The concept of human rights and fundamental freedoms
In my view and a broader spectrum of the world’s community, Human Rights are God given and therefore natural free from human interference.
After all, our great philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau wrote in his book “The Social Contract” that ‘man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’
Article 1 of the universal declaration of human rights does remind us on this “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”
This clearly reminds us that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in the UN Declaration and accompanying charters without distinction as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political, and or other opinions.
The paradox that man is born free but everywhere he/she is in chains is very visible of 21st century Cameroun vies a vies The Federal Democratic Republic of The Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), and every attempt to seek a solution to the problem within a purely secular framework has failed- Reasons for the creation of the Southern Cameroons defense force (SOCADEF). Totalitarianism, greed, and despotism are today more firmly entrenched in La Republique Du Cameroon and the aging generation of Southern Cameroons leaders than they ever were in the past.
The need to reappraise the foundation on which the whole concept of human rights has therefore never been more pressing than it is today in Cameroun.
The UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 is a very important document (Article 9,10,11 ) as they explain obligated sovereignty and it’s impact on individual freedom. These articles though engrafted in the National Legislations of The Southern Cameroons occupiers ( la Republique du Cameroun ), is not to safeguard our inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms but for the International community as guarantee for loans.
In the memorable words of the American Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, he said “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from consent of the governed”
In a nutshell, it means human rights are not given by the government. They are the structures upon which governments are based and justified. Thomas Jefferson set forth a fundamental principle upon which democratic governments are founded. Governments in a democracy are created to protect those freedoms that every individual possesses by virtue of his/her existence.
Our 17th century philosophers (John Locke, Rousseau) told us that inalienable rights are not destroyed when civil society is created and neither society nor government can remove or alienate them. These include- freedom of speech and expression (article 19 UN Charter), freedom of conscience, the right of equal protection before the law (article 7 UN Charter) and even la Republique du Cameroun’s law no. 90/55 of 19th December 1990 on freedom of Assembly.
If we have to ask ourselves the question on what human rights are, we will all say is about the curtailment of the abstract and super state power. Better still, is about the limitation of absolute power corrupting absolutely. It is based on the idea that all humankind is a rational aspiring creatures, equal in dignity and individuality and firmly attached to the ideals of justice and compassion. However, this writer knows many leaders and people in La Republique du Cameroun and even within the oppressed people of The Southern Cameroons will consider this notion to be wholly absurd, ridiculous and a rhetorical nonsense.
The UN holds that the denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms does not only constitute individual and personal tragedy but also creates conditions of social and political unrest by sowing seeds of violence and conflict within and between societies and nations. Yet this multi-billion dollar enterprise called the United Nations has failed in almost every aspect as the watch dog for peace in the world either due to negligence or deliberate failure to act as the case of The Southern Cameroons. Is it not then hypocrisy when the first sentence of the UN Charter on Human Rights holds that the respect for human rights and human dignity is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world?
The occupiers of The Southern Cameroons –La Republique du Cameroon is a SIGNATORY to almost all of the UN Instruments and Declaration, yet Cameroun has not evolved any respectable human rights standing. This was highlighted by the great American x-ambassador to Cameroun Harriet Isom( 1991-1993 ) at a Mbalmayo seminar for jurist that “ Too often, Cameroonians have been asked to settle for a democracy of smoke and mirror, for words that do not correspond to realities”. However, to broader her meaning to this assertion, the breach of our fundamental rights and freedoms does not rest solely on the CPDM Regime of Paul Biya, but also inside the different restorationist movements in the Southern Cameroons promoting the course for self-determination.
If we look into the present date human rights situation in the Southern Cameroons, we cannot avoid the conclusion that La Republique du Cameroun as an Internationally recognized geographical unit of Human community of diverse cultures and history is fraught with uncertainty, born of conflict and of potential conflict ( the case of the Southern Cameroons ) engendered by wanton abuses of the fundamental rights of it’s constituent human member.
It would not be incorrect to say that our march into civilization has not just been halted but has been savagely frustrated in both communities west and east of the Mungo with the restoration of a primitive society and then reversed to the point at which human beings are treated sometimes worse than animals. This is worst because the perpetrators are sometimes private persons, the judiciary and non governmental human rights organizations and movements.
Southern Cameroons today is looked upon as ‘ La Republique du Cameroun outré mungo’ and a policy of turning Southern Cameroonians into Francophobes is vigorously being applied
( the teaching of the French language as a compulsory subject in our elementary schools ). All measures of torture be they physical or psychological are ‘justifiably’ applied in the process of re-education on values. Those who accept the values are compensated with jobs and assistant positions in la republique’s government and those who stand firm to the ideals of an independent southern cameroons state have to be re-educated through the brain washing process of northwest-southwest divide and the ‘come no go syndrome’ OR you are SCNC and he/ she is SCYL Or SCARM, SCAPO, AMBAZONIA, INTERIM GOVERNMENT.
However, many Southern Cameroonians ( Ambazonians ) have continued to yearn in silence, looking foolish but waiting patiently for the right moment to take their own destiny into their hands. And that moment will be the moment of truth when patriots will be separated from traitors. It would be a moment of state cleansing where detractors and co fusionists will be treated in equal standing as our oppressors and our heroes though dead will be immortalized.
Irrespective of the name, that Free State will be free and its people will open a new page in history. It would be a state of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms where the Rule of Law is the Supreme Authority.
It shall be called God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Julius CHE ( HUMAN RIGHT ACTIVIST )
Head of SCYL International Secretariat,
Deputy Secretary for International Dev. And Cooperation (IG)