Tuesday, September 8, 2009

British Diplomat Provokes Southern Cameroonians: Diaspora Reacts: Say the British Government is encouraging an armed struggle

There have been angry reactions from many Southern Cameroonians, especially from the Diaspora, to what they consider extreme provocation from the outgoing British High Commissioner to Cameroon. The Diplomat is reported to have made statements against the SCNC, generally considered as the quintessence of the Southern Cameroon's struggle for self-determination that did not go down well the throats of the beleaguered people.

It was an interview the High Commissioner granted The Post newspaper, published on Monday, August 17, 2009. He is quoted to have said inter alia that the “SCNC Lacks International Support”. He had actually started by accusing the SCNC of often attempting to involve the British High Commission, Her Majesty the Queen, the British Prime Minister, the President of the United States, and other international figures in their argument with what they call 'La République du Cameroun'.

“Let me make Britain's position very clear: Britain recognises the Government of the Republic of Cameroon as the sole authority in Cameroon. That hasn't changed since 1972. Not only does Britain recognise the Government of Cameroon but so does all the other nations in the world and the United Nations,” said the Diplomat firmly.

He said it seemed to him that the SCNC had tried to re-write history retrospectively in its analysis of the situation in Cameroon. He equally corroborated the statements usually made by those who try to underplay the SCNC’s long struggle for the restoration of the independence of the British Southern Cameroons, namely, that Cameroon could be divided in several ways depending on which criterion we choose. He then advised Anglophones to learn French and the Francophones to learn English, thereby narrowing down the problem to a linguistic one.

Barrister Charles Achaleke Taku, famous Southern Cameroonian lawyer reacted sharply thereafter: “Guess what? The so-called international community led by the US and Britain considered the pre-1994 Rwandan situation in a similar arrogant or should I say ignorant, dismissive terms until hell broke lose. The US apologised several years later and Tony Blair shamelessly and hypocritically is a “special adviser" to Kagame today.

This type of reckless posturing is not new. It has a history of its own. However, what we must learn from this diplomat is to review the so-called 'force of argument' option which we must conclude from his statements, has failed. We should consider the other option insinuated by this diplomat since it is obvious from his statements that his Government cannot and will never support a peaceful legal approach to the conflict. And if that is how diplomacy works the British style, so be it.

Regrettably, my reading of history is that a reckless imperial power like Britain has never and will never support genuine freedom and the rule of law. Reason why war is being fought and re-fought in many parts of the world today. The genesis of these conflicts and war has its root in injustices and insensitivity's suffered under the British Imperial power. By the so-called argument of force we regrettably thought we could achieve what others have not, through greater sacrifices.

Thanks Mr Ambassador for refocusing us on the appropriate way of attaining freedom from annexation. Will I therefore be right Mr Ambassador in understanding you to mean that your government will never support a peaceful means of settling this conflict? (Chief Fuatabong Achaleke Taku)

Professor Martin Ayim, of Grambling State University in the USA had this to say: "The British High Commissioner is grossly demented. For the record, Neither the UN nor UK attended the Foumban Conference in 1961 to implement the Post Plebiscite UN Resolution 1608(XV) which should have resulted in a Union Treaty. Is history not about the past? Was it not corrected in East Timor? Eritrea? Kosovo? What is it that the Southern Cameroons is doing abnormally? Is it our eternal and sickening Force of Argument? People! This name British Southern Cameroons must go and the UK will be held accountable. Let someone get this response to that Super Commissioner.”

By Nke Valentine

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