SDF Develops a Four-page Resolution, calls on the United Nations to Intervene in the Anglophone Crisis.
On January 28th, 2017 the national chairman of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) held an emergency meeting in Bamenda to scrutinize and review issues regarding the ongoing Anglophone crisis. Amongst other things, the executive committee considered the systematic violation of the 1961 Federal Constitution, the fraudulent 1972 referendum and the 1984 anti-Constitutional law put in place by then monolithic legislature that led to the changing of the form of the State of Cameroon from a Federal to a Unitary State. More importantly, they considered the fact that the government has failed to resolve the crisis, being unable to address the grievances tabled by lawyers and teachers and the people of West Cameroon, coupled with the recent Mr. Biya’s commission on bilingualism and multiculturalism which does not in any way resolve the problems, and considering the United Nations Human Rights’ Commission resolution that condemns any country that intentionally disrupts internet access to its citizens, which is against freedom of speech and which has paralyzed economic activities in the South West and North West Regions, the SDF in this regard condemns government actions in dealing with the problems.
Among the declarations made, they condemned the arbitrary arrests of citizens especially those of the judiciary. Emphasizing that the government in all ramifications has violated the rights to self-determination and freedom of expression. It should be noted that the government had issued a ban on all Anglophone Civil Society Organizations in West Cameroon including the Anglophone Civil Society Consortium then led by Barrister Nkongho Agbor Balla, Doctor Fontem Niba and Mr. Tassang Wilfred. At present, Barr. Nkongho and Dr. Fontem are in detention awaiting trial for alleged causing violence and encouraging secessionist movements. These allegations sources confirm are mere avenues through which the government wants to sabotage the Southern Cameroons struggle. Also, Justice Ayah Paul Abine was brutally arrested and detained on the same charges. Hundreds of other citizens were arrested and detained, some whose whereabout are yet to be known.
For the aforementioned justifications, it was thoughtful for SDF which is considered the strongest opposition party to act with much concern. Following SDF’s political status in the Cameroons, West Cameroonian citizens across the globe expected this reaction long before now, some had lost hopes in the SDF and considered the fight a people’s fight and not a political party’s fight. Seemingly, who are the people? And who is the political party? Certainly, both are intertwined; the party is the people and the people are part of the party. Conclusively, it boils down to the people’s fight with every sector be it a political party or pressure group or civil society organizations, all involved, all become one so as to strengthen the resistance.
The SDF, therefore, calls on the Biya government to immediately release all arrested and detained unlawfully, and allow these so-called cases be handled by courts in respective regions. This according to the SDF is a means of portraying a free and fair society for all. Also, SDF called on the government to bring back internet connections, to bring to book all perpetrators of human right abuses and immediately demilitarize the Southern Cameroons. They further called for the timely intervention of the Council of Peace and Security of the United Nations and the African Union. Adding that, the Biya regime must be cautioned and stopped from the exactions perpetrated on citizens. More importantly, the SDF warns the incumbent regime to respond to the demand of the people and the demands formulated by SDF. Affirming that failure to heed to these demands will necessitate SDF to take its responsibilities.
West Cameroonians received this communique with much pleasure. A random analysis of comments, posts, tweets, confirms that hopes were renewed. However, many are yet to trust the SDF assuming that they had issued the same communique in late 2016 and went further to give CPDM an ultimatum but nothing changed. Fingers, however, remain crossed on the said affirmations by the SDF. Meanwhile, West Cameroonians remain resolute to achieve the best from the struggle. As of the time of writing, Ghost Towns Operations are very successful across villages, towns, and cities in West Cameroon, the social media is also active in the struggle despite internet blackouts, the Diaspora is reinforcing its strategies, and finally the Consortium continues to lead the people through the struggle with the hope of absolute victory
Akame Gerald with contributions from Mark Bareta.