An Open Letter to The Presidents of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Peoples Democratic Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Germany; the Secretary Generals of the United Nations and the African Union, and to all the Kings and Peace-loving People of the World.
I am writing to you in tears, following the events in our country, asking you to arrest the President of the Republic of Cameroon, His Ministers and Managers of Propaganda and charge them for crimes against humanity perpetrated upon the “people” of the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia. This man Paul Biya, president for over 35 years and still hungry to run for elections, is carrying out a hidden agenda to wipe out a population of 8 million innocent people from the face of the earth, only because they have a different historical and cultural background which to him is unacceptable and has to be assimilated to his own political genius. He believes it is wrong for a nation to be a Federation of Anglo-saxon and Francophone bearings at the same time, and to profit his whims for a centralized dictatorial system of government, he goes the length to force the people of English speaking credentials to give up their birthrights, disown their origins and bow down to the “eternal King”.
The crisis in the Northwest and South West regions of Cameroon has precipitated in the last year now to a point of no return, entering into an escalation of genocide, which if not stopped by external forces, shall supersede the Holocaust when Hitler killed 6 million Jews and the recent Rwandan genocide when the Hutu majority murdered over 800.000 Tutsi minority because of ethnic, political and economic differences. The world has rightly condemned such insane atrocities and resolved not to ever let it happen again. You are the leaders of the world today, and you cannot allow a mad man to destroy before your very eyes the people of the Southern Cameroons who are justly seeking for a country of their own, since they have for over 56 years been rejected by the Francophone majority who are unable or unwilling to lift a finger against their feared dictator of Yaounde. This man is quick to arrest, maim, rape, jail, use unconventional weapons and carry out mass killings against any opposition to his totalitarian regime.
From the moment he was strangely enthroned to power, he started his agenda to cancel all Anglophones. He hastily changed the name of our country in 1984 from the United Republic of Cameroon to the Republic of Cameroon which was the name of French speaking Cameroon alone when they had their independence in 1961. By that time, the English speaking part of Cameroon was still a protectorate of the British, known as the British Southern Cameroons. Later, it would be forced to join either the Republic of Cameroon or the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to gain Independence. This happened in a Plebiscite organized in February of 1961 when our people had no choice but to opt to join the Republic of Cameroon and not the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after an unfruitful experience under the British when in 1953 all British Southern Cameroons members of parliament abandoned the Enugu parliament of Nigeria to form a new parliamentary system in the Southern Cameroons capital town of Buea.
History records that the Southern Cameroons existed as a separate United Nations Trust Territory under the British, in preparation for self-determination as per Article 76(b) of the United Nations Charter. During this period, it tasted a reminiscent pre-independence parliamentary democracy with a government, parliament, elected Prime Ministers, a Judiciary and House of Chiefs from 1954 to 1972. But in pursuance of independence, a UN-organized Plebiscite was held in the Southern Cameroons on 11 February 1961, in which the following questions were put to the Southern Cameroons people: “Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent Federation of Nigeria?” or “Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent Republic of Cameroon?”. Unfortunately, by a reason still to be clearly explained by the British, our people were not accorded the opportunity like all other colonial countries to be a country of its own. So, the Southern Cameroons hesitantly voted to gain Independence by joining with the then Republic of Cameroon (independent since 1st January 1960) to form a new Federal entity called the Federal Republic of Cameroon with two stars on the flag to symbolize the union of two separate states. This nation, however, was formed under a series of political intrigues and manipulations that I would not even bother your most eminent leaders to digest. But a little.
Now when two nations decide to join, there is need for negotiations to address the nature of the Union and bring forth a Union Treaty which is to be ratified by the United Nations as the overseeing power. And this is where the problems between the Southern Cameroons and the francophone majoritarian Republic of Cameroon began. In conformity with UN RESOLUTION 1608 (XV) and UN ART 102 (1), the United Nations has never ever ratified any such Union, because no Act of Union was ever signed between the two states, Southern Cameroons and the French “La Republique du Cameroun”, following a failed and inconclusive Tripartite Conference which held in the town of Foumban between the Republic of Cameroon, the Southern Cameroons and the United Kingdom in absentia. In this conference, the President of the Republic of Cameroon and the Prime Minister of the Southern Cameroons were to consult and define a Treaty of Union before the declaration of Independence fixed on 1st October 1961. For, On April 21st 1961, sixty-four countries had affirmed a U.N. Resolution 1608(XV) granting independence to the UN Trust Territory of British Southern Cameroons, to be declared on 1st October 1961.
Yet, despite the lack of ratification, on September 1st 1961 precisely, the newly independent neighboring State of the Republic of Cameroon (another former Class B UN trust territory under France) would pass a bill in its parliament, effectively preempting and contravening the UN Resolution on Southern Cameroons and dispatched troops into the Southern Cameroons on September 30th 1961, thus illegally occupying our territory. The then francophone president, Amadou Ahidjo, in his thirst for absolute power, dissolved all political parties, killed all opposition leaders and organized a National Referendum in 1972 (the year I was born) asking the people to change the name of The Federal Republic of Cameroon to the United Republic of Cameroon. In that referendum, there was only one choice on the ballot paper – a YES vote. This, your Excellencies, is well documented history, as it is legally tenable in any court of law.
In a nutshell: our people, have never been free. First colonized by the Germans, afterwards given as a British Trust Territory after the Second World War, then abandoned by the British into the hands of the neighboring Republic of Cameroon and later left by the nations of the world to be finally wiped off from the maps of history and from the face of the earth by a ruthless dictator who wants everyone to lick his wounds or face the threat of death. Unfortunately for him, our people have resigned to their fate, and have said enough is enough is enough, to a regime state which cannot fight terrorists but calls its supposed people terrorists, rats, cockroaches and second-class citizens and kills them like a Holocaust offering. Though they have militarized our land and transformed it into a macabre massacre, the blood of our people has become a source of strength and resilience in our struggle for freedom. Dictator Paul Biya must kill everyone of us, not one, not two, but each and everyone of us to satisfy his thirst for blood. Our people have overcome the fear factor and are ready to fight for the freedom against tyranny and oppression which is entrenched in the Charter of the nations and translated into over 500 languages in the world, of which I will bring to your attention just one article in that well-written document:
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
We, the people of the Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), have taken upon ourselves to claim our NATIONALITY as an indelible right written in the Charter and given by God, to live as a people with a common identity, not because we are Africans, not because we are English speaking, and not because of any vague grounds of secession, but only because we want to be free at last! Free to travel freely in our country, free to educate our children the way we desire, free to choose a legal system which pertains to our culture, free to self-govern and participate in nation building, and free to finally feel a first-class CITIZEN.
Your Excellencies, it is time to adhere to this call of freedom and I pray that even the French and British governments (who for long have ignored our plight) should now join the nations of the world to bring an end to the aggression of the government of the Republic of Cameroon. Tell, the Pharaoh of West Africa, that it is time to let go of the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia and stop the genocide. Please, I want to remind you, that absentee president Paul Biya is the most subtle and cunning dictator on earth. He deceives you that he is for climate change, that he fights against terrorists, that he is a man of peace and justice, only as an alibi to get your money and divert your attention. He even went to visit the Pope and receive his blessings but only to later kill so many innocent people. Don’t dialogue with this man. He will always accept anything you tell him but forever do the opposite. I have never seen a beggar and beggarly president in my life! People die in his country and he says nothing, but when a man dies in another country, he is the first to send a message of condolence. Well, I wouldn’t persist to talk about him and waste the precious time of dignitaries, for it is not about him that I write, it is about my people and our desecrated land. We have nothing left to boast of, but ourselves and our resolve for freedom.
The reason why I am appealing to the nations of the world to do something before it is too late. Work with your intelligence and act fast before the world cries of another genocide and faces another uncontrolled refugee and migration crisis. The world is not ready for that. The world is not ready anymore for dictators or expansionist states which swallow other states and degrade other people. There must be respect of legal boundaries and differences in people including the rights of a “people” to peacefully demand their freedom to nationhood. May the leaders of the world and their governments join us as we tell the Pharaoh of West Africa: Let my People Go!
By Ntube Francis Eseme -alafnet contributor