The Strike Continues: I WON’T GO TO COURT ON TUESDAY 02.05.2017!!! (By ShuSheey Barrister AKUWIYADZE)

 

The President of the Cameroon Bar Council recently announced that Common Law Lawyers will be returning to court, signalling an end to the strike action that has paralysed the legal, educational and other sub-systems of West Cameroon.

During the period of the strike action, rather than make efforts to grant the demands of the striking civil society, the recalcitrant government of Cameroon resorted to intimidation.

Arbitrary arrests, rape, torture, shutdown or the internet amongs other human rights violations.

With none of the demands of the strikers granted, it is nothing but shocking that the Bar Council President should announce a return to the courts.

Following is a response from one of the Barrister’s and it is fair to say, after listening to other views on Afrique Media today, that his position represents that of the majority.

I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Lawyers in West Cameroon have lost income for six months and their families are suffering. Were they sacrificing for the usual promises?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Consortium Leaders are in jail, some on self-exile, while their families are suffering in Cameroon. Did they ask for promises?
No, Mr. President of Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Over 100 West Cameroonians, arbitrarily arrested and incarcerated in East Cameroon are suffering in jails for months. Is that why they are paying this price?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Some of our children have been killed and their families are still in pain. Did they die for promises?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Our children have sacrificed a whole academic year; parents have lost school fees paid; teachers in private schools are without salary for 5 months now. Is that what they sacrificed (and are still sacrificing) for?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

Business people in West Cameroon have lost income from sales by adhering to Ghost Towns. Some have seen their fortune go up in flames! What have they got in return?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

My colleagues are in jail while others have been forced to go on exile for daring to stand for the TRUTH! Are Lawyers not the watchdogs (whistle-blowers) of society?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.
How can I go to court in a country where a Superscale Magistrate in active Service at the Supreme Court (Ayah Paul Abine) is arrested and incarcerated with impunity ~ without due process?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

How can I go to court when an Honorable Member of Parliament (Joseph Wirba) who did nothing more than his duty as a true Representative of the people (and not a hand-clapper) has been forced out of his country for telling the TRUTH?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

West Cameroonians have suffered more than enough in this Triangle since 1961 as their heritage has been completely wiped out!
Where is Cameroon Bank?
Where is NPMB?
Where is WADA?
Where is PWD?
Where is Yoke Power Station?
Where is Santa Coffee Estate?
Where are our much-cherished Institutions? Health? Education? Justice? Law and Order? Etc, etc?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, you are not an Anglophone and I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017.

If I should go to court on the 02.05.2017 or thereafter:

1. ALL our brothers and sisters arrested as a result of the strike action that we (Common Law Lawyers) started on the 11.10.2016 must be UNCONDITIONALLY RELEASED (with guarantees that there won’t be any further arbitrary arrests).

2. Internet Connection cut off from West Cameroon on 18.01.2017 must be re-instated.

3. The towns and villages of West Cameroon flooded with soldiers, must be de-militarized.

When the above pre-conditions would have been met, the dialogue will resume so that the problem of marginalization of Anglophones in Cameroon is dealt with once and for all. The time is Now!

Is this a poem?
No, Mr. President of the Cameroon Bar Council, I won’t go to court on the 02.05.2017 or any date thereafter as I’m ready to boycott the courts for two years (renewable) until JUSTICE is done and seen to have been done to us.

ShuSheey AKUWIYADZE,
(Barrister-At-Law)
Kumbo.
West Cameroon

Cameroonians in the UK Call on UK Government to shutdown High Commission

The Cameroon High Commission London was in a state of disarray today as many Cameroonians from across the UK assembled there to protest against human rights abuses in the country. Protesters could be heard chanting ‘Safe English-Cameroon’ ‘Safe Southern-Cameroons’ or simply ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’. Some speakers asked the UK government to suspend diplomatic relations with Cameroon until the human rights abuses had stopped.

This demonstration that was quickly called together to express solidarity with the Common Law Lawyers and teachers who were already protesting in Cameroon.

The current Cameroon government which has been in power for 34 years has done everything possible to silence any dissenting voices; journalists and activists have been imprisoned for daring to challenge the status quo. As a result of bad governance and endemic corruption, people have been getting increasingly frustrated. There have been protests in Cameroon in the 1990s and 2000s, but notably in 2008 during which the military combined with the police in shooting and killing innocent unarmed civilians.
lawyers-engaged-in-peaceful-demonstration
The current problem has its origin in the colonial history of Cameroon which saw the country split along linguistic lines in 1916 by the British and the French. There was the French-speaking Cameroon  (Former colony of France) and English-Speaking Cameroon (Former British Colony). In 1960 French Cameroon gained independence and a year later, during a Plebiscite organised by the United Nations, English-Cameroon or Southern Cameroon was offered the conditional choice of independence by either joining Nigeria or joining The Republic of Cameroon. They chose the later and formed what was then the Federal Republic of Cameroon with both East Cameroon and West Cameroon retaining their respective parliaments, educational and legal systems. However, in 1972, in what many Southern Cameroonians today consider a move towards annexation, President Ahmadou Ahidjo oversaw the dissolution of the Federation and made it The United Republic of Cameroon.
troops-descend-on-lawyers-with-teargas
Upon taking power in 1982, one of the first things that Paul Biya did was to change the name of the country, – without any public consultation – back to The Republic of Cameroon. This name was one owned by French Cameroon before the Federation. It was to turn out to be more than a mere nomenclature. For the  34 years, that Biya has been in power, the English-speaking Cameroonians (Anglophones) have been systematically marginalised. One of the ways this has happened has been the imposition of the French legal system (Civil Law) on the Anglophone Lawyers trained in Common Law through the appointment of French-speaking magistrates to English courts.
Against the backdrop of these and the widespread discontent in the country as a result of poverty, endemic corruption and bad governance, a peaceful protest was organised by the lawyers to challenge the marginalisation and perceived injustices and ask for a bi-jural system and a respect of the Common Law. Troops were however sent out to harass the lawyers, their wigs and gowns were confiscated, they were teargassed and some were injured.
Teachers and other parts of Civil Society soon joined in the protests and before long, the security forces started using live bullets, resulting in the death of some civilians.
Kingsley Sheteh, an activist with Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary called on other Cameroonians in the UK to carry out this demonstration, so as  to bring the attention of the world to what happened and keeps happening in Cameroon.

The arrival of the British Anti-terrorist police at the scene is confirmation that the Biya regime and its cronies are now so scared that they considered a group of activists to be as dangerous as terrorists

The struggle continues until all Cameroonians can begin to live as free citizens in their own country.

#changeforCameroon