Why Going Native Complicates World Affairs
By Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh)
It must take a certain sense of superiority, callous indifference for the profound aspirations of Ambazonians and a belief that one’s job as Canada’s High Commissioner to the Cameroons is not complete unless one is also an apostle for the tyrant in Yaounde, to voice the views attributed herein to the Canadian High Commissioner.
Frankly… What are Western diplomats thinking when they tell a people like Ambazonians who are fighting for the restoration of their independence that they are chasing shadows? How many Ambazonians could have told Canadians that their independence from England was unrealistic? How many Quebecois think it should have been the business of Ambazonians to tell them how unrealistic their project of independence from Canada was?
Why am I not to believe those who say these statements smack of racism? Is it only realistic for white nations to split over and over again, and then to organize peaceful referenda (as in Scotland and Quebec) to determine if they’d like to split all over again? God forbid that such an enterprise were to be the undertaking of black people… then it has to be classified unrealistic.
Given history, I should not have been surprised? No one has forgotten that America, England and Canada were among the biggest supporters of Apartheid South Africa. These Western nations and many others believed in “one man, one vote” but not if it came to “one man, one vote” in South Africa. In Rhodesia, Namibia… they only thing realistic for Africans was submission to various forms of racial segregation and humiliation of the Black Race.
It is Western diplomats like the Canadian High Commissioner who went native all over Africa, essentially taking up membership cards of the ruling juntas and going out to campaign in support of the one-party states. Africans, they argued, were already bitterly divided by tribe and could not handle multiparty democracy in addition to such divisions. Their new argument is that while Europe has had an explosion of nations born of the collapse of colonial set-ups and experiments of all types, Africa, they are now arguing, is too immature for the freedom that comes with the restoration of the independence of nations like Southern Cameroons, Somaliland, etc.
The hypocrisy cries to High Heaven! Better to frustrate the peoples of Somaliland and Ambazonia than give up the Western-ordained failed colonial contraptions called Somalia and Cameroon.
Thankfully… the slave drivers and colonialists have lost every time. They lost on Apartheid. They lost on racial segregation. They lost in maintaining or justifying colonialism. They lost in maintaining one-party rule. Now, they are fighting what is a losing battle in maintaining neocolonialism and recolonization in places like Ambazonia. In their own life time, the previously unrealistic independence of new African nations like South Sudan and Eritrea have put many to shame. Ambazonia will not disappoint.
What happens to or becomes of the people of Ambazonia is not for Canada or for a Canadian High Commissioner to determine. It is for Ambazonians alone to decide. There will always be the frequent meddling in the internal affairs of Ambazonia by an American diplomat here and a Canadian diplomat there to preach the territorial integrity of the “one and indivisible Kamerun”. All what Ambazonians need to reply to these provocations is to reaffirm the territorial integrity of Ambazonia. Let Canada bury itself in the shame it suffered when it did not distance itself from England and America over Apartheid in South Africa. Canada is staining its reputation by stepping in and trying to bear the cross in the place of France in Ambazonia. Let the High Commissioner know that Ambazonians will never accept recolonization as their destiny.
Canada has just said how little it cares if Ambazonians are slaughtered in a genocide that seeks to maintain them as a colonized people. Noted! Yet, we will fight on. Even our enemies will learn to respect our determination. That’s how Apartheid was defeated. Our people fought like their existence depended on it… because it sure did.
Our prize is independence. It is non-negotiable. If the Canadian High Commissioner cares to know how realistic it is, let him consider what success Canada would have imposing itself on Quebec after killing tens of thousands of Quebecois in a genocide? Even without the mass slaughters; even without the recolonization; even without the second class citizenship, Quebec deserved what Mr. High Commissioner thinks Ambazonians do not deserve.
The facts are stubborn. Ambazonians voted in an independence plebiscite on 11 February 1961. The United Nations General Assembly voted on 21 April 1961 in support of our independence with Canada voting YES. Under international law, Southern Cameroons independence was secured in the exact same way as that of La Republique du Cameroun. The resolutions for La Republique and for Southern Cameroons have exactly the same force in law. Unless the High Commissioner knows something Ambazonians don’t know.
The fact that La Republuque trampled all over it for 60 years with the support of France does not mean we will allow it to stand much longer. It is not Canadian diplomats going native, covering for France and campaigning for the colonialists in Yaounde that will bring Ambazonians to resign yo a destiny of colonial enslavement.
Ambazonians cannot wish even on our enemy what the Canadian High Commissioner thinks our people should accept. Otherwise, we would like to see Canada admit that its independence is unrealistic simply because their more powerful neighbors to the south (the United States) marched troops across the border, massacred Canadians in a genocide, imposed their way of life and told Canadians to agree that freedom has become unrealistic.
* Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh) is the Spokesperson of the Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC)