There are two types of beings in Cameroon. Humans and Monsters. A monster shot a 4 months-old baby.
On May 20th, while the Cameroon state was busy trying to put up a show called ‘national day celebration’, a four month-old baby was shot death while asleep in herparent’s house in Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon.
I just watched a news report from Equinox in which it is reported that the parents of the baby turned down a convocation to go to the police and give a statement.
I would have thought the police should have been the ones to come to the house and treat it as a crime scene, carry out investigations and bring whoever is responsible to justice.
Could it be because they are worried about what such an investigation, if carried out, would reveal?
I see people trying to apportion blame on who might be responsible. Some including the parents and eyewitnesses have blamed the Cameroon military, while the Cameroon state has blamed Ambazonia Separatist fighters. But it is just a simple case here.
Who is responsible for the security of people and property? Who is paid to protect babies such as Martha? Who is responsible for the current carnage and escalation of the crisis in the NW and SW Region of Cameroon? Who is responsible for calling for dialogue to end the conflict?
Whoever is responsible for any of the these, is fully responsible for the killing of that baby, irrespective of who pulled the trigger. The State of Cameroon failed to deal with the ongoing crisis, when it was a simple demand from Lawyers and teachers. It is responsible for militarising the regions and sat back while young boys carried arms in what they classed as ‘self defence’. The government of Paul Biya failed to take care of the minor wound, and now it has developed pus. He and his Regime are responsible for the death of every citizen.
If you make a community unfit for humans to live in, monsters will thrive!
The issue of school resumption in the English-Speaking parts of Cameroon has been a very contentious one. Over the last week, the debate has been intense with some advocating out-rightly that schools should resume, some out-rightly rejecting the notion and some arguing that for schools to resume, there has to be some promise of security.
In what has been a signficant U-turn, the Interim Government of the self-proclaimed Federal Republic of Ambazonia, through its Communication Secretary Chris Anu, in a broadcast, announced that they were not against school resumption.
In a message that was 1 hour and 16 minutes long, the representative of the Interim government of Ambazonia dealt with a large number of issues. Amidst exhalations to those still fighting for the restoration of their statehood, he used historical references to indicate why there was no need to give up.
At the 43rd minute and 27th second however, he turned his attention to the issue of school resumption. He made it clear that the Interim Government and front-line movements, having held in the past that schools should not resume, are taking a different approach to the issue. Announcing that schools were free to resume and that educational institutions were free to open their doors, the Ambazonia leaders have shown without doubt that they are more concerned about the future of Cameroonians than the current Biya regime.
This announcement has effectively increased the pressure on the Biya Regime to ensure that hostilities are halted ahead of the school resumption. In the last two years, the regime in Yaounde has been able to hide under the banner of school boycott policies, to blame all activists fighting for a better Cameroon for anything that went wrong with the educational system. The regime on occasion, blamed activists and Ambazonian fighters for burning schools and attacking pupils and students as way of enforcing school boycott. All of that changes with this announcement.
Given that Carlson Anyangwe clearly acknowledges that the Plebiscite was legal, I decided to look into the issues of why Resolution 1608 of 21 April 1961 was not properly implemented. My greatest challenge was the fact that following the endorsement of the vote by the UN and the meeting of the leaders of the two Cameroons in July 1961 in Foumban, Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon and La Republique Du Cameroun became East Cameroon, in a Federal Structure. I was therefore at a loss as to what could have transpired between July 1961 and October 1961, that led Southern Cameroons to give up everything to French Cameroon.
This question seems to have been answered by a video in which Fon Gorj-Dinka acknowledges that there actually was a Treaty of Foumban. In this video, Gorji-Dinka can be heard quoting article one of that treaty. According to him, it is the treaty that gave rise to the Two-State Federation.
It is very logical, therefore, to conclude that there actually was an agreement between the two Cameroons, which was breached by Amadou Ahidjo in 1972. While Gorji-Dinka seeks redress by arguing that this breach, led to the cancellation of the new state and the ‘resurrection of the old ones that united to give it birth, I argue, as I did in my piece in response to Anyangwe, that the breach of 1972 is constitutional. The remedy for the breach of 1972, therefore, will be about getting the deal that Southern Cameroons got in Foumban.
I want to start by appreciating the time and effort you have put into this write-up dated 18 August 2018. Your title talks about ‘root causes’ which got me interested as I have been looking forward to getting into the heart of the problem and see exactly it started. The use of the words ‘root causes’ are also captivating as they have been bandied around quite a bit since this current phase of the Anglophone struggle started.
The first difficulty I have is that the very first sentence of your introduction presents ‘root causes’ as ‘remote causes’. That, unfortunately, means you started on the wrong foot. Root Causes according to the Collins Dictionary are “the fundamental reason for the occurrence of a problem”, whereas remote causes are those that are somehow obscure. From the lexicon meaning of the two words, there is no way they can be synonymous. Also, within legal parlance, remote causes are often considered to be speculative rather than direct, consequently are not given the weighting that direct, or root causes have. However, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I will treat your causes both as root and remote. I will take the definition of remote in this context to mean “far in the past” – hence remote will be about distance in memory.
Your first cause is the “Non-decolonization of the Southern British Cameroons”. I would naturally have ignored your usage of the name ‘Southern British Cameroons’ but given that you attached a lot of importance on name in a part of your write-up, let me just clear this up. There NEVER was any territory called ‘Southern British Cameroons’ or ‘British Southern Cameroons’, as some call it. It has always been officially, either British Cameroons (which included Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons) or simply Southern Cameroons when reference was being made to our territory. If we must pay attention to issues of nomenclature, it is essential that we also get the name of our territory correct.
On the political and legal issues that you raise, I will deal with a few.
You term the phrasing of the plebiscite questions as ‘dubious’. That may be the case, but what you fail to acknowledge was that in the UNGA Resolution 1350 of 16 October 1959, the questions are recommended, based on discussions that had taken place in the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly. I wish to also point out that UNGA Resolution 1350 of 13 March 1959, had given the Southern Cameroons House of assembly the opportunity to come up with suggestions for the plebiscite questions before the 14th Session of the UNGA. Resolution 1352 makes reference to the difficulties that the Southern Cameroons Premier and leader of the opposition had in coming to an agreement. It is therefore misleading to make it sound as if the plebiscite questions were simply imposed on Southern Cameroonians.
In discussing UNGA Res 1608 (XV) of 21 April 1961 which endorsed the results of the Plebiscite vote, you left out the fact that the resolution ends by inviting the Plebiscite Administering authority, the Government of Southern Cameroons and The Republic of Cameroon to initiate discussions upon which the agreed outcomes of the plebiscite will be implemented. You therefore conveniently leave out the fact that such discussions took place in Foumban, in July 1961. Whether or not the process and the level of discussions were fair, is entirely another question. However, it is misleading for you to make it appear as if after the passing of Resolution 1608, the content of the Federations was “On 1 September 1961… unilaterally determined and imposed by French Cameroun, resulting in the disguised annexation of the Southern Cameroons.” This statement by you, not only misrepresents the facts and timeline of events, it is craftily designed to bolster your argument of annexation, which has been peddled around for so long.
I agree with you that the manner in which the United Kingdom handled the termination of its Trusteeship is suspect. It, however, does not deviate from the fact that this is a blip in the process of implementing the outcome of a public vote.
On the second part of your first cause, where you claim to be discussing the ‘moral question’, I struggle to see any ethical issues raised. Rather, you spend time, making a case against Federalism. You make the valid point that Ahidjo failed to uphold the agreements that led to a federal structure. However, you completely fail to address the fact that Ahidjo’s breach in 1972, amounts to what can only be classed as a constitutional breach. If we are to treat what occurred between Southern Cameroons and The Republic of Cameroon as a contract, then the remedy for this breach will be to put Southern Cameroons where they would have been, had the breach not occurred. You will agree with me that, should that be done, then we end up again with a Two-State Federation.
However, should we treat the breach as an abuse of power by a public authority, making it an issue of Public Law, then the remedy we can seek, will be by means of a judicial review. There is no legal precedence to suggest that such a Judicial Review will amount to a nullification of the plebiscite results. The only remedy that can be sought is for the 1972 decision to be reversed. That will leave us again within a Two State Federation.
So as much as you try to debunk the quest for a return to Federation, it appears to be the only legal remedy available to Southern Cameroonians. The only other case, which I have not seen you make, is to call for a second referendum/plebiscite, to ask Southern Cameroonians to vote again, as the outcome of such a vote is the only democratic process to overturn the February 11, 1961 vote.
Your second cause, which you class as “French Cameroun’s territorial aggrandisement claim to the territory of the Southern Cameroons”, sees you making another bogus claim. You claim that “The territory of the Southern Cameroons has never ever been part of the territories of French Cameroun before, at or after that country’s ‘independence’ from France.“ This is factually and historically incorrect. I will want to draw your attention to the fact that Treaty of Versailles, divided the German territory of Kamerun on June 28, 1919, between France and the United Kingdom, under a League of Nations Mandate, What is important to note is that when the Germans were ousted in 1916, the French, administered the whole occupied territory, until the League of Nations Mandate created the arbitrary division. As such, France naturally got the larger part of the territory, while Southern Cameroons and Northern Cameroons were ceded to the British.
You are drawing on international law to disapprove of expansionism (Colonialism, imperialism) and territorial aggrandisement, yet a sentence before that, you are asking that French Cameroon ought to respect the outcomes of what it inherited from colonialism. I agree with you that at some point, we ought to move past the issues of colonialism and the destruction it wrought on our communities. However, you cannot claim to be denouncing colonial tendencies, while hanging on to the proceeds of colonialism as the basis for your arguments. The principle of contradiction states that a thing cannot be and not be from the same point of view. Either colonialism is bad, and we cannot lay claim to proceeds of colonialism, or it is not entirely bad and we can accept that the Southern Cameroons we are laying claim to today, was a colonial creation.
This brings me to the most important point about the issue of root and remote causes. The foregoing section has indicated that you completely failed to identify the root cause of the current crisis. The fundamental cause of what we have today, rather than being the botched decolonisation process, which you so painstakingly describe, is rather the creation of the colonial divide. But for the colonisation by Germans, our territories would have evolved differently and there is no guarantee that we would have Southern Cameroons. But for the arbitrary division in 1919 between the English and French, there would be no such thing as Southern Cameroons or Anglophones or English-Speaking Cameroons. So, you will agree with me that when we talk about the root causes, we can look no further than colonialism and Western Imperialism.
However, the causes which you have brought up, had you been factual, historically and logically honest, can well fall under the category of remote causes or immediate causes. This would be especially true, given that you rightly point out a lot of barbarism that has been visited on the English-Speaking Cameroonians by both the Ahidjo and Biya regimes, under what you class as your third root cause.
You conclude with a revolutionary message of hope. However, it is mired in deception, as your analysis has been far from being truthful. You claim that the weekend in Washington DC marks the watershed moment in the history of our struggle. However, I am sorry to say that reading through the resolutions, I am yet to see that ground-breaking innovation that came out from the conference. Rather, I see a regurgitation of policies began by the Federalist Consortium.
I kept wondering why it is that our leaders with all the knowledge base among them, seem unable to come up with innovative ways to steer this struggle, beyond relying on archaic strategies such as ghost towns and school-boycott, which regrettably, heaps more misery on our own people than it does to Biya’s regime.
By reading through your presentation, I am beginning to see why. Intellectual dishonesty, the presentation of half-truths and outright lies, are surely not foundations upon which we can build a truly successful revolutionary movement to guarantee our freedom.
It was meant to be a weekend during which the frontline leaders of the English-speaking Cameroon Struggle speak as one, in a bid to find a way forward.
The leaders started with closed door meetings, followed by a session during which people across the world called in to voice their opinions.
The highlight of the weekend however has been the massive crowd that stormed the streets of Washington DC on this Sunday 19 August 2018.
Their message was simple: the world cannot keep quiet while Cameroonians of English extraction were being killed by the Biya Regime. While this is a compelling message, it does not fully capture the reality of the situation.
While the Biya Regime has been engaged in killings and burning down of villages, the pro-independence fighters, under the banner of self defence have been engage in repprisal attacks on both the military and those tagged as ‘traitors’ or ‘black legs’. What this effectively means is that, as the conflict continues, Cameroonians are killing each other, while the person who has the ability to halt hostilities is tucked away in a Swiss Hotel.
It is true that Cameroonians are dying on a daily basis. It is also true that killings are taking place on both sides. The most true of all is that every one loses except those in positions of power.
As I suggested in one of my posts, the leaders of the Anglophone struggle also have the ability to declare a ceasefire and take some measures that will ease the dire living conditions of those at the heart of the raging conflict.
Until such time when one side decides to put the wellbeing of the masses ahead of their ideology, this will continue to be a lose-lose situation for ordinary Cameroonian within the English-speaking Regions.
Until such time, it is difficult to say what the response of the rest of the world could be, other than a call on both sides to halt the hostilities.
Many citizens of the self-proclaimed state of Ambazonia would have been taken aback upon reading a short piece purportedly written by Professor Martin Ayim. Ayim in his write-up claims that all documents sent to the United Nations (UN) by Ambazonians since the 1990s have been shredded, without being looked at. Anyim presents this as a discovery that appears to have been a victory achieved by the Ambazonian Interim Government (IG). He therefore quickly goes on to state that the same IG will soon be reaching out to the UN Secretary General.
As this short write-up made its rounds on social media, I read with fascination as many latched on to the optimistic parts, which provided them with a reason to cling to their hope of having a new nation. The truth is that Prof. Anyim, like many erudite persons from Cameroon, West of the Mungo, have for a long time, excelled in the art of deception. This deception paradoxically has been of their own people.
Let us be clear about something, the UN has no legal obligation to a state called Ambazonia. As far as the UN is concerned, Southern Cameroons voted in 1961 in a plebiscite to join The Republic of Cameroon in a Federation. Resolution 1608 of April 1961 confirmed the results of this plebiscite and in the Foumban Conference, the representatives of both Southern Cameroons and the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon agreed on the form of state they wanted. On October 1, 1961, Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon.
The contention today, which has some legal basis, is how West Cameroon disappeared in 1972, as the state mutated to the United Republic of Cameroon and what happened to the supposed ‘unity’, when Paul Biya in 1984 changed the country’s name back to The Republic of Cameroon.
Maybe, taking the issues regarding the disappearance of West Cameroon to the UN for discussion might have given them something to talk about. However approaching the UN with the quest for the recognition of a new state, was a nonstarter.
The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government. As an organization of independent States, it may admit a new State to its membership or accept the credentials of the representatives of a new Government.
The procedure is briefly as follows:
The State submits an application to the Secretary-General and a letter formally stating that it accepts the obligations under the Charter.
The Security Council considers the application. Any recommendation for admission must receive the affirmative votes of 9 of the 15 members of the Council, provided that none of its five permanent members — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America — have voted against the application.
If the Council recommends admission, the recommendation is presented to the General Assembly for consideration. A two-thirds majority vote is necessary in the Assembly for admission of a new State.
Membership becomes effective the date the resolution for admission is adopted.
So contrary to what Prof. Anyim and many claim, the UN did not grant independence to Southern Cameroons in 1961, it merely recognised the outcome of a public vote. In the same manner, the UN has no mandate to grant independence to Ambazonia.
So instead of sending papers and petitions to the UN asking for the recognition of a new state, Ambazonians might think of courting at least 9 out of the 15 members of the Security Council, while making sure that the Five Permanent members are among these.
This, of course, would be a herculean task given that, with the apparent exception of the Russian Federation, the other permanent members have been instrumental in different ways in propping up the Biya Regime’s 36 years in power.
Ambazonians have also been known to tender petitions to the Commonwealth, of which Cameroon is a member. Under the same rules of engagement that the UN has with its members, the Commonwealth is under no obligation to respond to Ambazonia, as it is not one of her members.
It is my view that the best way for English-Speaking Cameroonians to get any form of freedom or respect within their country, is to challenge the system from within. It is obvious that elections will never guarantee this, as the rigging machinery is effectively controlled by Biya. Making the case for the Restoration of the State of West Cameroon, which has a legal argument starting with the violation of the constitution in 1972, remains the best option.
A return to a Two-State Federation within Cameroon will give Anglophones, the autonomy to build the right institutions that can attract diplomatic relations with other states. Such can be the start of any talk of independence. Within a federal structure, the people of the English-speaking regions can effectively talk with the UN or Commonwealth, as sections of a Country that is their member.
In a nutshell, English-Speaking Cameroonians will need to gain some degree of autonomy before they can think of approaching the UN. As an organisation of independent states, the UN deals with independent entities, not help them gain independence.
When the recent crisis in the English-Speaking Regions of Cameroon began in 2016, Human Rights Barrister, Agbor Nkongho (Balla) was one of those at the forefront. It came as no surprise that he became the first president of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, which became the unified civil society organisation championing the demands of teachers, lawyers and trade unions.
When the Biya regime banned the Consortium in January 2017 and arrested Agbor Balla and others, it was assumed the quest for freedom will die. Things have unfortunately spiralled out of control. After several months in Cameroon’s maximum security prison in Yaounde, Balla was released.
He came out to a completely changed struggle for freedom. The Consortium was no more, and in its place, were several groups, all claiming to be fighting for independence, yet not united in purpose, in any shape or form. Balla soon became a victim of the derailled struggle, as he was branded a ‘sellout’ for daring to continue advocating for the same things he had stood for, before going to jail.
Undaunted and unfazed, Balla forged ahead, working in his capacity as a Human Rights Barrister and under the auspices of The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, to continue to challenge the gross violations of human rights perpertuated against the people of Anglophone Cameroon by the Biya regime.
It therefore did not come as a surprise that on receiving the prestigious Mandela Memorial award, Balla dedicated it to the Southern Cameroons struggle. Below is his full acceptance speech.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a source of great pride to be present at this event and to receive the Nelson Mandela Memorial Award from Nkafu Policy Institute. We are deeply honoured to receive an award which incarnates the values that President Nelson Mandela stood for.
We accept this award at a moment when 8 million Southern Cameroonians are engaged in a struggle to end the long years of marginalisation, oppression, human rights abuses and assimilation. We accept this award on behalf of a movement to establish freedoms, rule of law, good governance and recognition of a people with a unique culture, history and system within the diversity of a bicultural, bilingual and bijural nation.
I am mindful that only yesterday civil disobedience swept over South West and North West, and as of yesterday we have 50,000 Southern Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, 200,000 internally displaced people living in the rainforests of Meme, Ndian, Momo and other divisions, we have 1500 Southern Cameroonians in maximum security prisons in Yaounde, Buea, Bamenda and Douala. I am mindful that 78 villages have been burnt down, over 50 schools burnt down, dozens of administrative buildings burnt or destroyed, more than 3000 civilians have died, over 150 soldiers have been killed, several chiefs and civilians kidnapped and daily fighting between armed groups and government soldiers.
Therefore, I must ask myself why this prize is awarded to a movement of people who were called terrorists, to a struggle that has not won the freedoms, justice and recognition it is fighting for.
After much reflection, I conclude that this award I receive on behalf of the Southern Cameroons struggle is a sincere recognition that nonviolent resistance is the answer to fight against marginalisation, violence and oppression. I reject the notion that a nation must spiral down towards yearlong armed conflict with human and material casualties before leaders sit down to talk to each other.
Accepting this award is accepting a pledge to continue till we overcome and in the words of Mandela, “We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.”
I will like to dedicate this award to the people of Southern Cameroons, the girls and women living in refugee camps, shelters and forests, children prevented from pursuing education, the unjustly detained, hundreds in exile hiding from persecution and the amazing lawyers who have dedicated their legal services in defending the rights of those affected.
While we continue resisting oppression, fighting against marginalisation, assimilation and bad governance, the answer doesn’t reside in kidnapping chiefs, civilians or people we disagree with.
The solution is not tribalism or ethnic division. Attacking Anglophone Bamilekes, Bassas, Ewondos or Francophones, goes against the very model of freedoms which we seek. We must end hate speech against North westerners or South westerners for we are one people. To our Francophone brothers, the Southern Cameroons struggle has never been Anglophones versus Francophones, rather it is Southern Cameroonians against the current system of government and institutions which have provided little opportunities for the Anglophones while eroding our culture, system, language and rights. You are not our enemy, you are our ally.
1 Corinthians 16:14 tells us, “Let all that you do be done in love.” Like the grandmother who gave me 2000 FCFA in court while I was facing trial for terrorism at the Yaounde Military Court. Following the example of the young boy who met me in a restaurant, took my phone number and surprisingly sent me 2000 FCFA airtime. That is love without boundaries and if we love each other hate will have no place in our society.
I congratulate my fellow nominees for the work you have done to impact our society and your sense of leadership. May we continue working together for the journey ahead is still long and we will need each other during our various obstacles and successes.
I will like to thank the Fako Lawyers Association for their sacrifices, all Common Law Lawyers for the dedication to defend justice, all Cameroonians from both sides of Mungo including the diaspora who supported the movement and fight against marginalisation and oppression, we recognize your sacrifices and support as we ask you to continue for us to arrive the finish line. To all organisations, supporters and citizens of the world who continue advocating for us, we are very grateful for your voices. Thank you, to my family, friends and to the brilliant staff of Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, you sacrificed your time, families and lives to advance the work we have done so far. To all with views different from ours, we hear you and we hope to work together on issues of common interest to advance democracy and peaceful coexistence.
The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa has provided a clear view of the human rights, socio-political and economic implications of the Anglophone crisis during consultations and recommendations to our local, regional and international partners, diplomats, world superpowers and belligerents of the crisis. It is in our best interest to see a quick end to the conflict through meaningful negotiations and for this to happen we need a ceasefire and measures in place for confidence building on both sides. As Mandela said, “Negotiation and discussion are the greatest weapons we have for promoting peace and development.” I think Madiba will know what I mean when I say that in the spirit of humanity, justice and peace, I accept this award. In the spirit of peace emulated by our people who protested with peace plants despite confrontations with armed soldiers, I humbly accept this award. I believe that we shall overcome.
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.
I have not been a fan of Boh Herbert throughout this struggle. But when a man is objective in a particular stance, our personal idiosyncrasies must give way to rational judgement. I literally clapped after reading his response to the ongoing tirage against Balla.
These Political Lynchings Must End
I don’t know for some of you, but I have watched, in horror, more than enough of these revolting videos of flag-waving, political zealots, foaming in the mouth as they advertise their intolerance towards Barrister Agbor Nkongho and anyone else, for that matter, who dares not to be reading from the Holy Book of SCACUF. This nonsense is sickening.
One thing is a constant: Ambazonians must not and shall not all worship at the altar of SCACUF and His Holiness the Pope, crowned at the sighting of white smoke at secret SCACUF conclaves. Nothing will change that. Not threats! Not actual violence! Not acts of arson! Nothing!
Why, may I ask, would anyone bearing the flag of Ambazonia – the boldest symbol and expression of our freedom to be who we are, not what someone else wants us to be – not know that the right to hold and express such political opinion without fear, applies in equal measure to everyone else? Which class in political tolerance or mere decent upbringing did these vulgar political lynch mobs miss?
Surely, Ambazonians seek a nation, better – not worse – than the Egypt from which we flee, right? Surely, Ambazonians know that they cannot reach or inherit such Promised Land unless they defend the liberties and freedoms of ALL – not just some. Surely, Ambazonians know better than to heed calls by a so-called leaders who seek freedom from fear by inviting their followers to throw their political opponents under the bus.
These mob lynchings are ugly and shameful. They paint a picture of a people unworthy of what they claim to deserve after 56 years of annexation. Instead, these lynchings suggest that some of us may have perfected or seek a nation in which we will perfect the wickedness we have suffered at the hands of our colonial master. This is sooooo very, very sad!
If only one could swear that those in these mobs are truly brave!
Speaking of brave, exactly how many of these “brave-in-the-safety of London political gangsters” would speak up boldly and openly in support of independence if they lived in the Cameroons today? How many of them would do anything different from finding the clever wording Barrister Agbor Nkongho uses to express his support for the right to self-determination ostensibly in order to survive the murderous, colonial regime of Yaounde? How many of these brave mobsters would parade the Ambazonia flag and voice open support for independence if they were (as Barrister Agbor Nkongho must) going to be boarding the next flight back to the Cameroons? It’s easy to ask Barrister Agbor Nkongho to put the noose around his neck that even the outspoken, mostly exiled leadership of this independence quest have not yet done.
We need o show more respect for each other and definitely more appreciation for the sacrifices, however small, of each Ambazonian, whether we like them or not. It is their country too, damn it! And they have a right to voice their views about it whether we share those views or not.
By Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh) Spokesperson, MoRISC