CORRECTION,CORRECTION CORRECTION -D￼￼￼￼￼ODN’T GO BACK TO AN ACT OF FRAUD;AN ACT OF ANNEXATION IN THE NAME OF GOING BACK TO A FEDERATION!
1. Southern Cameroonians have been indoctrinated by the colonial regime that at some point in the past we “came together”; that there was a “two-state federation”; that there was so-called “re-unification”; that we “joined”. And shockingly, many of our politicians and those who have refused to take time to read our history have believed these lies, falsehoods.
2. The Consortium, which appears to be leading the struggle today, has also been caught in this trap of believing the indoctrination before checking the facts. They say their point of departure is a return to the so-called two-state federation. But what if the facts show that the alleged two-state federation was a falsehood, an act of fraud; the very act by which the Southern Cameroons was annexed?
3. Everyone now fully understands that every contract, every agreement, requires the consent and signature of the parties to it. If you allege that the people of the Southern Cameroons formed a two-state federation with Republique du Cameroun, you must be able to proof that. The fact that they are together is no proof at all; that is why there is all this struggle. The people of Republique can show the bill that was debated and passed by their parliament and signed into law by their president to create the two-state federation. On our side, the side of Southern Cameroons, what is our proof that our parliament also debated and passed any law on the alleged two-state federation? Who, in all of Southern Cameroons, signed any document creating a federation between the Southern Cameroons and Republique du Cameroun?Or would you pretend that the other side went through all the legal formalities for a federation and on our side, consent was given verbally? By who? When? These are supreme acts of state and there is simply no means by which one state could move to become one with another without any written evidence!
4. Because of this danger in which Southern Cameroonians once more find themselves; because of the talk of returning to falsehoods and the very acts by which we were annexed, as the Consortium’s point of departure, we feel obliged to set the facts straight in the high hopes that it will put our people back on the rails.
5. The official name of our country isthe British Southern Cameroons or simply the Southern Cameroons. This is the name in UN records. It is not “West Cameroon”. Stop using the false name of “West Cameroon”
6. The names “West Cameroon” and “East Cameroon” emerged only after the 1961 two-state federation.
7. The 1961 two-state federation however was not created by common consent of the Southern Cameroons and Republique du Cameroun. IT WAS AN IMPOSITION BY REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN ON THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS!
8. The 1961 Federation was the pretended product of the Foumban Conference. All of us now know that the Foumban Conference ended without any accord or agreement. If no agreement emerged from Foumban, how then can the federation be a matter of common consent? How can we be talking of “the two sides coming together” through a federation on which the two sides never agreed? How can that also be our point of departure?
9. Foncha who went to Foumban, purportedly on behalf of the Southern Cameroons, went there entirely on his own. Why? Because he had no mandate under the Southern Cameroons Constitutional Order in Council (our constitution then) to engage in foreign policy. Foreign policy and Defence were reserved to the Colonial Office in London. Foncha could not therefore bind the people of the Southern Cameroons even if he secured an agreement in Foumban; fortunately there was none.
10. The 1961 two-state federation was entirely debated and adopted solely by Republique’s parliament and passed through law No. 24/61 of 01/09/1961, by which Republique purported to amend its constitution for the purpose of creating a federation with the Southern Cameroons as from 01 October 1961.
11. The Southern Cameroons parliament never debated nor passed that law in the Southern Cameroons; no one in the Southern Cameroons signed that law! It was forced down our throats from Republique du Cameroun.
12. Law No. 24/61 of 1 September 1961 was therefore the law through which Republique officially annexed the Southern Cameroons; and this law was passed even while the Southern Cameroons was still a UN Trust Territory.
13. Remember: Republique voted against union with the Southern Cameroons in Resolution 1608(XV) of April 21 1961. By voting against our independence tabled in that Resolution, it was voting against union, since the Resolution was about our independence and then proposed joining with Republique. This refusal to vote for Southern Cameroons’ independence by Republique, announced its intention, not to join with the Southern Cameroons, but to annex it. Law No. 24/61 was therefore only a continuation of its annexationist policy. The whole process should have ended after Republique voted against union, but as Southern Cameroonians we seemed determined to always get it wrong!
14. The UN-organised Plebiscite of 11 February 1961 was not the act of joining, nor even a commitment by the Southern Cameroons to join with Republique. Republique was a complete third party to the Plebiscite process. The UK was ruling the Southern Cameroons on behalf of the United Nations. That is why on 13th December 1946, the UK had to enter into an agreement with the UN over the Trust Territory of the Cameroons under UK Administration. The Plebiscite was simply a mechanism by which to reveal the intention of the people of the Southern Cameroons to the UN and UK, whether the Southern Cameroons wished to achieve independence by joining Nigeria or Republique du Cameroun. It was simply a declaration of intention. Only after knowing our intention could the UN and UK now take the steps to implement our wish. And this is precisely why Resolution 1608(XV) of 21 April 1961 was necessary and through which the UN put down the conditions for Union and called for a post-plebiscite conference to implement the expressed intentions. Foumban was clearly not that post-plebiscite conference, because Resolution 1608(XV) cites three parties: the UK, Southern Cameroons and Republique for the purpose of the conference. Once more, despite this clarity, we have been brainwashed that we joined Republique through this Plebiscite. NO, NO and NO! The Plebiscite was absolutely no promise, no commitment to Republique or to Nigeria!
15. There can be no legal relationship between the Southern Cameroons, a former UN Trust Territory, and Republique du Cameroun, without due compliance with the UN Charter and UNGA Resolutions, particularly Resolution 1541 of 15 December 1960 and Article 102(1) of the UN Charter. Article 102(1) clearly stipulates that any agreement between two territories or countries must be reduced into writing and filed with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Article 102(2) goes on to say that if an agreement does not follow that procedure, it cannot be recognised before any UN organs! Our lawyers seem to be ignoring all these fundamental legal instruments of international law that guide and guard the relationship between peoples. We are directly putting ourselves outside of the international system and the UN Charter by trying to fabricate a relation that is not governed by these instruments of international law. These are new dangers into which we are putting ourselves ignorantly!
16. The illegal occupation and annexation of the Southern Cameroons by Republique du Cameroun started on 01 October 1961, when on 30 September 1961, the British treacherously handed sovereignty over our territory to this foreign country at the Tiko Airport, without prior implementation of Resolution 1608(XV) and any form of union or agreement with them. Our learned lawyers seem to ignore this altogether and are talking of returning to a federation, which is simply the product of those acts of annexation!
17. Now that we have understood the facts, will the Consortium insist on taking the very act by which the Southern Cameroons was annexed, even while it was still a UN Trust Territory, as its point of departure? Will the people of the Southern Cameroons continue to follow the Consortium blindly without knowing the facts of their history? If you take for your point of departure something that is so unsound and false, what would be the outcome? If you reject the UN Charter and UNGA Resolutions, what are you doing? What problem have you solved by using a shaky and unstable base as your foundation? There is great danger in what we are doing? Remember E.M.L. Endeley’s predictions, which we ignored and have suffered for over half a century. Let our lawyers not condemn us forever through fundamental misunderstanding of our history.
18. Do you doubt that there was never any two-state federation through common consent? All the advisers of Paul Biya during his so-called 50th anniversary celebrations came out with the same conclusion: there is no union between the Southern Cameroons and Republique. How can our lawyers say there is? How? What is their proof, since they are people who deal with proofs?
Gentlemen, I once more appeal to our people to take some little time and read and understand their history. There are those who would rush to abuse and object, but without taking the pains to read a line of our history. Let us put our struggle and the future of our nation on solid foundations. This solid foundation is not taking the act by which we were annexed as our starting point.
By Denis Atemnking