Letter of Endorsement: Why Southern Cameroonians must support the Interim Government and SCACUF.
I am Mark Bareta. I come from Bui and Manyu Counties. I speak for and on behalf of my self and my organisation Bareta Media and Communications with BaretaNews as a subsidiary. As an activist and opinion leader, I speak and enjoin you Southern Cameroonians to support the interim government and SCACUF.
Let me take us a little years back. Before the commencement of this struggle in October 2016, we have had several liberation groups fighting for the restoration of Southern Cameroons Independence amongst which it is the SCNC. The SCNC is an offshoot from the All Anglophone Conferences in 1993/1994. The SCNC as a matter of fact represents the legitimate mouth piece of the people of Southern Cameroons. This is why it has stood the test of time. Along the line, many other groups have developed.
While we were growing up, we saw the SCNC as old people who left government jobs and are retired. We saw them as people who are just angry, lacked nothing to do and are just a nuisance. Little did we know that they were speaking the truth. Today, out of the SCNC, other groups have been created and these groups have their members some of them who have been chairmen etc for decades. These groups have their organs and structures and for years they have been doing their best. Most of them have suffered untold injustices and sufferings.
And then in 2016, October, lawyers started a protest. Teachers joined on 27th November 2016. And then the entire Southern Cameroons engulfed and became caught up in the struggle. It is us who said lawyers and teachers must come together and form a group to speak on and on behalf of Southern Cameroons because we said it is the people’s struggle. When Lawyers Union Presidents sat with teachers Union, they formed the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium and created amongst them a steering committee. This committee was presented to us Southern Cameroonians. We accepted it, hailed it and recognised it as the legitimate voice to speak for us. We never for once asked for an election. We recognised it as our own government where we take instructions. Unfortunately, its President and Secretary General were arrested. Other of its members went on exile. The dynamics changes.
When the Consortium chose Tapang and myself as Interim leaders, none of you rejected. You fell behind us as your leaders. You recognised us as the number one person to receive instructions. We were like your Presidents and government where you took orders. As such the struggle continued. When Tassang came back and moved the Consortium to another level, Tapang and myself resisted that change. You the public, Southern Cameroonians made your decision, you said we must go and finally when we resisted, we were sacked on April, 7th 2017. We left the Consortium.
You Southern Cameroonians went on to complain that there are many liberation groups. You said these groups must come together for a purpose and so the groups came together and formed SCACUF. You threw your weight behind SCACUF. The support was overwhelming despite few minority voices.
Again, Southern Cameroonians say, they need a government now to champion the affairs of the state. SCACUF met in its conclave and created an executive Council, Judicial and Legislative arm. These are all organs of a government. SCACUF was very diplomatic. Considering the fact that most of its members are in Nigeria, they cannot be putting on paper that they have elected a government because this will put them against Nigeria. Nigeria has not accepted to host a foreign government. Nigeria still has diplomatic ties with Cameroun. It will be a blunder should SCACUF claimed to have elected a government in Nigeria . But SCACUF did put in place structures of a government and we the people of Southern Cameroons consider that structure and the head of the executive council as the Interim President of Southern Cameroons. It is the people who give legitimacy to its leaders and not a title. So whether you call it what, that structures put in place is the government of Southern Cameroons albeit Interim. So shall it be.
I have taken my time to explain these transformations from the Consortium days up till now to show that it is the people that legitimise the leaders. We are currently legitimising Sessekou Ayuk Julius Tabe and it shall be so. Southern Cameroonians from inception of this struggle have thrown their support within each leadership as the struggle morphed to another level. Yes, elections would be good. I also did called for it but the times does not permit now. The stakes are high.
Today’s struggle is different from yesteryears when we had liberation groups forming governments. No government in the past had received the support this current struggle is showing to its leaders. Most of these groups are made up of friends, family members etc. The situation today is different. We are seeing a grassroots movement from all countries abroad where Southern Cameroonians abide together with those home throwing their support behind the struggle and interim Government. This is why Mola Njoh Litumbe, a senior statesman approves the government and went to the UN to Updates certain divisions there. And most importantly, the SCNC which is the original root and mouthpiece of Southern Cameroons has thrown its unflinching support behind the interim Government and SCACUF.
Acknowledging that we have different views of Southern Cameroonians who reject SCACUF and interim government, I think it is their right to differ and we must accord them that respect. But we will not tolerate sabotage, blackmail in the name of expressing your views to torpedo the activities of the interim government and SCACUF. Those who have divergent views can express them in a manner which does not take the struggle backwards.
That said, I, Mark Bareta, a Southern Cameroonian opinion leader, endorse the interim government and support them fully and wholeheartedly. I am asking all Southern Cameroonians to give the support to His Excellency Sessekou Ayuk Julius, his government and SCACUF. Please, let’s support them as you supported me as an interim leader. Support them as you supported the steering committee of the Consortium and support them because you belief in the ultimate aspiration of Southern Cameroons. They have a lot to do. Let us in our own ways carry out actions that takes the struggle ahead. Fight as if you are alone in the struggle. What’s in a name, group or government by the way?
I also call on the Interim Government to reach out individually to all stakeholders who hold different views. Please reach out to them and express readiness to work. You must find a place for them. At least let it be that you tried and failed. If those who hold different views can’t support you, if they can’t work with you, at least there can be an understandable truce for them to keep doing their own activities without consciously and directly trying to undermine the authority of SCACUF and the interim government.
I have written this on this day the 14th July 2017, freely with the hope that Southern Cameroonians will finally see reasons to stay on the same tract. The Southern Cameroons shall be free.