-Liberation Groups Close Ranks
-SCAPO Transforms into political party
-Launch Book and Publish Plan of Action
Liberation Movements of the Southern Cameroons have resolved to dialogue with La Republique du Cameroun. The revelation is contained in a Public notice issued to this effect and signed by Mr A.F. Ndangam on behalf of the complainants,
Following the recommendations of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, SCAPO and SCNC have issued a public notice for consultations towards the Constitutional talks. The ACHPR in Article 215 (2) (ii) under recommendations states:
“2. To the Complainants, and SCNC and SCAPO in particular, to abandon secessionism and engage in constructive dialogue with the Respondent State on the Constitutional issues and grievances.”
It is in the light of this recommendation that the SCNC and SCAPO have established points where people could deposit their constitutional proposals. To this effect the following offices will always be open for such inputs from 8 - 10 a.m. and 10 am to 12 noon from the 9th to 14th November 2009:
In the Southwest Region:
Ajong Stanislaus Anu, Security Law Firm, P.O. Box 227 - Tiko, Wireles - Keomba - Tiko, Tel: (00237 99 95 52 41, Office: (00237) 33 02 72 57, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Blaise Sevidzem Berinyuy Esq. (Advocate and Notary), P.O. Box 144 Buea, Fako Division, Tel: (00237) 77 68 07 43, Office (00237) 33 10 40 92, Email: email@example.com and in the
Harmony Bobga-Mbuton, Human Rights Clinic and Education (HURCLED) centre, Che Street Ntarinkon, P.O. Box 148 Bamenda Mezam Division, Tel: (00237) 77 77 01 56; Email: Bobgambuton@yahoo.com.
According to the notice “Groups and individuals at home and abroad can hand in their views and proposals on the future constitution in Cameroon as well as other grievances of the people of the Southern Cameroons at any of these places.
Meantime the Southern Cameroons liberation Groups last Saturday October 31, 2009 resolved to join ranks and work together towards the implementation of the now famous Banjul Ruling. At a meeting convened by the Human Rights Clinic and Education (HURCLED) Centre in the St Joseph's Youth Formation Hall in Big Mankon the Southern Cameroons People's Organisation (SCAPO), the Southern Cameroons National Council SCNC of Chief Ayamba, represented by Mr Mbinglo Hitler and the SG, Mr Chinkwo Fidelis; and SCNC-Ebong represented by Mr Nwachan Thomas.
In a keynote address Barrister Bobga Mbuton Harmony said among other things that he had convened the meeting in order to enable all the factions of the Southern Cameroons Liberation movements to come together and reconcile their differences. Barrister Bobga, Counsel for the complainants in the Communication 266 Kevin Ngwang Gumne et al, vs La République du Cameroun, castigated division in the ranks of the groups.
He then explained the importance of the ruling and the gains for Southern Cameroonians. He said among other things that the Banjul Ruling coming from the African Union is higher than the Cameroon Constitution. Cameroon is a signatory to the AU Charter and so is bound by all her laws. The AU in turn is an organ of the UN which is above the AU. Therefore the Banjul Ruling was a clear victory for Southern Cameroonians especially as it had confirmed that the Southern Cameroonians are a "people" by all international definitions and conventions.
After his keynote address Barrister Bobga Harmony invited the leaders of the groups present to sit on the table. Each of them was given time to express the opinions of his own group.
Mr Ndangam for SCAPO took the rostrum. He read a written declaration to the effect that SCAPO had been transformed into a political party. “The Southern Cameroons People's Organisation - SCAPO - is therefore taking the floor at this public meeting to declare SCAPO transformed into a political party pursuant to the recommendations found at paragraph 217(2) of the Ruling of the African Commission for Human and People's Rights Communication 266/2003 Kevin Ngwang Gumne et Al Vs The Republic of Cameroon adopted by the AU Heads of States Summit of 2nd July 2009 at Sirte, Libya,” said Mr Ndangam.
“The objectives of the party,” the SCAPO Chairman continued, “are to work to end the unconstitutional annexation of the Southern Cameroons into two provinces of the Republic of Cameroon, a partner in the defunct Cameroon Federal Union of two states and to work for the right to self-determination in keeping with relevant AU and UN texts.”
Explaining one of the vexatious words used by the Republic of Cameroon and the ACHPR to describe the restoration of the statehood of Southern Cameroons, Mr Ndangam maintained that Southern Cameroons was not “seceding”. He buttressed his point with examples of Biafra and Katanga which were integral parts of Nigeria and Congo Kinshasa, later Zaire and today the Democratic republic of Congo respectively at independence. He explained that Southern Cameroons was a country of its own with international boundaries demarcated by treaties. It was not part of La République du Cameroun when she had her independence on January 1, 1960. This again was buttressed by the fact that there is NO UNION NOR AN ACT OF UNION between Southern Cameroons and La République du Cameroun. Thus, he said, “The Southern Cameroons case is not secession but a distress call for the affirmation and implementation of Colonial Frontier Treaties by the AU or the UN (preferably by both) and in particular the following:
Franco/British Agreement Milner / Simon Declaration of 10th July 1919, and (b) Accord Thomson/Marchand Declaration of 9th January, 1931.”
Concluding Mr Ndangam pointed out that by organising a Plebiscite in the Southern Cameroons in 1961 the UN had recognised that Southern Cameroons was neither part of the Republic of Cameroon nor part of Nigeria. Consequently no UN member state can claim that the Southern Cameroons is an integral part of it until and unless a treaty is signed to that effect and registered at the UN secretariat according to article 102 of the UN Charter.
Prince Mbinglo Hitler, Northern Zone Chairperson of the SCNC, talking on behalf of SCNC - Chief Ayamba, called on all and sundry to close ranks so that Southern Cameroons should achieve their much needed independence. On behalf of the SCNC he pledged cooperation with any group that is working towards the achievement of this goal.
Mr Nwachan Thomas of SCNC Ebong spoke on a similar note like Prince Mbinglo. He emphasised that the call for dialogue by the ACHPR was a most welcome idea and the greatest opportunity. He said the population will stone the leaders if they failed to engage in this dialogue.
As concerns the call to transform into a political party the two SCNCs were yet to make a declaration like SCAPO. However SCNC of Chief Ayamba was categorical they would not transform into any political party, maintaining it was a trap.
The day continued with a press conference where some sensitive questions were answered and finally an outdoor meeting where further explanations on the ruling were made. The general consensus on the poor attendance was that people were still afraid to be arrested. "When you tether a goat on one spot for too long, even when untied it will keep hovering around the same place," said one of the speakers. They called on the population to eschew fear as the Banjul Ruling has given us the powers to dialogue rather than fight.
By Nke Valentine