The Southern Cameroons Bar Foundation
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America
Our Reference: SCBA/PR/001/08/2017
Response Press Release
Early this afternoon I received a voice message being a radio broadcast of a Press Release under the hand of the “Minister Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroun, Mr. Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh dated August 30, 2017. I later on received a print copy of the same message and this was immediately followed by an avalanche of euphoric celebrations amongst Southern Cameroonians in the Social Media.
I have taken time to do a quick review of the Press Release which bears in its very first paragraph the information that the discontinuance of the proceedings pending before the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé against Southern Cameroonians for a cumulative period of 195days as of date!
My reaction to the above referred Press Release coming from the Presidency of the Cameroun Republic is mixed, and prompts me to caution against yet another deception or bait being set before our people of Southern Cameroons. I am proceeding in the next paragraphs to make observations on the content and timing of the infamous Press Release in discharge of the duty of the Southern Cameroons Bar towards Southern Cameroonians as concerns the law and their rights interpreted within the context of the ongoing Southern Cameroons independence restoration crisis.
a. The Secretary General cites the President of the Cameroun Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya, as having today “ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before the Yaoundé Military Tribunal… against NKONGHO Felix AGBOR, FONTEM AFORTEKA’A NEBA, Paul AYAH ABINE and some other persons in relation to violence committed in recent months in the North West, and South West, Regions”.
i. The first thing that makes the Press release suspect is that while referring to an order of the President the serial number of the order and its date have not been released, rendering the reference to be more of a conjecture than any real order. This opens the flood gates of unreliability of the foundation of the Press Release.
ii. The second untruth and flaw in the very first paragraph of the Press Release is the idea of “discontinuance of proceedings pending before the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé against NKONGHO Felix AGBOR, FONTEM AFORTEKA’A NEBA, Paul AYAH ABINE …” To the best of my recollections the three principal parties first charged before the said Military Tribunal were NKONGHO Felix AGBOR, FONTEM AFORTEKA’A NEBA, and MANCHO Bibixy. There is a legitimate concern over the exclusion of MANCHO Bibixy’s name from the Press Release, without more.
iii. The third thing that jolts the mind in the first paragraph of the infamous Press Release is the application of the phrase “…discontinuance of proceedings…” to Paul AYAH ABINE. It is so fresh in not only my mind, but that of every concerned person in the world, that Justice Paul AYAH ABINE has never been charged nor any form of proceedings commenced against him before any court, talk less of in the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé! Rather, it is Justice Paul AYAH ABINE who introduced an Habeas Corpus Petition questioning his illegal arrest, and incarceration without charge!
iv. The fourth point of interest in the very first paragraph of the Press Release under review is the reference to “…some other persons…” It does not sound right to me that, with the criminal justice apparatus at the disposal of the State of Cameroon for keeping record and statistics of suspects, arrest, through trial, that the almighty presidency under whose authority the arrest, detention and initiation of criminal proceedings took place, there is a sudden incapacity for recollection of the exact figure of detainees that the Gaullist regime of Yaoundé abducted from Southern Cameroon and ferried over for trial and more… in the security of their territorial jurisdiction.
v. I do however have a guess why the Cameroun Government would avoid figures and prefer to refer to “…some other persons…” It arises from the fact that by conservative estimate not less than 500 youths have since November 8, 2016 till date been abducted from Southern Cameroons (Their North West and South West Regions) and taken away, some to Yaoundé and others to nowhere, by which I mean disappeared like they tried and failed with Bishop Balla of Bafia.
b. Paragraph two of the Press Lease calls for an attention to the rationale of the Press Release. It seeks to provide justification for the “…discontinuance of proceedings…” by claiming that the action “…is in line with numerous measures already taken to address concerns voiced by people of the two regions…”, and awkwardly putting it as a disposition stemming from “…the Head of State’s firm resolve to continuously explore ways and means of seeking a peaceful solution to crises, through tolerance, dialogue and humanism.”
i. The very first point of interest in the second paragraph of the Press release is that it seeks to provide justification for the apparent magnanimity of President Paul Biya’s disguised Presidential pardon. This in fact is kind of skewed because the reality is that the campaign unleashed against the abduction and incarceration of the Southern Cameroons citizens has actually facilitated the melting away of the cosmetic cover-up of the illegal occupation of Southern Cameroons and the recolonization of her people for the past more than 56 years. Despite the bribery and corruption ridden international conspiracy against Southern Cameroons, the baselessness of the intimidatory act of abduction, arrests, tortures meted out on the folks sought to be “pardoned” now, gravely exposed the anti-Southern Cameroons ugly criminal recolonization.
ii. The Minister-Secretary General Ngoh Ngoh of Cameroun Republic’s Presidency alleges that numerous measures already taken to address concerns voiced by people of the two regions i.e. the peoples of the illegally split territory of Southern Cameroons, in mischievous avoidance of the proper characterization of the crisis as one for the restoration of Southern Cameroons’ compromised independence or re-decolonization. Clearly, language is politically abused here by the deliberate linguistic denaturing of the name of the country of the sovereign nation of Southern Cameroons from Ahidjo’s idea of “West Cameroon” followed by Paul Biya’s continuing engineered mutation into North West and South West Regions of the Cameroon Republic without a preceding and adjusting “ACT of UNION” bringing and integrating Southern Cameroons into the Cameroun Republic.
iii. The third element worth noting in the second paragraph of Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh’s Press Release is the shameless spinning of President Paul Biya’s characteristic and recurrent rhetoric where of talking without effectively committing, laced with brazen lying.
This is the same Head of State that has since the Southern Cameroons Lawyers and Teachers began their strike before being joined by the rest of the Southern Cameroonians has never made a statement in the direction of responding to the complaints of the subjugated Southern Cameroonians and today the Secretary General of his Presidency qualifies him as one who has continuously been exploring ways and means of seeking a peaceful solution to crises.
Really, can it even be said that a government which abducts unarmed peacefully demonstrating civilians and charging them on trumped up charges of treason and terrorism before a military tribunal, while some abductees are simply disappeared, be said to have been seeking a peaceful resolution of a crisis his government has no moral courage to call by its proper name?
Who is the dumbest historian or Lawyer who can accept that the problem between President Biya Cameroun Republic and the Southern Cameroons is not one of illegal occupation of another country against the moist basic of international laws that aim at guaranteeing world peace? My answer would be a big “NON-EXISTS”.
iv. Curiously, Minister Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh underscores the phanthomed justification of President Paul Biya’s supposed magnanimity as driven by virtues of tolerance, dialogue and humanism. Virtues attributable to Mr. Paul Biya indeed! This is the same person who sent out Defense and Security forces to abduct, maim, and kill unarmed civilian Southern Cameroonians raising their voices with bare hands against a plus 56years colonization of a sister African country. Was that a display of tolerance, openness to dialogue and humanism? How sad people can shamelessly lie from high places!
v. The allusion to the virtues of tolerance and dialogue both run against the current of the actual conduct of President Paul Biya on Southern Cameroonians which clearly bear unbridled intolerance and crystalized indisposition to dialogue. If the maiming, extra-judicial executions, assassinations do not fall within the objectionable list of a man, how can he be accorded the virtue of humanism.
This is not a simplistic abuse of language, but worse than that, it is the epitome of hypocrisy for the most unfortunate political exigency -criminal denial of another peoples’ national identity with the use of force.
C. The Third Paragraph of the Infamous Press Release marks the negation of what it unsuccessfully posed to achieve in its first two paragraphs. The key elements of the thesis of this assessment run thus:
i. I like to first of all pick on the inferred characterization of Southern Cameroonians as “…enemies of peace and progress; champions of division and criminals of all kinds…”. No sane Head of State or member of any well-meaning establishment of a country will describe fellow human beings whether they be his citizens or those of another country in the above terms. It does not stop at the negative characterization of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
ii. The release goes further to levy unfounded accusation the colonized and subjugated people of Southern Cameroons who have risen up like one man to say no to further colonization and dehumanization are a threat to the future of “…our country and … that of our youths.” By necessary implication, the citizens of President Paul Biya’s Cameroun are being pitted against Southern Cameroonians as if the two peoples belong to the same nation but Southern Cameroonians are the inferior component.
iii. The armless defiance of Southern Cameroonians is characterized as a “… guise of political demands…”, as if it is not a politically right action to defy an occupier and an oppressor.
iv. The paragraph promises with a threat of bringing the defiant Southern Cameroonians “…before the courts.”, just as the Southern Cameroons leaders and follows now being feigned to be granted pardon were abducted detained for 195days without trial. For all intents and purposes this promise of abuse of court processes against a colonized people of Southern Cameroons translates to a judicial version of the torture method of water boarding.
D. The Fourth and concluding Paragraph of the obnoxious Press release seals the evil of an unrepentant cabal against an innocently persecuted people of Southern Cameroons.
i. The Cameroun Penal Code and the Laws regulating Military Justice are both replete with provisions which prohibit and punish the acts that since November 8, 2016, have been perpetrated against Southern Cameroons Professionals and ordinary citizens. The members of the Southern Cameroons Bar Association, through their Leadership did from October 6, 2016 petition President Paul Biya against the unconscionable brutalities on her members perpetrated by the Defense and security Forces believing that these forces were acting over-zealously. It is now evident from the Head of State’s commendation of these same forces that they had all along acted on their master’s orders by executing their duties as instructed.
ii. The Release goes further in its last paragraph to incite a hate wave against Southern Cameroonians, from the citizens of the Cameroun Republic. It tries to impress upon them that it is necessary to hate the Southern Cameroonians and support their subjugation rather than sympathize with them and raise voices against their treatment as we have witnessed it developing timidly in the last couple of weeks.
iii. In fact, by alluding to the need for the citizens of the Cameroun republic to “…ensure that our country (meaning their Cameroun) remains a land of peace, stability, concord and progress.” Those citizens of the Cameroun Republic are actually being told not to be fools in sympathizing with us when the peace, stability, concord and progress in every human development dimension is financed with the wealth being exploited from Southern Cameroons.
From the foregoing analysis and unveiling of the deception of the unrepentant government of the Cameroun Republic, it is opportune top caution the reception of the obnoxious Press Release on the following grounds:
a. Southern Cameroonians must make no mistake by submitting to an illegal and historically incorrect characterization of who we are. There has never been an ACT of UNION constructing our country Southern Cameroons as a part of the Cameroun Republic headed successively by the Late Ahmadou Ahidjo and for the last more than 34 years, Mr. Paul Biya Bathelemy Bi Nvondo;
b. Our Colleagues and Compatriots, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla and co committed no offence to warrant abduction, incarceration and dehumanization for 195 days as of date;
c. The dropping discontinuance of proceedings before the military Tribunal of Yaoundé against them is of no legal moment, it is neither a Nolle Prosequi nor finding of not guilty. There is therefore no guarantee of their future pursuit so long as our nation is not restored;
d. If it is a recognition of an error on the part of Mr. Paul Biya and his Government, it must be accompanied by an unqualified apology and due compensation;
e. Even though “discontinuance of proceedings” does not automatically translate to release, if release has to follow it must be accompanied by an internationally supervised by a duly qualified and independent health team which I suggest should come from International red; Cross Society;
f. The avoidance of clear statistics of how many persons were arrested, detained, forced to disappear of purely and simply extra-judicially executed is a matter that raises concern. It is suggested that there must be a census from point of arrest or abduction to the point of release so as to ensure accountability;
g. To secure finality of a solution to the atrocities perpetrated on the citizens of the Cameroun republic headed by Mr. Paul Biya Bathelemy Bi Nvondo for the last over 34 years adding to El Hadj Ahmadou Ahidjo’s earlier 21years, United Nations and Great Britain should be invited to assume their responsibility by returning to Southern Cameroons and ending the United Nations-British Trusteeship over Southern Cameroons that had to end at mid-night on September 30, 1961 but was compromised through an international conspiracy, without porejudice to reparation for the damage suffered through resource pillage and continuous human rights violations of Southern Cameroonians for now over 56years!
Silver Spring Maryland U.S.A.