THE ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM IN THE CAMEROONS TAKES A DRAMATIC TWIST.
By Dr. Arnold B. Yongbang
This paper was prepared in 2006 at the request of Rev. Father Eric AKUE-GOEH, a Jesuit missionary from the Republic of Benin, and assistant parish priest of the Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Bonamoussadi, Douala, who was fascinated by the Anglophone problem, and invited me to make a presentation of the problem to the Anglophone Community in the parish, but had to be aborted because of strong objections from some of the Anglophone parishioners who felt that the presentation would be introducing politics into the Church. This is another dimension of the Anglophone Problem – the Anglophone up against himself / herself !
1. So what is the Anglophone Problem?
1.1 L’EFFORT Camerounais No. 315 of October 15 to October 28, 2003, pages 10 and 11, carried an interview by the paper’s then Editor-in-Chief, Rev. Fr. Antoine de Padoue Chonang, with our own outspoken and uncompromising moral authority, His Eminence Christian Wiyghan Cardinal TUMI, on the ‘ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM’. Here are some excerpts of the interview:
“In your opinion, is there an Anglophone problem in Cameroon?”
“In Cameroon, yes. There is a real malaise, like I said in my open letter and elsewhere. Accumulated frustrations from the unilateral cancellation of the federation, to Fru Ndi’s victory in the 1992 elections as affirmed by ambassadors but which was not recognized, harassment of Anglophones and ill-treatment of all sorts, restriction of their legitimate political aspirations, etc…, create a real malaise. It is even said that there are posts that can never be occupied by an Anglophone, for example, an Anglophone has never been the Secretary-General of the Presidency…”.
1.2 That, in a nutshell is the ‘Anglophone Problem’ in the Cameroons. But it is not quite that simple: it is much more ramifying and complex. There is the very disturbing rider to the problem: the fact that so-called Anglophone intellectuals who, for purely selfish interests, allow themselves to be used by neo-colonisers to confuse the populations who look up to these same intellectuals for enlightenment and guidance in their struggle for their inherent and inalienable right of Self-determination and Independence. Some intellectuals claiming to be knowledgeable about international law have indeed misled, and still continue to mislead, the rank and file of the struggle to be masters of their own destiny by their ignorance of international law. This ignorance caused the struggle to spend nearly 43 years chasing the wrong shadow, namely, the independence of the Southern Cameroons, with various misleading names like AMBAZONIA or AMBAZANIA, instead of the independence of the former UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement signed between the United Nations and His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 13 December 1946 “to administer the Territory in such a manner as to achieve the basic objectives of the international trusteeship system laid down in Article 76 of the United Nations Charter”.
1.3 History has it that when Germany lost the First Word War in 1916 it also lost sovereignty over its African colonies. In 1919 Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles giving up all claims to her colonies including Kamerun. In 1922 under the League of Nations Mandates System, German kamerun was divided between Britain and France, the victorious allies; the larger eastern part of the country went to France and became known as French Cameroun while the smaller truncated western part went to Britain. Britain further divided its portion into North and South ostensibly for administrative convenience with its colony and protectorate of Nigeria. The British Northern Cameroons was administered as part of the Northern Region of Nigeria; while the British Southern Cameroons was administered as part of the Eastern Region of Nigeria.
1.4 With the creation of the united Nations Organisation in 1945, the Mandated Territories transmuted to TRUST TERRITORIES under its International Trusteeship System one of the basic objectives of which was:
“…to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each trust territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned”.
1.5 The 1922 boundary established between the two mandated territories is along the Simon / Milner Line traced in 1916 by Britain and France, delimited in 1919, and confirmed in 1922, literally making the two mandated territories two separate countries.
1.6 With the founding of the United Nations Organisation in 1945, territories that were placed under the Mandates System of the League of Nations were transmuted into the Trusteeship System of the United Nations Organisation and approved by the General Assembly on December 13, 1946.
2. Regional Autonomy for the Southern Cameroons was a cruel illusion:
2.1 With the introduction of internal self-government to the three regions of Nigeria in 1951 under the Macpherson Constitution, the British Government recognised that there were some profound ethnic differences between the peoples of the Southern Cameroons and those of the rest of the Eastern Region of Nigeria giving rise to a profound desire on the part of the peoples of the Southern Cameroons to develop an existence as a separate entity. For this reason the British Government agreed at the London Conference in 1953 that the Southern Cameroons should separate from the Eastern Region of Nigeria and become a quasi-federal territory within the Federation of Nigeria. It was under the 1953 Constitution that the Southern Cameroons had its own government, with Dr. E. M. L. Endeley as Leader of Government Business, and a legislature with prerogatives of legislation in all areas except those that were specifically on the exclusive legislative list of the government of the Federation of Nigeria.
2.2 At the Lagos Constitutional Conference of 1957, the Southern Cameroons requested and was granted a full Regional Self-Governing Status within the Federation of Nigeria; and so a cabinet system of government was introduced in the territory on May 15, 1958. To all intents and purposes, from 1st October 1960, when Nigeria became independent, the British Southern Cameroons had the standing of a de jure self-governing Territory. After attaining a full self-governing status, the next logical step was full independence. Regrettably, Britain and France and the United States of America, the cold war allies, all permanent members of the Security Council, conspired to deny the territory independence contrary to the expressed wishes of the inhabitants of the territory, the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement.
2.4 In 1959, in anticipation of independence, France signed Co-operation Agreements with her African and Caribbean colonies, including French Cameroun, literally making these countries contractual colonies of France; and bringing their economies under the direct control of France. This was indeed neo-colonialism and the United Nations turned a blind eye to it. France, of course, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
3. The Bungled Termination of UN Trusteeship over the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration:
3.1 France granted “independance avec la France” to its trust-territory of Cameroun under French administration on January 1, 1960, and the country took on the name of la Republique du Cameroun. And despite the fact that there was a communist-backed insurrection ravaging the territory, no plebiscite nor referendum was held to ascertain whether the peoples of that territory wanted independence then or at some future date, or whether they would like to associate with any of its contiguous neighbours.
3.2 By contrast, on February 11 and 12, 1961, the United Nations imposed separate plebiscites in the Northern and Southern British Cameroons “to achieve independence by joining” either the Federation of Nigeria, with a population then of over 80 million inhabitants, or la Republique du Cameroun, with a population then of about 3.2 million people. Faced with this dilemma of two equally unacceptable alternatives, the peoples of the British Southern Cameroons, with a population of about 800.000 inhabitants, voted to join la Republique du Cameroun under a con-federal union, the broad outlines of which had been negotiated and agreed upon at meetings between Premier John Ngu Foncha’s Government of the Southern Cameroons and the Ahmadou Ahidjo Government of French Cameroun and incorporated into the United Nations manifesto, ‘THE TWO ALTERNATIVES’, that was widely used for the plebiscite-enlightenment campaigns. The Northern Cameroons on its part voted to join the Federation of Nigeria
3.3 After the plebiscite, the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 15th Session, while endorsing the results of the plebiscite, had recommended to the General Assembly for adoption Draft Resolution A/C.4/L/685:
– Operative paragraph 5 reads:-
“… Invites the Administering Authority, the Governments of the Southern Cameroons and the Republic of Cameroun to initiate urgent discussions with a view to finalising, before 1 October 1961, the arrangements by which the agreed and declared policies of the concerned parties for a Union of the Southern Cameroons with the Republic of Cameroun into a Federal United Kamerun Republic will be implemented. ‘’
-Operative paragraph 6 reads:-
“…Appoints a Commission of three constitutional and administrative experts to be nominated one each from three member states designated by the General Assembly to assist at the request of the parties concerned in the discussions referred to in paragraph 5 above”.
3.4 Instead the United Nations General Assembly, at its 994th plenary meeting on
21 April 1961, passed Resolution 1608 (XV), and operative paragraph 5 reads:
“… Invites the administering authority, the governments of the Southern Cameroons and the Republic of Cameroun to initiate urgent discussions with a view to finalising, before 1st October, 1961, the arrangements by which the agreed policies of the concerned parties will be implemented’’.
3.5 The Plenary of the General Assembly, which normally approved without amendment draft resolutions submitted to it by the Fourth Committee, decided to amend the Committee’s draft to delete any reference to the ‘Commission of Experts’ or to the ‘Federal character of the Union’ between the British administered Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun. These happened following strong objections raised by the Foreign Minister of la Republique du Cameroun, Mr. Charles Okala. This action of the General Assembly represented a grave injustice to the peoples of the British Southern Cameroons and a betrayal of the Plebiscite Covenant by which the people had already decided their future believing that they were doing so in a Federal Union of equal partners with la Republique du Cameroun under United Nations guarantees.
3.6 Bluntly put, this was a fundamental breach of trust not only by the United Nations and the United Kingdom as administering authority, but also by the government of la Republique du Cameroun who had reneged on its assurances to the General Assembly and the union accords signed by Premier John Ngu Foncha and President Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé on October 14, 1960, and incorporated in the United Nations White Paper, “THE TWO ALTERNATIVES” referred to above.
4. The Post-Plebiscite Conference was a classical deception, Machiavellian style:
4.1 The weak and vulnerable position of the Southern Cameroons delegation at the Post-Plebiscite Conference, that held in the town of Foumban in la Republique du Cameroun, from July 17-21, 1961, has been adequately summed up by Pierre Mesmer, one time Haut Commissaire of French-administered Cameroun, who later became France’s Minister of the Armed Forces, and, still later, French Prime Minister, in his book titled ‘LES BLANCS S’EN VONT’. Récits de décolonisation. Edition Albin Michel, S.A., 1998, chapter V. pp. 114-135. Incidentally, the book is banned in the Cameroons. He concludes that chapter with the following very revealing statement:
“…….. En Exécution du référendum, une conférence constitutionnelle réunit les gouvernements à Foumban, en pays bamoun familier aux deux délégations, le 17 juillet. Le Président Ahidjo, an position de force, présenta un projet de constitution faussement fédérale soigneusement préparé par ses juristes français. Ngu Foncha n’avait aucun contreprojet. En position de faiblesse puisque la population qu’il représentait ne dépassait pas le quart de celle du Cameroun français et moins encore en termes économiques, il accepta sans discuter ce qui était, sauf en apparence, une annexion. La nouvelle Constitution entra en vigueur le 1er octobre 1961. Une plaisanterie circulait alors à Douala et à Yaoundé: ‘Le Cameroun réunifié est un pays bilingue francophone’”.
(Our Translation: ‘To implement the results of the plebiscite, the Governments (of the Southern Cameroons and of la Republique du Cameroun) met in a constitutional conference in Foumban, in Bamoun country, familiar to the two delegations, on July 17 (1961). President Ahidjo, from a position of strength, submitted for debate a fake federal draft constitution which had been carefully crafted by his French jurists. Ngu Foncha had no counter project. From a weak position, since the population which he represents does not exceed a quarter of that of French Cameroun even in economic terms, Ngu Foncha accepted without discussion what was in fact an annexation. The new constitution came into force on 1 October 1961. A joke became rife in Douala and Yaoundé that the reunified Cameroon was a bilingual francophone country’.)
4.2 What other revelation could be more stunning and compelling! If Mr. Mesmer, a frontline French policy maker at the time, contends that Foncha had no counter proposal to table at the Foumban talks, then what must have happened to the Constitutional Proposals adopted at the All Party Conference in Bamenda from June 26 – 30, 1961, barely two weeks before the Foumban Conference?
4.3 The answer is provided for in the eye-witness account of the Foumban Conference given by Mr. Samuel Njoya, who was the sub-prefect of Foumban at the time, as reported by journalist Xavier Deutchoua in Les Cahiers de Mutations, Vol 018, January 2004, a monthly French language newspaper, under the banner headline, “LA DUPERIE DU FOUMBAN”.. And so the post-plebiscite conference turned out to be an exercise in total deception and betrayal of the good will and trust of the peoples of the Southern Cameroons.
4.4 The co-conspirators, Britain, France and the United States of America, took advantage of the vacuum created by the death in September 1961 in a plane crash in Africa of His Excellency Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations Secretary-General, who should have ensured the that UNO Resolution 1608 (XV) Para. 5 of 21/04/1961 were executed. His successor, His Excellency U Thant, was appointed Acting Secretary-General in November 1961. So in September 1961 and October 1961 there was no full Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation who could have ensured the full and legal execution of the UNO Resolution 1608 (XV) paragraph 5 of 21/04/1961 on Southern Cameroons future. It is said that the plane crash was not unrelated to the UN scribe’s opposition to the programmed annexation of the British Cameroons to its contiguous neighbours.
5. From Self-Government back to a colony.
5.1 The unilateral abrogation of the Union Accords and the insidious annexation of the Peoples and Territory of the Southern Cameroons.
5.1.1 Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations deals with the Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories. It reads:
“Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end:
a) to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses;
b) to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement”.
5.1.2 UN General Assembly Resolution 224 (III) of 18 November 1948 on the Administrative Unions Affecting Trust Territories reads, inter alia:
“…Recalling that the General Assembly approved these Agreements upon the assurance of the Administering Powers that they do not consider the terms of the relevant articles in the Trusteeship Agreements as giving powers to the Administering Authority to establish any form of political association between the Trust Territories respectively administered by them and adjacent territories which would involve annexation of the Trust Territories in any sense or would have the effect of extinguishing their status as Trust Territories;
Having considered the observations of the Trusteeship Council, contained in the report covering its second and third sessions (A/603), on the existing or proposed administrative unions between certain Trust Territories and the adjacent territories under the sovereignty or control of the Administering Authority,
Notes the observations of the Trusteeship Council on such administrative unions; and in particular;
Endorses the observation of the Trusteeship Council that an administrative union “must remain strictly administrative in its nature and its scope, and that its operation must not have the effect of creating any conditions which will obstruct the separate development of the Trust Territory, in the fields of political, economic, social and educational advancement, as a distinct entity”;
5.1.3 In the Trusteeship Agreement signed between the United Nations and His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 13 December 1946, Britain gave, inter alia, the following undertakings:
The Administering Authority undertakes to administer the Territory in such a manner as to achieve the basic objectives of the international trusteeship system laid down in Article 76 of the United Nations Charter. The Administering Authority further undertakes to collaborate fully with the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Council in the discharge of all their functions as defined in Article 87 of the United Nations Charter, and to facilitate any periodic visits to the territory which they may deem necessary, at times to be agreed upon with the Administering Authority.
The Administering Authority shall promote the development of free political institutions suited to the Territory. To this end the Administering Authority shall assure to the inhabitants of the Territory a progressively increasing share in the administrative and other services of the Territory; shall develop the participation of the inhabitants of the Territory in advisory and legislative bodies and in the government of the Territory, both central and local, as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Territory and its peoples; and shall take all other appropriate measures with a view to the political advancement of the inhabitants of the Territory in accordance with Article 76 (b) of the United Nations Charter. In considering the measures to be taken under this Article the Administering Authority shall, in the interest of the inhabitants, have special regard to the provisions Article 5 (a) of this Agreement.
5.1.4 Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom as the Administering Authority of the UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons betrayed not only the treaty she signed with the United Nations in the Trusteeship Agreement but, most importantly, the trust of the innocent peoples under its mandate and trusteeship by the wishy-washy manner in which it terminated the Trusteeship over the territory, leaving the it in a very weak and highly vulnerable position vis-à-vis the Federation of Nigeria and la Republique du Cameroun. The cumulative effect of these conditions set the stage for three of the most significant political developments in the supposed union between the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun, namely:
* The emergence of a one-party system and a vicious dictatorship;
· The abolition of the federation and its replacement with a unitary system of government; and rule by decree;
· The emergence of the problem of the English-speaking peoples of the Southern Cameroons generally referred to in the country as the “ANGLOPHONE PROBLEM”, which ironically has turned out to be the greatest threat to the Union. Human Rights lawyers have described it as “the most sophisticated slave trade deal ever to take place under United Nations cover”.
5.2 The Hidden Agenda and the Transfer of Sovereignty:
5.2.1 The fear of Communism and the possibility that the communist-backed insurrection that was ravaging French Cameroun under the banner of the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) and its ally the ONE KAMERUN (O.K.) whose leaders had initially been given sanctuary in the Southern Cameroons, would create a communist bastion in this strategic geo-political region of Africa, forced the cold-war allies (Britain, France and the United States of America) to violate the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement and to annex the British Cameroons to its contiguous neighbours (Northern Cameroons to the Federation of Nigeria, and the Southern Cameroons to la Republique du Cameroun). The following dispatch from Mr. John K. Emerson, American Consul-General, Lagos, to the US State Department, dated 11 May, 1959, says it all:
“The Southern Cameroons is a frontier, exposed … to communist-inspired influences, which can become a danger of serious magnitude. This reason, not to speak of its great potentialities, makes the Southern Cameroons an area of serious concern to the United States. … The present government in the Southern Cameroons, made up of almost totally inexperienced and naive ex-primary school teachers with good intentions, is incapable of grappling with the tremendous problems which face it. … Leadership in the Southern Cameroons is inexperienced, untrained and naive. … The logical conclusion would seem to be that the Southern Cameroons, with its remoteness from Lagos, its complexities, and its vulnerability, deserves increased attention on the part of the United States”
5.2.2 Information gleaned from Declassified Secret Documents at the Public Record
Office in the United Kingdom shows that British authorities at the Colonial office and at the United Nations were opposed to the option of full independence for the Southern Cameroons apparently because they thought that the territory did not have the resources on its own to be a viable sovereign state. This is the background against which the infamous and unacceptably ugly ‘TWO ALTERNATIVES’, of ‘achieving independence by joining’ either the Federation of Nigeria or La Republique du Cameroun, were engineered through the United Nations as the only basis for terminating United Nations Trusteeship over the British Southern Cameroons. No effort was spared by the British Government, operating behind the scenes, in order to ensure that the democratically elected Prime Minister of the Southern Cameroons, the Right Honourable John Ngu Foncha, should be denied the platform at the United Nations, to demand the option of full independence for the territory.
5.2.3 The documents also reveal that Britain was careful not to offend either Nigeria or the Cameroun Republic; and so British officials at the Colonial Office and at the United Nations took the unconscionable position that the Southern Cameroons was expendable. Lord Perth, British Minister of State at the Colonial Office, in a Minute of 12 October, 1960, to Sir John Martin of the same Office wrote:
“What would worry me is if a sequel to the Southern Cameroons’ try for independence was that the Northern Cameroons went the same way. That would really, I think, upset our relationship with Nigeria as a whole and for a long time to come, and that is something which we must at all costs avoid. The Southern Cameroons and its inhabitants are undoubtedly expendable in relation to this.”
5.2.4 Sir Andrew Cohen, Head of the UK Mission to the UN, New York, in a Confidential Letter of 7 June, 1960, to Mr. Christopher Eastwood at the Colonial Office in London wrote:
“…Her Majesty’s Government position should be made abundantly clear to Foncha in an effort to scotch tendencies towards the third question … The policy of Her Majesty’s Government is to discourage any tendency towards a ‘third question’ very strongly”.
5.2.5 Concerns about Economic Viability of an independent Southern Cameroons were a mere pretext to deny the territory independence.
220.127.116.11 The Report of the Fiscal Commissioner, Sir Louis Chick, on the Financial Effects of the proposed new Constitutional Arrangements, Lagos 1953, concluded that:
“……a Southern Cameroons Regional government would not in the years ahead be financially stable without external assistance. In good years it might pay its way with a slender margin, but in lean years it would have no reserves to fall back on if, over a period, the deficits exceed the surpluses”.
18.104.22.168 Another report by Sir Sidney Phillipson on the Financial, Economic and
Administrative consequences to the Southern Cameroons of separation from Nigeria,
dated 9th October, 1959, concluded that:
“…… the territory could only exist as a separate entity on a precarious hand to mouth basis and that it would not be viable as a completely independent sovereign state”.
22.214.171.124 By contrast, in another economic report in January 1961, Dr. Kenneth Berrill of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, concluded that:
“…the Southern Cameroons is both fertile and full of promise; that it has been growing fast and can grow even faster and that to do this it desperately needs outside capital, especially for roads. To continue its fast economic growth the country needs and improved road system, an enlarged agricultural extension service and an improved marketing and grading service … government participation in the economy – its total outlays, capital and recurrent, were £ 2.5 m. in 1959-60, more than double the figure for 1955-56 – had to increase still further. By early 1961 the government will be providing all its own services or paying the Nigerian government for them and its recurrent outlays alone will beat the annual rate of about £ 2.5 m. To keep up its capital program will require another £ 1 m. that year’’
126.96.36.199 Yet another 1963 Survey Report published by Professor D.E. Gardinier of the London Institute of Race Relations and Assistant Professor of History at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA, and Fulbright Scholar at the Institute des Etudes Politiques in Paris, made the following pertinent remarks:
“…Before reunification, the Southern Cameroons progressed peacefully both economically and politically. The balance of trade from 1956 to 1961 for exports and imports of the Southern Cameroons as presented by the Secretary of State for Finance (Hon. A.N. Jua) to the West Cameroon House of Assembly as from the 9th to 13th July, 1962, showed that the balance of trade for the Southern Cameroons was consistently favourable”.
188.8.131.52 It should be noted that by October 1959 Nigeria was known to possess hydrocarbon reserves in commercial quantities in the Bight of Biafra – which includes the coastal stretches of ex-British Southern Cameroons. So Britain could not have been unaware that the Southern Cameroons had the potential to be the repository of hydrocarbon reserves which are today being wantonly exploited by neo-colonialists with little or no benefit accruing to the inhabitants of the territory and which today accounts for more than 70% of the GDP of the country. Yet, Britain lied to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1959 that an independent Southern Cameroons would not be economically viable and that Her Majesty ‘a Treasury would be obliged to subsidise its budget.
5.3 Over the years it has become increasingly evident that there was a hidden agenda in this blatant act of betrayal of an innocent people. The francophone partners went into the negotiations for the union in utter bad faith knowing fully well that they had no intention of respecting the terms of the Union.
5.3.1 President Ahidjo’s lie to the Fourth Committee of the United Nations
General Assembly on the 25th February, 1959:
184.108.40.206 The inhabitants of the Southern Cameroons went to the polls on February 11, 1961, on the clear understanding that the basis of the proposed UNION between their territory and the Cameroun Republic would be a federation of equal partners, the details of which were to be worked out at a post-plebiscite conference of delegations of equal strength and in which the United Nations and the United Kingdom as Administering Authority would be associated.
220.127.116.11 At the 849th meeting of the Fourth Committee on 25th February, 1959, El Hadj Ahmadou Ahidjo, then Prime Minister of French-administered Cameroun, had this to say in reply to a question posed by representatives of New Zealand, Liberia and Mexico as to the form unification might take:-
“……. I would not like the firmness and clarity of our stand to be interpreted as a desire for integration on my part which would sound the death knell to the hopes of our brothers under British Administration.
We do not wish to bring the weight of our population to bear on our British brothers. We are not annexationists. In other words, if our brothers of the British zone wish to unite with an independent Cameroun, we are ready to discuss the matter with them, but we will discuss it on a footing of equality”.
That was a mitigated lie designed to hoodwink the international community, as history has abundantly shown.
5.3.2 on 31st May 1960, the United Nations Trusteeship Council, by Resolution 2013 (XXVI):
“…requested the Administering Authority to take steps, in consultation with the authorities concerned, to ensure that the people of the Territory are fully informed, before the plebiscite, of the constitutional arrangements which would have to be made, at the appropriate time, for the implementation of the decision at the plebiscite”.
5.3.3 The ‘Joint Declaration’ and the ‘Joint Communiqué signed by Premier John Ngu Foncha for the British Southern Cameroons and President Ahmadou Ahidjo for la Republique du Cameroun on December 14, 1960, clearly stated that the basis of the unification of the British Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun would be a Federation of equal partners. It further stated that if the plebiscite went in favour of the option for joining the Republic of Cameroun, “a conference would be held with representatives from the Republic, the Southern Cameroons and the Administering Authority, and the United Nations was to determine the period and terms of transfer of sovereignty to a body representing the future federation”.
5.3.4 The secret documents also reveal that the Attorney-General of the Southern Cameroons, Mr. B. G. Smith, on 19th June 1961, in a Memo to the Honourable Premier, John NGU FONCHA, just before the Tripartite Talks which took place in the House of Assembly in Buea from 15-17 May 1961 (between Foncha assisted by Mr. Solomon Tandeng Muna, Ahidjo assisted by Mr. Charles Okala, and the British Secretary State for the Colonies, Mr. Iain Macleod), urged him not to succumb to President Ahidjo’s shenanigans about the Transfer of Sovereignty to him (Ahidjo) because this was not in agreement with the terms of the Joint Communiqué nor with the interpretation of the second plebiscite question, nor with the United Nations Resolution.
5.3.5 Here is the Attorney-General’s Memo to Premier John Ngu Foncha on 19th June 1961:
“The choice offered to the people of the Southern Cameroons was to achieve independence either by joining the independent Federation of Nigeria or the independent Republic of Cameroun. The people chose the Republic of Cameroun.
If at midnight the sovereignty of the Southern Cameroons is transmitted to the Republic of Cameroun the people of the Southern Cameroons do not at that moment achieve independence. They lose their identity and become subjects of the Republic of Cameroun. It may well be that within a matter of minutes, hours or days the Republic will by an act of state transform itself into a federation of two states composed of the former Republic of Cameroun and the former Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons. The Southern Cameroons will then have achieved independence not by joining the Republic of Cameroun but after joining the Republic of Cameroun. In order that the people of the Southern Cameroons may achieve independence by joining the Republic of Cameroun it is necessary that the Federation should come into existence at midnight of 1st October. At one and the same moment there will be born the independent State of the Southern Cameroons and the Federation of the United Kamerun Republic. The Federation will be a free association of independent and equal sovereign states.
In order therefore that the Southern Cameroons should exercise its sovereignty as an independent state equal in all respects to the Republic it is necessary that the organization representing the future Federation shall be composed of equal elements representing the Republic of Cameroun and the State of the Southern Cameroons. It is not compatible with the dignity of the Southern Cameroons that that organization should be the President of the Republic acting in association with the Head of State of the Southern Cameroons. It may be practicable to transfer sovereignty to the President of the Republic and the Head of State of the Southern Cameroons jointly but it is submitted that the better course would be that proposed by the Premier and Ministers of the Southern Cameroons, namely a body composed of equal numbers of representatives nominated by the Government of the Republic of Cameroun and the Government of the Southern Cameroons respectively, which body shall appoint a temporary President of the Federation.
Sovereignty should only be transferred to an organization representing equally the Republic of Cameroun and the State of the Southern Cameroons”.
5.3.6 Unfortunately, Foncha and Muna had already done a deal with Ahidjo by which Foncha would become Vice-President and Muna the Minister of Defence, for which the peoples of the former United Nations Trust Territory of the British Southern Cameroons are today paying a heavy price in their struggle to re-write their history.
5.3.7 The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Malcolm Milne, was so exasperated by this state of affairs that he filed the following despatch to the Colonial office on July 1, 1961.
“… We believe, on very good information, that Foncha has already done a private deal with Ahidjo, the idea being that the present Government of the Republic will become the government of the Federation on 1st October, and that the sovereignty will be transferred to it and defence and national security will become federal matters.
In return for bringing the Southern Cameroons on these terms Foncha has been promised the Vice-Presidency of the Federal Republic and Muna has been promised a post in the Federal Cabinet.
At one time we thought there might have been a show-down at the Bamenda All-Party Conference with every one’s cards on the table, but all that has happened is that Foncha has trotted out his pre-plebiscite constitutional proposals and invited comments on them. The CPNC and OKP-and indeed the Chiefs also – have demanded an account of what went on during the last Foncha / Ahidjo talks, but Foncha, strongly pressed by Muna, has kept mum.
It seems that the other ministers although very unhappy are nevertheless tagging along. Notably Foncha has told them that if the worse comes to the worst and Ahidjo’s terms have to be accepted they can still hope to remain in office in the Southern Cameroons.
It seems that Foncha will now trot off to Bamun armed with the views of all parties in the Southern Cameroons (and all are unanimous in opposing any suggestion of the transfer of sovereignty to a body other than a body representing the future federation: they also are unanimous in demanding that defence must be a regional responsibility). He will presumably once again test Ahidjo’s attitude. If the latter is firm, Foncha will, I think, give into him and take refuge in the secret deals arrangement. I am sure that the wretched little man is moved very largely by considerations of what is best for himself; the interests of the Southern Cameroons will come a poor second. However, he will need more than his usual luck and agility to avoid a moment of truth should he return from Bamun having accepted Ahidjo’s terms”.
5.3.8 And finally, on October 1, 1961, in its final act of betrayal of the innocent peoples of the Southern Cameroons, Mr. J.O. .FIELD, the British Commissioner for the Southern Cameroons, in the presence of a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of Grenadier Guards and Republican Gendarmes, handed over the sovereignty of the Southern Cameroons to President Ahmadou Ahidjo of la Republique du Cameroun, in violation of the bilateral agreements contained in the “TWO ALTERNATIVES”, and left the territory on board ‘H.M.S DIANA’ with a lot of misgivings about the future of the territory.
5.4 “Le Monde newspaper on 1st October 1961 quoted President Charles de Gaulle of France as referring to the handover as “le petit don de la reine” (a small gift from the Queen of England). And so ‘expendable’ Southern Cameroons was finally auctioned off to France like a piece of merchandise nearly two centuries after the abolition of the slave trade. That was indeed, to paraphrase Fon Gorji Dinka, “THE MOST SOPHISTICATED SLAVE TRADE DEAL UNDER UNITED NATIONS COVER”!
5.5 Right from the beginning of the federation in October 1961, President Ahidjo did everything not only to undermine the federal structure but also the authority of the government of the West Cameroon State (on October 1, 1961, the former British Southern Cameroons became the Federated State of West Cameroon while la Republique du Cameroun became the Federated State of East Cameroun). Through the manipulations of the one-party system, Mr. Ahidjo’s intention was to rely on the massive francophone vote, estimated at about 4/5 of the electorate of the federation, to swamp any adverse vote in the West Cameroon State. (By United Nations estimates, the population of the British Southern Cameroons on October 1, 1961 was 800.000 while that of la Republique du Cameroun was 3.200.000). In addition, Ahidjo assumed dictatorial powers and ruled by decree; a rule characterised by intimidations, harassments and disappearances of opponents to notorious concentration camps, and extra-judicial executions – a gruesome catalogue of horrendous Human Rights abuses.
5.6 This measure calls into question the whole validity of the May 1972 referendum (so-called ‘Peaceful Revolution’) since the federal system of government was the basis on which the electorate of British Southern Cameroons had voted to join la Republique du Cameroun. To have changed to the unitary system without the consent of the Government, Parliament, House of Chiefs and people of the West Cameroon Federated State meant undermining the whole basis of the union which required the separate consultations of the peoples of both territories in accordance with the federal constitution. To have imposed a unitary state the way President Ahidjo did constituted a serious breach of trust, and a fraudulent manipulation of the constitution which is unacceptable in international Law.
5.7 President Ahmadou Ahidjo then went on to issue the notorious proclamation, DF72-270 of 2/6/72, by which he unilaterally, unconstitutionally, illegally and fraudulently abrogated the Union Accords, abolished the Federal Constitution and the federation, abolished the Government, and the Houses of Assembly and of Chiefs of the West Cameroon Federated State and imposed on the peoples of the Southern Cameroons a unitary state which he called the United Republic of Cameroon.
5.8 The final blow to the entire edifice of the so-called union came when Mr. Paul Biya, President Ahidjo’s hand-picked successor, by a stroke of the pen, decreed law N°. 84-001 of 4/2/84 abolishing the United Republic of Cameroon and renaming the country simply as la Republique du Cameroun, the same name French-administered Cameroun assumed at independence on January 1, 1960, and was admitted into membership of the United Nations Organisation, and thereby completed the annexation of the territory and peoples of the Southern Cameroons and thereby confiscating the enormous natural resources of the territory for the benefit of his masters in France and his ruling junta.
5.9 He has maintained the legacy of a barbaric dictatorship and a chilling record of Human Rights abuses on the territory and peoples of the Southern Cameroons reminiscent of the Apartheid regime in South Africa: from the Ndu massacres in June 1991 following the massively boycotted May 1991 legislative elections; the imposition of the state of emergency in Bamenda and the state of siege in Fru Ndi’s compound following Ni John Fru NDi’s victory at the October 1992 Presidential election; operations “Dorade” and “Delta”, masterminded and financed by the French petroleum company, ELF-AQUITAINE, in the coastal regions of the territory to harass, brutalise and intimidate the population to buy only made-in-France goods: they destroyed goods legally imported from neighbouring Nigeria, and even destroyed vehicles suspected of running on fuel imported from Nigeria. all in an attempt to frenchify and assimilate the Anglophones, willy- nilly, into Francophonie, and to teach Anglophones a lesson; to the aftermath of the so-called terrorist uprising in Bamenda in 1997 with the attendant desecration of sacred shrines in Oku, Bui division; and the recurrent massacres at the University of Buea.
5.10 Destabilising Irredentist Claims by la Republique du Cameroun.
5.10.1 La Republique du Cameroun (a former French-administered United Nations Trust Territory) claims what it calls an historic right or sovereignty over ex-British Southern Cameroons based on the fanciful notion that it replaced the old Germany colony of Kamerun, which, so it is claimed, had created a Kamerun Nation.
5.10.2 In any event, following the Anglo-French partition of 1916 and the renunciation
by Germany in 1919 of its right and title to that Territory, German Kamerun became extinct. In theory of law, the British Cameroons and French Cameroun were two new polities that came into being as from 1919. Each was the object of a separate Mandate / Trusteeship Agreement. The International boundary between the British Cameroons and French Cameroun is along the Simon-Milner Line traced in 1916 by Britain and France, delimited in 1919 and confirmed in 1922. There is no treaty boundary between the former British Northern Cameroons and the former British Southern Cameroons – only an administrative boundary along the River Donga.
5.10.3 It follows that any claim based on German Kamerun must of necessity be irredentist. Irredentist claims are destabilising claims and constitute a threat to regional peace and security. They are therefore anathema in international law and relations (*Dr. Carlson Anyangwe).
5.10.4 It is also true that parts of German Kamerun were integrated into the French
Equatorial Republics of Chad, Central African Republic, Congo and Gabon. Curiously, la Republique du Cameroun does not claim a similar historic right over these parts of German Kamerun.
5.10.5 The people of the former UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration are today asking for a return to the status quo ante and the total independence of their territory without resorting to violence. The people of the former British Cameroons shall negotiate economic and political protocols in accordance with the UN Charter and international law which will enable each country to concentrate on the improvement of the living standards of its respective peoples so that they can live like civilised neighbours in respect of each other’s sovereignty and dignity. Self-determination for the people of the former British Cameroons will not change any territorial boundaries that existed at independence but will have the potential to return the territory to a state of respect for human rights and masters of their own destiny.
6. The quest for Self-Determination and Independence of the former Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration (the Northern Cameroons and the Southern Cameroons together – 86, 214 sq. km) is a very burning issue:
6.1 Southern Cameroons struggle for self-determination was prompted by the blatant and arrogant breaches of trust by the Francophone partners in the United Nations-imposed union. French Cameroun became independent on January 1, 1960 and assumed the name of la Republique du Cameroun. At the termination of the Trusteeship Agreements, the United Nations decided that British Cameroons should achieve her own independence ‘by joining’ with either the Federation of Nigeria. These two unacceptable and ugly alternatives pushed them into an unholy union with la Republic du Cameroun.
6.2 The aspiration of the peoples of the Southern Cameroons was to establish a unique Federation on the continent of Africa, and to evolve a bicultural society in which the distinct heritage of each of the partners to the union would flourish. During the past 46 years, however, our common experience in the union leaves us in no doubt that, far from attaining these ends, we have become a people with a problem, an annexed, oppressed, state-terrorised, dehumanised and exploited people; and treated as a captive people by successive Francophone-led dictatorships which trampled under foot the union accords with callous indifference. The Federation was unilaterally, illegally, unconstitutionally, and fraudulently abolished and French gendarmes and proconsuls invaded and occupied the territory. And the country was renamed simply as la Republique du Cameroun, the same name French Cameroun assumed at independence on 1 January 1960. (* The Buea Declaration).
6.3 Since then our interests have been disregarded, and our participation in national life has been limited to non-essential functions. Our natural resources have been ruthlessly and wantonly exploited without any benefit accruing to our territory and its peoples. The development of our territory has been negligible and confined to areas that directly or indirectly benefit francophones. Through manoeuvres and manipulations, we have been reduced from partners of equal status in the union to the status of a subjugated people. And this we cannot accept. Our peoples have been subjected to all forms of horrendous human rights abuses and state terrorism against which the United Nations Human Rights Minorities Sub-Commission, the US Department of State, Amnesty International, the Commonwealth, and the European Union have all at various times indicted the dictatorship in la Republique du Cameroun for such wanton abuses.
7. ANGLOPHONES’ SEARCH FOR DIALOGUE AND JUSTICE SYSTEMATICALLY FRUSTRATED, IGNORED AND DENIED WITH CONDESCENDING IMPUNITY.
7.1 Memoranda presented to President Paul Biya on the Anglophone Problem:
7.1.1 The peoples of the Southern Cameroons have bent over backwards to make the ill-fated union work but their search for dialogue and justice has been systematically frustrated and ignored. Anglophone renaissance gathered momentum at the time of the Cameroon National Union (CNU) New Deal Congress in Bamenda in April 1985 with a flurry of uncoordinated activities among Anglophone groups notably in Douala, Bamenda, Kumba and Yaoundé. The North-West and South-West Elites resident in the Littoral province addressed the first of several memoranda to the Head of State and Chairman of the CNU Congress in Bamenda, signed by 94 Anglophones, about “the humiliating and revolting colonial status that is gradually but systematically being imposed on Anglophone Cameroon by the Administration” and calling for a return to the Two-State Federation Anglophone Cameroon voted for in the United Nations-imposed plebiscite of 11 February 1961. The memorandum concluded :
“We do believe that if our aspirations for a true Cameroonian Nationalism, based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s basic freedoms, justice, dignity and peace, are to be preserved, our two cultures must be allowed to develop side by side in a spirit of complementarities NOT of competition. Let us learn from lessons of history”.
7.2 ‘The New Social Order’ was prepared in Bamenda by Anglophone intellectuals and professors, among them late Professor Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, Fon Gorji Dinka, Dr. Carlson Anyangwe, Dr. Clement Ngwasiri, John Fru Ndi and signed by Fon Gorji Dinka now in exile, for presentation at the CNU Congress by Professor Fonlon. The presentation was botched. ‘The New Social Orde’r called for a return to the TWO-STATE Federation with proposals for a Con-federal System of government based on four stages: the Municipal, the Provincial, the State and the Con-federal.
7.3 On June 11, 1985, another Memorandum submitted to President Biya by the Elites of the North-West province resident in Yaoundé and Parliamentarians attending the 1985/86 Budgetary session was signed by 30 Anglophones highlighting “the Problems of English – speaking Cameroonians, State Security and National Unity”. They “appealed to the President and his Government more than ever before to leave no stone unturned in their quest for solutions to problems specific to Anglophone Cameroonians among which are justice and democracy, pre-conditions for unity, peace and progress”.
7.4 On August 20, 1985, at a meeting in Kumba from 14th to 19th August, 1985, the English – speaking Students of the North-West and South-West provinces addressed an “Open letter to all English-speaking Parents of Cameroon” concerning government’s plans to reform the General Certificate of Education (GCE). It concluded, inter alia:
“Realising that, with government indifference, the smouldering discontent in the English- speaking region of the country can only end up in war; knowing we are those who thus will miss the peace and security we love; conscious of the pains and sorrows that are inseparable appendages of war; we call on our parents to press for a peaceful and permanent solution before it is too late”. They then called on their parents “to assume squarely your responsibilities before history in view of the gravity of the country’s situation”.
7.4.1 They also called for the release of Fon Gorji Dinka and finished up by quoting His Holiness, Pope John Paul II’s address to President Biya at State House on August 15:
… “Injustice committed by certain regimes concerning human rights or the legitimate demands of a section of the population which is refused participation or common responsibilities beget revolt of regrettable violence but which justice would have foreheld”.
7.5 The irony of it all is that those who were prepared to compromise the Anglo-Saxon system of education in 1985 for purely egoistic interests are today lording it over Anglo-Saxon institutions of higher learning in the territory which were wrenched from the regime through our collective will and sacrifice of compatriots who defied intimidations, blackmail and water canons..
7.6 In February 1991, a Committee of Anglophones resident in the Littoral Province, chaired by Dr. Arnold Boh Yongbang, defied the injunctions of the Secretary of State for Internal Security and addressed another Memorandum this time to the Fons and Chiefs, Political Party leaders, Religious Leaders and the People of the former West Cameroon. The Memorandum carried 65 signatories, on the need for Anglophones to put up a united front in the event of a National Conference. The theme was: “A society becomes great not by the victories of its factions over each other but by its reconciliation”.
7.6.1 This document eventually served as the rallying point for Anglophones at the Tripartite Conference in Yaoundé in November 1991, when four learned Anglophone jurists, namely, Barrister Sam Ekontang Elad, Dr. Simon Munzu, Mr. Benjamin Itoe, and Dr. Carlson Anyangwe (EMIA) were appointed to serve on the Technical Committee for the Drafting of the Constitution (TCDC).
7.6.2 The four submitted a Memorandum on the Anglophone Problem (the EMIA document) to the TCDC in an attempt “to redress the grievances and injustices which over the years have been done to English-speaking Cameroonians through a succession of fraudulent and abusive manipulations of the country’s constitution which has generated a sense of bitterness and revolt among Anglophones of all ages, geo-ethnic origins, all social, intellectual and professional backgrounds”. The four “spared no effort in raising the Committee’s consciousness of the problem, of its magnitude, and of the pressing and inescapable need to find a satisfactory and lasting solution to it from the awareness that the cohesiveness of the Cameroonian nation in the years to come will, to a large extent, depend on how the public authorities of the country handle the grievances which Anglophones have expressed and continue to express”.
7.6.3 The memorandum recommended “the restoration of Anglophone Cameroon to its statehood within a Federal Republic of Cameroon comprising the two states that unified in 1961, each of which may be divided into two or more provinces / regions with decentralised powers to administer themselves in certain areas of jurisdiction”.
7.6.4 It is regrettable, indeed unfortunate, that the Francophone members of the TCDC, and particularly Professor Joseph Owona, the Committee’s Chairman, chose to show the most blatant hostility, contempt, intransigence and insensitivity to reason towards the proposals put forward as a basis for the satisfactory resolution of the Anglophone Problem. To them the ‘unitary form of the state was immutable and no longer debatable’.
7.6.5 It is also unfortunate that Francophones have tended to treat the legitimate aspirations of the Anglophones for a return to the Territory’s statehood then as a bid to secede, thus confirming our contention that the West Cameroon State was indeed annexed in 1972 by East Cameroun and integrated into the territory of the latter. To francophones, federation is synonymous with secession. Even then, West Cameroon was not condemned to remain annexed to East Cameroun on some ill-conceived notion of national integration or any other pretext.
7.7 The 4 Anglophone members of the TCDC refused to succumb to Professor Owona’s tactics of intimidation and blackmail. This indeed was the genesis of the ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCE that held in Buea, the historic capital of the Southern Cameroons, from April 2 – 3, 1993.
7.8 In December 1991, the CAMEROON ANGLOPHONE MOVEMENT (CAM), the watchdog of the Southern Cameroons struggle for her inherent and inalienable right of self-determination and independence, was born with Chief Dr. H.E.N. Enonchong as its first Chairman. On December 5, 1991 CAM produced the first Memorandum Relative to Constitutional Reform, signed by 3904 Southern Cameroonians throughout the length and breadth of the territory, and forwarded it to the (TCDC) Technical Committee for the Drafting of the Constitution. CAM was renamed the Southern Cameroons Restoration Movement (SCARM) in 1996 and since October 2003 joined the protagonists for the total independence of the UN Territory of Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom administration co-ordinated by Professor Martin CHIA ATEH.
8. THE ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCES, AAC I & AAC II.
8.1 The blatant confiscation and usurpation of the presidential election results that had been clearly won by an Anglophone through a democratic process was the immediate cause of the ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCE of April 1993. The conference was convened by the 4 Anglophone members of the Technical Committee for the Drafting of the Constitution (TCDC) appointed by the Tripartite Conference in Yaoundé in November 1991. The Conference brought together in unprecedented numbers a cross section of Anglophone Cameroon without concerns as to tribe, religion, political party affiliation and social status, from the nooks and corners of the Territory for the purpose of preparing Anglophone participation in the announced National Debate on Constitutional Reforms.
8.2 The Conference elected a Standing Committee and produced THE BUEA DECLARATION. It declared the preparedness of Anglophones to participate in the announced Constitutional Talks. It reiterated:
– that Anglophone Cameroon shall not be bound by undertakings given at the Constitutional Talks by any Anglophone not mandated by the Anglophone Standing Committee;
– That the Anglophone delegation at the said Talks shall conduct negotiations in close observance of the terms of the Anglophone Draft Proposals regarding the return to the Federal Form of government;
– That the imposition of the Unitary State on Anglophone Cameroon in 1972 was unconstitutional, illegal and a fraudulent fundamental breach of faith;
– that the only redress adequate to right the wrongs done to Anglophone Cameroon and its peoples since the imposition of the Unitary State was a return to the original form of government of the reunified Cameroon;
– that the survival of Cameroon in peace and harmony depended on the attainment of this objective to which we mutually pledge our lives, well-being, careers and freedom”.
8.3 The Standing Committee of the All Anglophone Conference produced Draft Federal Constitutional Proposals, which were also translated into French and submitted to the Technical Committee for the Drafting of the Constitution, but was summarily rejected by the Chairman of the said committee, Professor Joseph Owona.
8.4 The Second ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCE (AAC- II) held in Bamenda from 29th April to 1st May, 1994, despite frantic intimidating efforts by the regime to prevent the Conference from holding. The Conference replaced the Standing Committee with the ANGLOPHONE NATIONAL COUNCIL (ANC) and came out with the BAMENDA PROCLAMATION which:
– “noted with a deep sense of dissatisfaction that the Biya Government had remained totally indifferent to the Buea Declaration as concerns the pre-plebiscite accord, the Constitution of Cameroon, road infrastructure and check-points in Anglophone Cameroon, the policy of divide-and-rule pursued in respect of Anglophone Cameroon, the marginalisation of Anglophones, human rights abuses, the violation of civil liberties and the disregard of the due process of law, discrimination against Anglophones in education and training, Francophone exploitation and domination of Anglophones and the international isolation of Anglophone Cameroon”.
– “reiterated its view that any union between Anglophone Cameroon and Francophone Cameroun would not last, develop and prosper unless it is built on a solid foundation and sustained in a clear atmosphere of openness, trust, mutual respect and a sense of belonging by all”.
– reaffirmed its attachment to the Buea Declaration and warned that “should the government either persist in its refusal to engage in meaningful constitutional talks or fail to engage in such talks within a reasonable time, the Anglophone Council shall so inform the Anglophone People by all suitable means. It shall, thereupon, proclaim the revival of the independence and sovereignty of the Anglophone territory of the Southern Cameroons and take all measures necessary to secure, defend and preserve the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the said territory”.
– To this end, the Conference adopted THE BUEA PEACE INITIATIVE (BPI) as our negotiating position with la Republique du Cameroun in keeping with the motto: “THE FORCE OF ARGUMENT, NOT THE ARGUMENT OF FORCE”.
8.5 In August 1994, the Anglophone Council transmuted to the SOUTHERN CAMEROONS NATIONAL COUNCIL (SCNC) to better situate the Southern Cameroons as the nation state that it is rather than simply the linguistic expression of a people in bondage.
9. President Paul Biya Convenes his rubber-stamp Constitutional Consultative Committee:
9.1 On December 15, 1994, Mr. Biya convened what he called a Constitutional Consultative Committee made up of his party’s cronies and loyalists to which the Anglophone Delegation, as defined by the Buea Declaration, was not invited. Anglophones invited to the Committee as independent personalities included the late Dr. John NGU FONCHA (the architect of the unification of the British Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun), the late Honourable Solomon TANDENG MUNA (the person generally believed to have sold the Anglophones to Ahidjo for ‘thirty pieces’ of silver), His Eminence Christian Wiyghan Cardinal TUMI (the Catholic Archbishop of Douala), the Right Reverend Henry Anye AWASOM (the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church), Barrister Bernard A. MUNA (a former president of the Cameroon Bar Council), and Barrister Luke K. SENDZE (the then incumbent Bar Council President). All these personalities withdrew from the Committee charging that ‘the composition of the Committee and its terms of reference fell far short of the aspirations of a majority of the Cameroonian people in general and the People of Anglophone Cameroon in particular’. Also invited was the SDF Chairman, Ni John FRU NDI, who turned down the invitation.
9.2 However, surrogate Anglophones belonging to the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) party, without the mandate of the peoples of Anglophone Cameroon, took part in the Committee which also ignored the Draft Proposals for a Federal Constitution already submitted by the ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCE (the Southern Cameroons Peoples Conference). The Committee went on to adopt an integrationist constitution ignoring with arrogance and total impunity guarantees for Anglophone Cameroon’s autonomy as demanded by the Commonwealth Summit in Limas sol, Cyprus, in October 1993 as a condition for Cameroun’s admission into the Commonwealth. The Committee was chaired by Honourable Simon Achidi ACHU, a collaborative Anglophone and Prime Minister at the time. As expected, the regime later dumped him after using him to further enslave the peoples of the Southern Cameroons.
10. Appeals to the Commonwealth.
10.1 The Biya dictatorship applied to join the Commonwealth at the Kuala Lumpur Summit in 1989. At the Harare Summit in 1991 when the Harare Principles on democracy, good governance and Human Rights were enunciated, the regime’s record was, to say the least, appalling on all counts. In June 1993 the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief EMEKA ANYAOKU, paid his first official visit to the Cameroons during which the dictatorship only permitted him a whistle-stop visit to the Southern Cameroons. But before he left London for Yaoundé the Cameroon Anglophone Movement’s (CAM) application for Membership for the former British Southern Cameroons was on his desk. During the Commonwealth scribe’s whistle-stop visit to the Southern Cameroons, he was denied all contact with the AAC I Standing Committee and CAM leaders; but this did not prevent the leadership of these organizations ambushing him at the SONARA Club in Bota and handing him their petitions opposing la Republique du Cameroun’s membership of the Commonwealth. The presence of the army of occupation notwithstanding, the populations of the territory turned out in their numbers with placards denouncing the annexation of the territory by la Republique du Cameroun and France and asking for Commonwealth membership for the Territory. At the end of his visit the Commonwealth scribe acknowledged at a press conference that he had received two applications from the Cameroons for membership of the Gentlemen’s Club.
10.2 At the Limas sol Summit in October 1993 an AAC I Standing Committee/CAM delegation made up of Barrister Sam Ekontang Elad and Dr. Arnold Boh Yongbang, lobbied and persuaded Commonwealth Heads of Government to make Cameroun’s admission conditional on the regime in Yaoundé introducing constitutional reforms that would guarantee the autonomy, specificity and cultural distinctiveness of the nearly 6 million English-speaking peoples of the Southern Cameroons who were the ones interested in Commonwealth membership in the first place, improving the appalling human rights situation in the country and generally abiding by the terms of the Harare Declaration on democracy, human rights and good governance. As a people who have suffered the most at the hands of francophone leaders in la Republique du Cameroun as a result of human rights abuses, state terrorism and political marginalisation, we saw the Harare Declaration as a powerful tool to be used to force la Republique du Cameroun’s compliance with the Limas sol conditionality before Commonwealth admission could be considered.
10.3 During the Commonwealth Eminent Persons fact-finding Mission to the Cameroons in July 1995 to assess la Republique du Cameroun’s compliance with the Limas sol conditionality’s, they recognized, even by Baroness Lynda Chalker’s own account to the House of Lords on 19th October 1995 “areas where further improvements were still needed such as, constitutional reforms, local elections, press freedom, human rights and the independence of the judiciary”. In spite of this evident non-compliance with the Limas sol conditionality’s, the Commonwealth Secretariat, with the complicity of Baroness Chalker and the Canadian Government conspired to admit la Republique du Cameroun, with glaringly dubious credentials, into the Commonwealth with fanfare; and invited the head of state of that country, who hardly speaks any English, and who is a staunch advocate of la francophonie, which “declared war on Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism” at their Mauritius summit in October 1993, to the Auckland CHOGM. Such demonstration of callous insensitivity to the very complex and highly explosive political situation which prevails between the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun was not intended to culturally de-isolate the Southern Cameroons. We clearly understood that it was used to frustrate the political aspirations of the peoples of the Southern Cameroons a second time by the same Tory Government that messed up Southern Cameroons independence 46 years ago.
10.4 And after crooking its way into the Gentlemen’s Club, the regime in characteristic Machiavellian style has trampled underfoot the Harare Declaration dishing out spiteful doses of undemocratic and anti-Commonwealth rhetoric again with arrogance and impunity. The annexation of a people violates not only the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of human Rights, the AU Charter on Human and People’s Rights, but also the Harare Principles of the Commonwealth on democracy, human rights and good governance.
10.5 In light of such serious and persistent violations of the fundamental rights of the People’s of the Southern Cameroons by la Republique du Cameroun, the challenge was up to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the CHOGM to destitute la Republique du Cameroun of its membership of the Commonwealth and return the seat to the Southern Cameroons whose right it was to that membership in the first place. La Republique du Cameroun has never shown any acceptance of Commonwealth norms and conventions. Rather she has sought to use her membership of the Commonwealth to strengthen her annexation and stranglehold on the Southern Cameroons and to frustrate our aspirations to re-assert our inherent and inalienable right of self-determination and independence and to confiscate Commonwealth largess for the benefit of francophones…
11. Appeals to the Organisation of African Unity/African Union (OAU / AU):
11.1 In November 1994 and April 1996, an SCNC delegation met with Dr. Salem Ahmed Salem, then OAU Secretary-General, in Yaoundé respectively during his first official visit to the country and in the run up to the July 1996 OAU Summit when Mr. Paul Biya would assume the Chairmanship of the organisation. The OAU Secretary-General underscored the legitimacy and justice of a return to the two-state federation where the interests of the two peoples and cultures would best be realised and protected as is the case in his own country Tanzania (between Tanganyika and Zanzibar). When he raised the Anglophone Problem with the President, Mr. Paul Biya accused him of meddling in the internal affairs of Cameroun. In fact Mr. Biya became an absentee-chairman of the OAU during his tenure of office because he was avoiding Dr. Salem Ahmed Salem who kept reminding him about the Anglophone Problem.
12. Appeal to the United Nations against Annexation:
12.1 On June 1, 1995, a 9-man delegation of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) and the Southern Cameroons Restoration Movement (SCARM) led by none other than the late Dr John Ngu Foncha, the man who, as Premier of the Southern Cameroons, was pressured by the United Nations and the United Kingdom into an unholy union with la République du Cameroun against his government’s demand for full independence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, filed a petition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York against the annexation of the Southern Cameroons by la République du Cameroun and France asking the United Nations to grant the Southern Cameroons the independence that was denied her in 1961. Dr. John Ngu Foncha, at the ripe age of 84 years, was back at the United Nations to personally bear testimony to the facts:
· that the forced cohabitation into which the United Nations was misled by the United Kingdom into pushing his government in 1961 had not worked and will never work;
· that even though threatened by violence, the peoples of the Southern Cameroons were taking the risk of freedom, asking to be given a place in the social, political and economic life of their country commensurate with their dignity as free human beings;
· that the peoples of the Southern Cameroons had decided to exercise their inherent and inalienable right of self-determination to free themselves from the bondage of neo-colonialism, oppression, exploitation, foreign occupation, and annexation by la République du Cameroun and France.
13. The Conspiracy to annex the British Cameroons to its contiguous neighbours:
13.1. The conspiracy of the United Nations, the United Kingdom Government, France
and la Republique du Cameroun in the events that culminated in the annexation of
the territory to its two contiguous neighbours have all been highlighted. His Honour J.O.
Field, Commissioner of the Southern Cameroons, in a Secret Despatch of 29 August,
1960, to Mr. Iain Macleod, British Colonial Secretary, assessed the situation as follows:
“Most people in the Southern Cameroons do not want to be administered by the Republic, they do not want to have anything to do with a French-trained army or police (which they fear), they do not want a French system of law, they do not want the French language, they do not want to risk being pushed around by Republic officials and they do not want policy dictated to them by Republic politicians. Least of all, do they want the British connection to be completely severed or to be cut off from British help. … They fear being pushed into Nigeria as much as they fear being pushed into the Republic”.
13.2 The conspiracy began to unfold when the 994th Plenary of the United Nations General Assembly met to adopt the Trusteeship Council Fourth Committee’s Draft Resolution A/C.4/L.685 on the implementation of the results of the Plebiscite. The United Nations General Assembly went out of its way to amend that draft leaving out any reference to the Commission of experts and the Federal character of the Union.
13.3 In 1972, the Federal State for which the people of the Southern Cameroons had voted was unilaterally, unconstitutionally, illegally, fraudulently, and unceremoniously abolished by President Ahmadou Ahidjo, by decree N°. DF72-270 of February 6, 1972, instituting a unitary state, which he named the United Republic of Cameroon.
13.4 On February 4, 1984, President Ahmadou Ahidjo’s hand-picked successor, Mr. Paul Biya, by Decree N°. 84-001, also unilaterally, unconstitutionally, illegaly and unceremoniously again changed the name of the country from the United Republic of Cameroon to simply la République du Cameroun, the same name French Cameroun assumed when it became independent on January 1, 1960, and was admitted to membership of the United Nations Organisation. By that wanton act Mr. Biya seceded la Republique du Cameroun from the Union with the Southern Cameroons.
13.5 The high regard given by the Organisation of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU) to territorial boundaries “existing on their achievement of national independence” includes the territorial divide between the former British Cameroons and the Federation of Nigeria on one hand and between the former British Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun on the other. La Republique du Cameroun, since the signing of the union accords in December 1960, has exhibited callous bad faith and breaches of trust. Having seceded from the union with the Southern Cameroons in 1984, la Republique du Cameroun resorted to state gangsterism and terrorism reminiscent of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which has caused unspeakable hardships for the peoples of the Southern Cameroons – all in an attempt to intimidate and subdue, subjugate and dehumanise, exploit and impoverish, annex and assimilate the peoples and their territory in keeping with their hidden agenda.
14. THE SIGNATURE REFERENDUM:
14.1 When the SCNC delegation returned home from the United Nations on 28 June 1995, it carried out a countrywide tour of the two Anglophone provinces representing the Southern Cameroons in the union. The massive popular support received throughout the territory made it imperative that the support should be harnessed for the record.
14.2 Everywhere the delegation went they heard speeches calling for the total and the immediate independence for the Southern Cameroons and a review of their relationship with la République du Cameroun. The Cameroon Anglophone Movement (CAM) decided to conduct a Signature Referendum throughout the territory with financial support from compatriots in the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) through the good offices of compatriot Nfor Nwayuke Susungi then with the African Development Bank (ADB) in Abidjan, The question put to referendum was:
“DO YOU WANT THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS TO ACHIEVE FULL INDEPENDENCE BY PEACEFUL SEPARATION FROM LA RÉPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN?”
14.3 An analysis of the results shows that a total of 315.000 signatures were collected from the peoples of the Southern Cameroons of voting age through out the territory. Considering the fact that the voter turn-out at the January 1996 Municipal Council Elections was 419.000 in the territory (the turn-out had been 420.000 for the presidential elections in October 1992), the total number of signatures obtained represents a 75% voter participation. Only 100 signatories said NO to independence: 99.97% voted in favour of independence. This represents the mandate of the peoples of the Southern Cameroons for their independence. The actual signatures obtained have been submitted to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul, The Gambia, in the case by the Southern Cameroons Peoples Organisation (SCAPO) and the SCNC against la Republique du Cameroun now pending before the Commission.
14.4 Five Anglophone activists, namely: Wilson Arrey from Eyumojog in the South-West Province, Abel Apong from Ngwo in the North-West Province, John Kudi from Esimbi in the North-West Province, Chryspus Keenebie from Ngie also in the North-West Province, Jacques Njenta from Nkambe in the North-West Province, were arrested in September 1995 in connection with the Signature Referendum exercise among the predominantly North-West workers in SOCAPALM plantation in the outskirts of Douala on the instructions of Mr. John Niba Ngu, the then General Manager of SOCAPALM, and whisked off to the maximum security prison in Kondengui in Yaoundé in la Republique du Cameroun where they were held incommunicado, without charge or trial, for over five years. Barrister Joseph MBAH NDAM stumbled on them by chance during his defence of the 61 Anglophone detainees at the military tribunal in June 1999. It took the regime five whole years to bow to international pressure, specifically from the Swiss-Cameroon Solidarity Group in Bern, Switzerland; led by the ebullient Rev. Markus Wyss, one time principal of CPC Bali, before those “FORGOTTEN FIVE” were finally and unceremoniously released on 6 November 2000. They were suddenly released on November 6, 2000, by a collaborative Anglophone Supreme Court Judge, Justice George Gwanmesia, who originally signed their incarceration warrants in the first place, ostensibly on the instructions of Mr. Paul Biya. The gates of the prison were simply thrown open and the FIVE were told to walk out and go home with the warning to stay clear of the SCNC for Cameroon remains one and indivisible. Nobody thought it necessary to give them some money for transport to their various destinations.
15. THE WAY TO PEACE
15.1 When one country (the Federation of Nigeria on one hand and la Republique du Cameroun on the other) forcibly and/or fraudulently assumes total and unwarranted jurisdiction over another country (the former British Cameroons), exercising complete dominion over it and denying it the right to govern itself, this is annexation; it is colonisation. The annexationist state may co-opt quislings or collaborators from the annexed territory into its administration, army, police, and gendarmerie. It may even give the vote and offer its citizenship to the natives of the annexed territory. All that changes nothing. It does not make the colonised territory a part of the colonising state but, in fact, confirms the fact of annexation.(* Carlson Anyangwe).
15.2 The only office which states, by some written or unwritten law, tend to reserve for their true and genuine nationals is that of Head of State. This fact was dramatically brought home to citizens of the Southern Cameroons (Anglophone Cameroon) after the presidential elections of October 1992. One of us, Ni John Fru Ndi, who presumed to be entitled to accede to the office of president of la Republique du Cameroun was told by the ruler ship (France) that the office was a reserved domain for citizens of la Republique du Cameroun only. FRU NDI, a bona fide citizen of the Southern Cameroons, is a stranger in la Republique du Cameroun.
15.3 The same is true of Mr. ABUBAKAR ATIKU, President Obasanjo’s running mate, who was denied to run for the presidency of the Federation of Nigeria in the recently concluded presidential elections in that country ostensibly because of alleged financial impropriety. The real reason he was denied to run for the presidency of Nigeria is that he is a bona fide citizen of the former British Northern Cameroons and consequently a stranger in Nigeria. ………..
16. Let us go back and pick up the threads of Fr. Antoine Chonang’s interview with His Eminence Christian Wiyghan Cardinal TUMI in October 2003:
We talked about the 1992 elections which, according to well informed sources, were won by the opposition. But how can we explain the silence of western embassies especially France that is generally quick to denounce injustices here and there in the world?
It would appear that it is because of France that the situation did not change.
Instead of denouncing this civil coup d’Etat, France was an accomplice. A French Minister said publicly: “an Anglophone shall never be in Etoudi”. (ETOUDI is the presidential palace in Yaoundé).
17. FRAUS OMNIA VITIAT:
It has been argued by the annexationists that the Plebiscite Covenant by which the peoples of the Southern Cameroons voted to join la Republique du Cameroun is a binding instrument or treaty. Various Southern Cameroons liberation movements, from Fon Gorji Dinka of Ambazonia, through the Cameroon Anglophone Movement (CAM) – now the Southern Cameroons Restoration Movement (SCARM), to the SCNC, the Southern Cameroons Youth League (SCYL), and now runner up SCAPO, were misled by this argument and so waged to struggle for the liberation of the territory from a wrong perspective. That, notwithstanding, the principle at law as for as fraud is concerned is fraus omnia vitiat, that is, fraud vitiates all treaties and agreements rendering them null and void ab initio. The Plebiscite Covenant under the prevailing circumstances, which violates the principles of international law embodied in the UN Charter, is therefore void and no longer valid.
17.1 Southern Cameroons liberation movements have each shown how the United Nations General Assembly by amending the Fourth Committee’s Resolution A/C.4/F/685 violated the Plebiscite Covenant. They have also shown how la Republique du Cameroun, through fraud, corruption, coercion and state terrorism have systematically and progressively violated the inherent and inalienable rights of the territory and peoples of the the Southern Cameroons and consequently the Plebiscite Covenant.
17.2 The peoples of the Southern Cameroons went into the United Nations-imposed union with la Republique du Cameroun in good faith. Their hopes of building ONE NATION-TWO PEOPLES were shattered by the bad faith, dishonesty, fraud, and fundamental breaches of trust underpinning a hidden agenda of the Francophones to annex and assimilate the territory and its peoples, willy-nilly, into Francophonie.
17.3 The peoples of the British Southern Cameroons have been denied their right of equal belonging in a union they voted to join under agreed terms, in addition to the denial of those rights prescribed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They have been made to toil for the francophone majority to reap the fruits; and they have to fight and blackmail one another for the crumbs. This is camouflaged slavery at the dawn of the third millennium. This has made the Southern Cameroons unable to contribute as a people to their political, economic, social and cultural progress and play a meaningful role in the community of nations as it should have been doing if it where an independent nation on its own. The peoples of the Southern Cameroons want to reassert that challenge with the human resources made up of a population of over 6 million and endowed with an abundance of natural resources that are either untapped or being exploited to maintain a French tele-guided dictatorship in place to continue to protect the economic interests of the neo-colonialists and France.
18. The Philosophy of the Force of Argument, Not the Argument of Force:
18.1 The SCNC took a hard look at the fratricidal conflicts plaguing the African continent; from Mozambique to Angola, from Sudan to Somalia, from Liberia to Sierra Leone, from the Casamance to Algeria, from Rwanda/Burundi to the Congos. We thought that we could slowly but confidently educate the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) by using the weapon of “THE FORCE OF ARGUMENT” to show why the Southern Cameroons has to become an independent nation. Recent events in the territory brought about by the Biya regime’s arrogance and intransigence, refusal to dialogue, its institutionalisation of fraud (electoral and economic) and corruption, the telling of lies as a means of governance, and the derailment of the democratic process seem to point the way to “THE ARGUMENT OF FORCE”, the universally accepted solution to the conflict now prevailing between the Southern Cameroons and la République du Cameroun.
18.2 The Way to Peace, therefore is not to prepare for war (as Mr. Paul Biya would
Want us to believe):
18.2.1 The Federation of Nigeria and la République du Cameroun should respect the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and in particular, Article 4b of that Charter on the respect of borders inherited at independence.
18.2.2 When la Republique du Cameroun became independent on 1st January 1960, the Southern Cameroons Autonomous Territory was not part of la Republique du Cameroun. In a similar vein, when the Federation of Nigeria became independent on 1st October 1960, the Northern Cameroons Autonomous territory was not part of the Federation of Nigeria since the UN had separated the UN Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration from the latter before 1st October 1960.
19.3 The Way to Peace, therefore,
– Requires both the Federation of Nigeria and la République du Cameroun to renounce the use of force as an instrument of policy in their dealings with the peoples of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom Administration.
– It also requires the United Nations to supervise and ensure the proper implementation of United Nations Resolution 1608 (XV) using its Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution; and not hide behind the state practice of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.
– Through its own programme of Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, the United Nations is well placed to intervene in the conflict between the Southern Cameroons and la République du Cameroun and to ensure its peaceful resolution and so avoid another disastrous shooting war in Africa. The United Nations also has established mechanisms with which to promote and protect the universal and internationally protected code of the human rights of minorities, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups against discriminatory and abusive practices and to assist governments in carrying out their responsibilities.
– The Special Committee of 24 on Decolonisation should re-visit the British Cameroons file in order to see for themselves that the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was not implemented in the case of the peoples of the British Cameroons at the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement.
20. The Millennium Goals:
20.1 It would be recalled that when the 147 Heads of State and Government together with representatives of 191 nations assembled at the Millennium Summit in New York, from 6-8 September 2000, and adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, they reaffirmed their faith in the United Nations and their commitment to the principles and purposes of the Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. They also ‘rededicated themselves to the right to self-determination of peoples who remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation and to the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms’.
20.2 The cause of the peoples of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom Administration is not only a just one; it is irrefutable as the facts are compelling. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the A.U. Charter on Human and Peoples Rights all put the case of self-determination for the annexed, oppressed and exploited peoples of the Southern Cameroons beyond the pale of the so-called internal affairs of la République du Cameroun and egocentric solidarity with France. Self-determination is a human right.
21. The Concept of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under British Administration and Light at the end of the Tunnel at last.
21.1 For nearly 46 years, the peoples of the Southern Cameroons in particular had predicated their struggle for self-determination and independence on the premise that there was a legal union between the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun. That was a false premise. Southern Cameroons liberation movements spent a collective 46 years waging our struggle from a false premise: first, that there was a legal federation in international law between the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun; and second, that the Southern Cameroons could become independent in its own right. This Cameroon Territory concept has rendered the Southern Cameroons liberation movements irrelevant.
21.2 The break through came on 21 March 2003; one of us, Professor Martin CHIA ATEH, a diligent researcher into the workings of the United Nations system, with the support of UNESCO and the United Nations University of Peace, both scientific organs of the United Nations, revisited the Southern Cameroons file and came out with the startling revelation, which he addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation on:
“The Non-Execution of UNO Resolution 1608 (XV) paragraphs 4a & 5 of 21 April 1961 on the Future of the Trust territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration: No Treaties of the Union were worked out between:
a) the Government of the Federation of Nigeria and the Autonomous
Territory of Northern Cameroons;
b) the Government of the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du
UNO Resolution 1608 (XV) states:
para 4: “Decide que les plebiscites ayant eu lieu separement avec des resultants
differents, l’Accord de tutelle du 13 Decembre1946 relatif au
Camerounsous administration du Royaume Uni prendra fin,
conformement a l’aliena b de Article 76 de la Charte des Nations Unies
et en accord avec l’autorite administrante, dans les conditiones suivantes:
a) En ce qui concerne le Cameroun Septentrional, le 1er Juin 1961, au
moment ou le Cameroun Septentrional s’unira a la federation de Nigeria en tant que province Separee de la Region du Nord de la Nigeria;
para 5: “Invite l’Autorite administrante, le Governement du cameroun
meridional et la Republique du Cameroun a entamer d’urgence des
pourparles afin de prende, avant le 1er Octobre 1961, les dispositions
necessaires pour que soient mises en oeuvre les politique concertees et
declarees des parties interessees.
994eme séance pleniere
21 Avril 1961.
para 4: “Decides that since the plebiscites took place separately, yielding
Different results, the Trusteeship Agreement of 13th December 1946
relating to the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration
should end pursuant to Article 76(b) of the United Nations Charter and
in agreement with the Administering Authority under the following
a) As concerns the Northern Cameroons, on 1st June, 1961, when the said Cameroons would join the Federation of Nigeria as a separate province of the Northern Region of Nigeria;
Para 5: “Calls on the Administering Authority, the Government of the Southern
Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun to immediately open talks in order to make necessary arrangements, before 1st October, 1961, for the implementation of the policies agreed on and declared by the interested parties”.
994th Plenary session
21 April 1961].
21.3 Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory:
21.3.1 The above Article 4a required that an Agreement (or Treaty) of the Union between the Government of the Federation of Nigeria and the autonomous Territory of the Northern Cameroons with the United Kingdom as Administering Authority of the Northern Cameroons Territory (part of the Trust territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration) be worked out before 1st June1961. The Agreement (or Treaty) was to protect the interests and rights of the inhabitants of both Northern Cameroons and those of the Federation of Nigeria. The worked out Agreement (or Treaty) should have been ratified by the Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territorial Assembly and the Parliament of the Federation of Nigeria, and the Agreement (or Treaty) should have been registered and a copy deposited in the Secretariat of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation in application of Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter. That Article 102(1) states:
“Every Treaty and every international agreement entered into by any member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it”.
21.3.2 The Federation of Nigeria, itself already independent on 01/10/1960, had become a member of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) on 7th October 1960 (UNO Res.1402 (XV) of 07/10/1960). So it was aware of the above Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter.
21.3.3 Unfortunately, the agreement (or treaty) was never worked out. What is found today is the following: since 1st October 1960, the late Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria, in a ceremony at Mubi formally took possession of the Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory. The Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory has moved through the following appellations in Nigeria’s administration, namely: from Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory to Sardauna Province, then Gongola State and part of Bornu State, and today it “forms” parts of the following states of the Federation of Nigeria:- Bornu State, Adamawa State, Taraba State.
21.3.4 So the extension of the administration of the Federation of Nigeria to the Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory was from the onset – 01/06/1961 – illegal and illegitimate in international law and a violation of Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter. It was an invasion. It was a violation of the Northern Cameroons’ right to Self-Determination and Independence. So the present administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo/ President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of the Federation of Nigeria on the Northern Cameroons Autonomous Territory is still illegal and illegitimate in internal law and a violation of the United Nations Charter.
21.4 Southern Cameroons Autonomous Territory:
Paragraph 5 under reference above required that a Treaty of the Union between the Government of the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun with the United Kingdom as Administering Authority of the Southern Cameroons (part of the Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration) be worked out before 1st October 1961. The Treaty was to protect the interests and rights the inhabitants of both the Southern Cameroons and those of la Republique du Cameroun. The worked out treaty should have been ratified by the Southern Cameroons Territorial Assembly and the parliament of la Republique du Cameroun, and the Treaty should have been registered and a copy deposited in the Secretariat of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation in application of Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter which states:
“Every Treaty and every international agreement entered into by any member of
the United nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as
possible be registered with the secretariat and published by it”.
21.4.1 La Republique du Cameroun, itself already independent on 1st January 1960, had become a member of the United Nations Organisation on 20/09/1960 (UNO Res. 1476 (XV) of 20/09/1960). So it was aware of the above Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter.
21.4.2 Unfortunately, the Treaty was never worked out. What is found today is the following, namely:
1. On 1st September 1961 in Yaoundé, la Republique du Cameroun,
Mr. Ahmadou AHIDJO, the then President of la Republique du Cameroun revised his constitution of la Republique du Cameroun of 21 February 1960 and imposed it on the peoples of the Southern Cameroons and their Territory on 1st October 1961. This is what Article 1, paragraph 1, and Article 59 of Mr. AHIDJO’s Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon which came into effect on 1st October 1961 state:
Article 1, paragraph 1:
“The Federal Republic of Cameroon is formed, as from 1st October 1961, of the
territory of the Republic of Cameroun, henceforth called East Cameroun, and
the Territory of the Southern Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom
Administration, henceforth called West Cameroon”.
“…The present provisions, by which the constitution of the Republic adopted on
21st February 1960 by the Cameroonian people is revised, shall enter into force
on 1st October 1961. The revised constitution shall be published in French and
in English, the French text being authentic”.
21.4.3 Mr. Ahidjo’s federal constitution of 01/10/1961 on Southern Cameroons’ Territory was a violation of paragraph 5 of UNO Res.1608 (XV) of 21/04/1961 for a Treaty of Union to be worked out between the Southern Cameroons Territory and la Republique du Cameroun.
21.4.4 The United Kingdom signed an EDICT on 27/09/1961 ending its administration of the Southern Cameroons Trust Territory without ensuring that a Treaty was worked out between the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun in execution of both the above UNO Resolution and the Trusteeship Agreement signed on 13 December 1946 with the United Nations Organisation in New York.
21.4.5 So Mr. Ahidjo’s extension of his administration to the Southern Cameroons
Territory was from the onset – 01/10/1961 – illegal and illegitimate in international Law. It was an invasion. It was a violation of Southern Cameroons’ right to Self-Determination and Independence. So the present administration of Mr. Paul Biya on the Southern Cameroons Territory is still illegal and illegitimate in international law and a violation of Article 102(1) of the United Nations Charter.
21.4.6 The United Nations Secretary-General who should have ensured that UNO
Resolution 1608 (XV), paragraph 5, of 21/04/1961 was executed, H. E. Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash in Africa in September 1961. His successor, H.E. U Thant, was appointed Acting Secretary-General in November 1961. So in September 1961 and October 1961 there was no full Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation who could have ensured the full and legal execution of the UNO Resolution 1608 (XV), paragraph 5, of 21/04/1961 on Southern Cameroons future.
21.5 The Former Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration: Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons together.
21.5.1 The Northern Cameroons and the Southern Cameroons together comprise the former UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons under British Administration (86,214 sq.km.) for which a Trusteeship Agreement was signed on 13/12/1946 between the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation and His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Article 1 of the above-mentioned Trusteeship Agreement defines the Territory as follows, namely:
“The Territory to which this Agreement applies comprises that part of the Cameroons lying to the west of the boundary defined by the Franco-British Declaration of 10 July 1919, and more exactly defined in the Declaration made by the Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria and the Governor of the Cameroons under French Mandate which was confirmed by the exchange of Notes between His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government of 9 January 1931. This line may, however, be slightly modified by mutual agreement between His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of the French republic where an examination of the localities shows that it is desirable in the interests of the inhabitants”.
Article 3 of the same Trusteeship Agreement defines the role of the Administering
Authority as follows, namely:
“The Administering Authority undertakes to administer the Territory in such a
Manner as to achieve the basic objectives of the international trusteeship system
Laid down in Article 76 of the United Nations Charter. The Administering
Authority further undertakes to collaborate fully with the General Assembly of
the United Nations and the Trusteeship Council in the discharge of all their
functions as defined in Article 87 of the United nations Charter, and to facilitate
any periodic visits to the Territory which they may deem necessary, at times to be
agreed upon by the Administering Authority”.
22. The Way Forward Today.
22.1 The quest for Self-Determination and Independence of the Peoples and Territory of the former British Cameroons is an incontrovertible and a burning issue. The UN should ensure that the Self-Determination and Independence of the Peoples and Territory of the former British Cameroons is Rectified and Regularised in accordance with Article 76, paragraph b, of the Charter of the United Nations Organisation.
22.2 The recent Nigeria – la Republique du Cameroun Mixed Commission on their border problems provided an opportunity for the former British Cameroons’ independence issue to be raised and regularized. Why? Because since UN Resolution 1608 (XV), paragraph 5, of 21 April 1961 was not implemented in accordance with International Law, both Nigeria and la Republique du Cameroun had no legal right to claim Sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom Administration. This is in accordance with Article 102 (2) of the Charter of the United Nations which states:
…”No party to any such Treaty or International Agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations”.
22.3 La Republique du Cameroun and Nigeria should withdraw their illegal and illegitimate administrations from the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom administration immediately and progressively. They should also encourage the peoples of the former British Cameroons to continue to work for their sovereign self-determination and independence through the United Nations Organisation to ensure international peace and security. Exiled Southern Cameroonian citizens should be called back home. And All SCNC prisoners of conscience should be released and damages be paid to the families of the dead.
22.4 This means that a UN Transitional Administration should takeover the Territory of the former British Cameroons to ensure that the peoples of the Territory prepare themselves for their Sovereign Independence and Future Government and Administration of their Territory. The presence of the UN Administration on the Territory will not only ensure international peace and security but will also reduce the tensions between the peoples of the Southern Cameroons and la Republique du Cameroun in particular on the one hand, and the peoples of the Northern Cameroons and Nigeria on the other. Legitimacy and legality of the former British Cameroons’ independence will be endorsed. East Timor became independent recently. A war is not necessary.
22.5 And so the peoples of the former British Cameroons, the Northern Cameroons and the Southern Cameroons together, have requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation, H.E. Kofi Atah ANNAN, and his successor, H.E. Ban Ki Moon, to make use of their good offices, drawing upon their stature and impartiality, in the interests of preventive diplomacy, to bring to the attention of the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly:
A) The non-implementation of UN Resolution 1608 (XV), paragraph 5, of 21 April 1961 on the Future of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration.
B) The urgent Rectification and Regularisation of the Self-Determination and Independence of the Territory in application of the UN Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
C) The Admission of the State of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom Administration after independence to the United Nations Organisation as a full member in application of Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.
22.6 Just as UNO Resolution 1349 (X111), paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of 13 March 1959 gave independence to the state of la Republique du Cameroun on 1st January 1960 and an Assembly elections were conducted and it (Resolution) recommended that la Republique du Cameroun be admitted as a member of the United Nations Organisation in application of Article 4 of the Charter of he United Nations, and just as the Federation of Nigeria which became independent on 01/10/1960 was admitted a member of the United Nations Organisation by UNO Resolution 1402 (XV) of 07/10/1960, so too the Peoples of the former UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration today want a United Nations resolution Granting them Independence and Admission as a member to the United Nations Organisation in application of Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.
22.7 Attached is the September 1960 United Nations map of the former Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration (86,214 sq.km.) – United Nations Map No. 1269 (1).
23.1 There comes a time in the affairs of men when a long-suffering people must either stand up and be counted or for ever hold their peace; a time when a people must face the destiny which they have always known that they would face someday; a time when a man must take a deep breath and do what he has to do; a time when the faint-hearted can perform acts of courage beyond expectations; a time when a man must take a bold leap into the uncertainty of the unknown in order to escape from the certainty of a past best forgotten; a time when there is nothing to fear but fear itself; a time when a slave must break out and take the risk of freedom or forever remain in bondage; a time when you must reach out for that abstract goal for which you must be willing to sacrifice your life; it is the time to live free or die. (*N. N. Susungi).
23.2 That moment finally came for the people of ex-British Southern Cameroons on December 30, 1999, when Justice Frederick ALOBWEDE EBONG, a bona fide citizen of the Southern Cameroons and Chairman of the Strategic Committee of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), set up by the Prince Esoka NDOKI MUKETE leadership of the organisation, on behalf of the annexed and colonised, oppressed and brutalised, dehumanised and exploited peoples of the Southern Cameroons, in desperation proclaimed over Radio Buea the Restoration of the Sovereignty and Independence of the Southern Cameroons, our chosen course for Self-determination, to forge our destiny and build our own country in Freedom, Justice and Peace. That proclamation too was misleading in that the Southern Cameroons is but a part of the former UN Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration for which the United Kingdom signed a Trusteeship Agreement with the United Nations on 13 December 1946, and undertook to lead to self-determination and independence. The Southern Cameroons, therefore, can only become independent together with the Northern Cameroons in application of the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement.
23.3 That proclamation, misleading though it was, prompted the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Kofi Atah ANNAN, to visit the Cameroons on May 1-3, 2000 – a visit that was heavily state-censured. At the end of the visit Mr. Kofi ANNAN prescribed dialogue to defuse the potentially explosive situation prevailing in the country. The peoples of the Southern Cameroons have been knocking on the door of la Republique du Cameroun for dialogue for the past 46 years but successive francophone-led dictatorships have responded with all forms of violent intimidations and barefaced state terrorism. How then do we dialogue with the deaf?
24. The Way to Independence for the Peoples of the UN Territory of the Cameroons formerly under United Kingdom Administration:
24.1 The way to Independence for the peoples of the former British Cameroons (Northern Cameroons and the Southern Cameroons together) is in the hands of the UN. The UN should follow the same path it took to grant independence to other UN territories. It must be noted that the British Cameroons is a particular UN Territory as it had been annexed respectively by Nigeria (in the case of the Northern Cameroons), and by la Republique du Cameroun and France (in the case of the Southern Cameroons) through an unorthodox independence-by-joining that the UN granted the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration in 1961.
24.2 The former British Cameroons today is in the same situation as the three Baltic States (Estonia, Lestonia, Lithuania). It should be recalled that the latter three states were granted independence by the League of Nations, and the independence was later suppressed by the Soviet Union which then annexed them on the grounds that as small neighbouring states, it was their weakness that allowed the German troops to crush them very easily and then crossed their international boundary with the Soviet Union into St. Petersburg. But with glasnost and perestroika brought by Mikail Gorbatchov, these states regained their lost independence through the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) and the UN.
24.3 Another way out for the Northern and Southern Cameroons is that the UN may simply implement the UNGA Resolution 1514 (XIV) of 14 December 1960 on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples.
25. Finally, I should like to end this write up with these quotations from Pope John Paul II “The Great”. During His address at Unity Palace, Yaoundé, on the occasion of His first official visit to the Cameroons, 15 August 1985, the Holy Father said, inter alia:
“Injustices committed by certain regimes concerning human rights or the legitimate demands of a section of the population which is refused participation or common responsibilities beget revolt of regrettable violence but which justice could have fore-held”.
Addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary of the Organisation on October 1995, the Holy Father said, inter alia:
“A pre-supposition of a nation’s rights is certainly its right to exist; therefore, no one – neither a state nor another nation nor an international organisation – is ever justified in asserting that an individual nation is not worthy of existence”.
It seems to me that on both occasions the Holy Father was addressing the “Anglophone Problem” in the Cameroons.
– Finis –
Maps of the British Cameroons:
“Human rights are about the curtailment of the abstract and super state power, ie the limitation of absolute power corrupting absolutely”
Julius che, 1997 Buea
Categories: Freedom Magazine