firm reserved the right to walk off the contract. It is curious that nothing has been said more than 30 days after.

 

4. Without that $75k, it is likely the law firm is uninclined to commit any more resources to the struggle and any indication that very little had been spent by the law firm only goes to buttress the point that they are scaling back on committing resources.

5. As noted in point 1 above, our esteemed lobbyist, by their contracted fee structure, have hardly committed up to 2hrs of billable time to the SCACUF file. Shouldn’t SCACUF or the people it represents be worried?

 

As self-appointed, sole representatives of Southern Cameroons, you would expect the third SCACUF conclave to address issues related to where they are in the struggle and the way forward. We’ve heard nothing to that effect; SCACUF spent time and money discussing their internal structural issues and very little if anything about SC they represent. The one thing SCACUF has on its plate as an external activity is the Lobbyist they hired. I believe they can relax and sip some champagne now having outsourced the struggle to a lobbyist.

Occasional 15 mins conference calls with 2 white guys is enough to pacify its followers.

SCACUF leadership, mostly through surrogates, has been bullying people online peddling the notion that there is no need to be critical of SCACUF and no need to ask what they have done so far. Pointing to SCACUF’s, in my opinion highly flawed, internal structure – and of course Foley Hoag, as evidence of success and traction! There is the further troubling notion that any Anglophone or group of people critical of SCACUF’s actions must be traitors!

It is important to clear the air as to where we were prior to SCACUF and where we are today:-

 

1. We were able, through public and mostly, private campaigns able to bring the UN to address the issues in Cameroon and get the UN to send representatives to go visit our leaders in jail. Note the SCACUF only just thought about sending emails to the UN a few weeks ago.

 

2. Get the Canadian government to sympathise with us to the extent of supporting our Federal position. They actually sent their officials to the provinces to interview local leaders and common people to get an informed sense of the situation on the ground prior to taking their position.

 

3. Move a few western governments to and parliaments to look into the issues related to the marginalisation of our peoples as part of a long diplomatic push.

 

4. Got Amnesty International and, through the lawyers’ international esprit de corps, had the Bar associations of many countries take strong positions in support of our detainees and lawyers and Anglophones at large.

 

5. Assemble an international legal team, working pro bono, to defend our leaders and detainees in jail.

 

6. Rally and unify the entire Anglophone community in opposition to the current state of affairs.

 

7. Built support for our course from the larger Francophone leadership and peoples in Cameroon who easily identify with the mostly governance and human rights aspect of the struggle.

 

After SCACUF came into existence what have we achieved?

 

1. Tribalised the Anglophone struggle.

 

2. Lost the support of the Canadians, who now believe a benevolent despot is better than utter chaos. The only support we now have from them is towards the release of our level headed leaders and detainees.

 

3. Lost the support of the US and other nations that were considering supporting us in our quest towards legitimately achievable goals.

 

4. Lost the support on the ground in Cameroon as SCACUFs ambivalent flirtations with uncoordinated violent groups, as a persuasive tool has alienated the very people it seeks to represent.

 

5. Alienated the sympathetic francophones in Cameroon who would have been sympathetic to a fight for good governance and the rights of a minority; ticked off when it was hijacked by hate speech directed towards peoples rather than systems.

 

One thing that’s common to the Anglophones is our sense of critique; our need to accountability and our penchant to question authority. I must say, SCACUF did its best to tap into the anger of the arrests or our leaders, the intimidation of our peoples and the perceived need to unify our voices in opposition to the status quo. Unfortunately, with no vision or plan of action, no accountability, and resorting to violence and blackmail as a means of persuasion; the train, in SCACUF terms, has since moved on with the people leaving them behind.

I could go on and on, but I am better served addressing real issues we have on the ground than any more time with self-serving narcissists who for some reason think they are leaders.