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Of Defense Lawyers Press Statement And A Metamorphosed Strike Action



Amidst the ongoing crisis plaguing Southern Cameroons for almost seven months now, the defence lawyers of detained Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr Fontem Neba, Barrister Abadem Walters, and Mancho Bibixy, have issued a press statement for national and international public opinion. The Press Release followed the April 13th press statement from the visiting UN representative to Cameroon. They noted some penitent issues which are embedded among the grievances raised by Southern Cameroonians such as the many persons arrested and detained, those forced into exile, fearing for their lives and deprivation of internet in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

Also, they mentioned the fact that several negotiations have taken place though they ended in a deadlock because a consensus could not be arrived at. The team of lawyers acknowledged the various mediations initiated by national and international actors with the desire to bring lasting solutions to the crisis. Emphasis was also laid on the mediation initiated by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Africa, Ambassador Francois Lounceny, during his visit to Cameroon on April 11th, 2017. The high-level personality whose visit was greatly applauded by Southern Cameroonians held discussions with Barrister Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy at the Yaounde central prison.

In view of this, the team of lawyers headed by Barrister Akere Muna noted that the measures announced in a 30th March 2017 Press briefing by the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, the government should respond with keen interest to the grievances raised by the Anglophone Lawyers. They expressed the desire that these measures announced by the government should be executed to the later.

However, BaretaNews took notice of the fact that the strike action has metamorphosed into a national cry for the restoration of the statehood of Southern Cameroons. Any short term solutions meant to address the lawyers and teachers grievances without looking into the form of the current “union” will be likened to postponing the strike action for another day and from all indications, it will be resisted by the people of Southern Cameroons.

Furthermore, the team of lawyers distanced themselves from the press statement made by the president of the Cameroon Bar Council on April 9th 217. They emphasized that his decisions were made without due consultations with the team of defense lawyers and the detainees. On this note, they express disappointment that the Bar President did not mention anything regarding the lawyers in detention and those in exile which on a normal basis should have been a top priority.

They equally added that the government should continue to device progressive measures that will bring lasting solutions to the crisis. They demanded the release of all peoples arrested and detained and to guarantee the safe return of those in self-exile. Meanwhile, upon the release of the accused persons in detention, the team assured the willingness of them to work towards the progressive resumption of activities in the two regions within a framework of constructive dialogue that will bring lasting solutions to the root causes of the crisis.

It is the position of BaretaNews as one of the leading voices of Southern Cameroons media that any return of normalcy will only involve dialogue between the state of Cameroon, representative of Southern Cameroons Leadership and a third party (UN or AU) so that this matter is settled peacefully once and for all. However, the release of the detainees could kick start the convening of an All Anglophone Dialogue Forum as originally indicated by the Consortium to laid ground works and a team for better dialogue with the government of La Republique.

Stay Tuned With BaretaNews.

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