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Open Letter To Balla, Fontem And Ayah: Because We Know What We Want








Open Letter To Balla, Fontem And Ayah: Because we know what we want.

As Southern Cameroonians or those who call themselves Anglophones, we will all agree that the fundamental issues of the crisis have not been addressed. Francophone judges and magistrates still flood our courts. Francophone teachers still flood our schools. A deep look into the issues raised by the teachers and lawyers will show that nothing concretely has been done. If anything has been done, it is only in words or cosmetics.

We are aware that the killings, abductions of our leaders, Chief Supreme Court Judge and people were never the issues that started this crisis. These issues were only meant to derail and slow the movement down so that instead for us to focus on the real issues, we will be focusing on getting our people out of jails. But God being so kind, for the many months our people were locked up, we combined both. Tapang and Myself took the mantle and that has been transformed and passed over to Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. We continued to push through on the issues which brought the crisis and at the same time we were fighting for the release of our people, the same how we fought for others to be release before the famous December Bamenda meeting with the ad hoc committee.

We will all agree that should we had stayed quiet or should schools had resumed last academic year with our people still in jail, La Republique should have used it as the best opportunity to slam jail terms on Balla, Fontem, Ayah and all others arrested. We know for the fact that La Republique and most especially Biya and Laurent Esso had an axe to grind with Ayah. As a result of our collective resistance and determination, international bodies came in, as a result school resumption kept failing, Ghost Towns intensified even after their numerous marches in Buea, Victoria, Kumba and Bamenda. You will understand the fight the regime did in starting schools while you were jailed but we resisted. Nothing changed, La Republique has now seen that in order to pass a wedge between us so as to see schools resume, the best thing to do will be to release three main leaders and few others while keeping some in jails in Kondengui, SED, Bamenda and Buea. This way, the old hands of 1961 through out Ahidjo era will be replayed while we fight each other and they smile. Yet, again missing the opportunity to restore even the so called two states federation-something which is a taboo to the present regime.

We are aware that Biya’s decision to release our leaders and some is not borne out of good faith nor is it out of the good faith of the governors in Buea and Bamenda who received some of you with crocodile smiles nor was it at the request of CPDM Mayors, senators, parliamentarians and other officials who along the line have shown strong disgusting attitudes towards your persons and the struggle with some like Mayor Ekema calling for death sentences. It is only due to our collective resistance and determination as well as diplomatic offensive which bore the pressure. The visit of Biya’s ministers to the diaspora gave them a bitter lesson. The messages his agents had on the field in Southern Cameroonians were unanimous in response: Free All Arrested, demilitarised our towns and call for a genuine dialogue. Even Bishop Kleda visit to all Anglophone parishes, the messages were same.

We are therefore entering a new academic year, can we sincerely say that anything has change? Can we pinpoint those things that the Government has done to warrant school resumption? Should students just go back to school because few persons have been released and that’s ends it all? Are we thinking that people have been promoted to the next class without any studies or exams? Are we thinking of those who left the Cameroons and are in the exile because of the struggle? These are things we must be thinking and putting into consideration before we call for normalcy. While we are bothering about school resumption, we must not get into an education without the necessary solutions and the biggest picture must be looked at which is restoring our institutions. School shutdown is our biggest non violence power to get this regime on its knees and put them on the dialogue table. We have seen that it can work. We have seen their actions and yes it can work. It is not time to fall back on that.

Therefore, should we allow schools to resume, then we must have sacrificed an opportunity to make Southern Cameroons, West Cameroon, Anglophone Cameroon or whatever you call it restore her place in West or Central Africa. Should schools resume, then we must have sacrificed Mancho and all those in jail because we know it very well that by September 28th when their case comes up, it will be postpone again and again until things are ok with eventual jail terms on them. We know these truths. We must therefore apply the wisdom of all for one and one for all knowing that should we had allowed schools to resume last academic year or stopped Ghost Towns and anything to do with the struggle, then all those who are released today could have stayed in jail because as La Republique termed all of you as terrorists, it should have been a better opportunity to nail all those abducted to set an example. Thus, we must also stand for Mancho and others NOW without any iota of doubts until all are out with eventual dialogue.

My special call to Barrister Balla and Dr. Fontem who are the two Consortium leaders released is that they should take some time off and do a deep reflection. They must have a deep reflection on what caused them to start this struggle in the first place. They must have a deep reflection on why they formed the Consortium. They must have a deep reflection on the sacrifices the people of Southern Cameroons have made and they must have a deep reflection if sincerely at this point in time, they can in few years ahead look back to history and said ” Yes, I did it. I contributed in making great change in the Cameroons”. They must look back at their 14th January 2017 communique which says all must be released unconditionally and referendum called. They must ask themselves if all have been released as of now. They must ask themselves if those missing are accounted for. They must ask themselves if the government is ready for dialogue to discuss the root causes of the problem as the United Nations recommended. They must ask themselves if they look around now, they will truly see anything that the government has done. They must look across Southern Cameroons to see if the streets are without military, if daily abductions have stopped. They must ask themselves if they can truly talk on behalf of the Consortium since it remains banned ? They must ask themselves if it is not yet time to call on Government to uplift the ban of the Consortium so that they can take their rightful places. They must ask themselves if truly this regime wants to dialogue and dialogue with who since the Consortium is banned as well as all lawyers association remained banned. They must ask themselves the road the struggle has taken since they were jailed and reconciled themselves with development. They must give an eye to their colleagues in exile. They must ask themselves if they have to put the people of “West Cameroon” first or the state of Cameroun first. They must ask themselves if those colonial administrators who received them including some lecturers, mayor of Buea etc really wanted them out. These are the questions, I am expecting Barrister Balla and Dr. Fontem to reflect and answer before making their first official public statement because as our leaders the people are expecting to hear from them and what they think at this stage.

As for Chief Justice Ayah, he must ask himself if ten state Federation which he was preaching as his position before jail is even worth it anymore. The judge must come out strong after enough rest and medical check up to share in the development of our struggle. The judge must take steps to sue the state for illegal detention. What contributions will the judge bring hence after being released? The judge will be the one to answer this as we look upon him in the days ahead as our most senior Southern Cameroons Judge.

And whatsoever they will say will determine their relationship with the people of Southern Cameroons and the state of Cameroun. It is a difficult time and choice but God has given you people the grace to lead for we are with you. I will advise those released and our leaders to take some few days off, have some good rest, take up private medical check up then come back to talk to your people who cried, wept and fought for you till released. It is not over yet. Make no hasty interviews, statements etc which will come back at you or weaken or divide the people. We call for tact and wisdom in whatever you say, or pronounce. You must reflect on all what I have written above, for I have done it with love, respect for our leaders, people and Southern Cameroons state.

On our part, our released leaders must be aware that, we have taken the commitment to continue the struggle to see Mancho and the rest out because we know that if we relax now, it is over for Mancho. Our leaders must understand that it is because of these, we are pushing forth for no school resumption come Monday and Intensification of Ghost Towns until all are out and genuine dialogue called.

Thank You.

Mark Bareta
Soban, 1997 Batch
From Manyu and Bui Counties
Southern Cameroons Activist
Founder and CEO, Bareta Media And Communications
CEO BaretaNews.

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  1. George

    September 1, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    Mark you said it. The released leaders shall wait some time reflect and most important go into consultation with others in Ambazonia and in exile. In the meantime NO SCHOOL RESUMPTION. We need to keep the pressure on Biya and his regime. Nothing is won. Nothing has changed. La Republique is still playing games with us. MANCHO AND THE OTHERS SHALL BE FREE.

  2. Pompidou Mensah

    September 1, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    Excellent analysis and advice to our released heroes. My advice while resting and recovering, read the struggles of the GREAT DR MARTIN LUTHER KING and other great civil leaders of our time. They never faltered, they stayed with their base through all kinds of danger. Look at the greater good of the future for you and Ambazonia. Our citizens are the brightest, most honest and hardworking on the continent. A few crumbs from biya will not cut it. This buffoon has taken our kindness, intellect for a joke. The joke is on this “bush monkey eating bastard”. FULL INDEPENDENCE!!!!

  3. Charles

    September 1, 2017 at 10:35 PM

    With what great insight has BaraMark outlined the issues at stake to our heroes. They must understand that we never doubted for once in our power of unity. We stood as one man a resisted the enemy, we managed our differences in the favor of our detained heroes, now dat they are out, we expect them to lead us to total victory until we sing songs of liberation and victory in our new Country’s headquarters buea the town of legendary hospitality . All for one, one for all… Aluta continua. Victoria es certa. In God we trust……

  4. Fotoh Paul Ebong

    September 1, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    Mark just like Chris Anu, just like Mbah John, you said it all.
    The various grievances of teachers, lawyers, byam sellam.. have culminated into the ROOT CAUSE of all grievances commonly called the Southern Cameroon/Ambazonian problem which started a long time ago. The solution to this can not be given by La republic nor its government. The people of Southern Cameroon needs to take back their rights to self determination. The struggle has taken several stages and we are at the stage of self governance through an exiled interim government. NO one is allowed as of now to even think of representing a faction of Southern Cameroonian infront of la republic. We have come of age and we are a body, a people, a culture. Its high time we text, call, use all the means we can to make sure our people are resolute and strong in the struggle.
    I would have loved the released leaders to refuse being released alone without the others but I could not have decided for them because I do not how much suffering they have undergone.
    Now the governing council should immediately establish a procedure to collect all facts from the released and file in a case against la republic. All interviews should be published and the world must know what we the people of Ambazonia are going through. ITS TIME TO STEP UP THE GAME MY PEOPLE.

  5. Bill Ballard

    September 1, 2017 at 11:02 PM


    Thanks for putting it succinctly. Please go further and pass this message directly to Balla, Fontem and Ayah. You have their ears. Let them think about their legacies for they stand at a major crossroad in history. Their next moves will either make them or break them. If they support us who fought to get them out, their stars will forever shine. If they falter and try to please Colonial Yaounde (love that name!), we will move on without them, and move one, we will.

    Another favor: can you please write an article asking all true ‘Anglophones’ to stop calling themselves ‘Anglophones’ and start calling themselves Southern Cameroonians? Issa Tchiroma’s kids may call themselves Anglophones, but they’ll never be Southern Cameroonians. It was never an ‘Anglophone’ problem. It was always a Southern Cameroons problem – and all these years we failed to see how the Colonial Master made us forget our name.

    Thank you for your service to Southern Cameroons.

  6. Pascal

    September 2, 2017 at 2:21 AM

    Bara Mark, It’s with profound joy that I read through this clear and outstanding letter written to our released heroes from the cells of LA Republic. None could have said it better . like Martin Luther to his fellow black community all is set, the ball is in the court of those who are regaining grounds to join our restoration and winning struggle.
    I know Biya and his team should have stocked champagne to jubilation since they know they are on the top of the mountain and just ruled down the snow ball to gather momentum at the mountains foot. But let them know that S.Cameroonians terrain in very stony rought at moment. They might not even get the initial piece they had in hand.
    To our dear leaders from LA Republic jail. We know what the Biya regime is capable of doing. It happened to people like Pius njawe, lapiro de Mbaga,the unfounded brothers kidnapped on the same course and of recent the Bishop not forgetting a host more of others .You require a good time for rest and thorough medical control out of the Cameron’s after that is done, We humbly crave on behalf of all for one and one for all, you join the winning team as participants not leaders as much has been done in your absence. Fear not your positions will be given with due time. God bless southern Cameron’s

  7. Atem Bakia

    September 2, 2017 at 2:26 AM

    Bill thank you for correcting the treacherous Mark again about calling us Anglophones. I swear, Mark must truly be an anglophone like Tapang and has at least one grain of La Republic blood.

    By the way, restoration should still happen as planned.

    I hate LRC and everything or person made out of it.

    Watching Nigeria trashed cameroun 4-0 actually convinced me that I do not feel camerounian. The cameroun players looked like foreigners to me, while the Nigerians felt like my brothers.

    I hope Nigeria double the score in 3 days time.

    If any of the leaders call for anything short of total independence, they would be speaking for themselves and will be welcomed to cross the Mungo on their own free accord and because citizens of LRC and they should feel free to take Mark, Tapang, Munzu, Eric Chinje, Benjamin Itoe and all the other anglophones along and us Ambazonians in our ancestral country..

  8. Anonymous

    September 2, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    atem bakia, I appreciate your quest for southern Cameroons freedom but try avoiding hate speech. there is no doubt Southern Cameroons will have its independence. but its not out of hatred that ambazonia want its independence not because of hatred of francophones. its my prayer that they prosper as well and that they should use Ambazonia independence as an opportunity for growth and development of their country Cameroun. but note this in these course of independence any one who betrays will immediately become irrelevant because its a Divine course not canal. so avoid inciting hatred for the leaders or LRC. all Ambazonians want is freedom

  9. William

    September 2, 2017 at 4:57 PM


    “School shutdown is our biggest non violence power to get this regime on its knees and put them on the dialogue table”
    Do you know the group this is affecting? our CHILDREN’S are in Europe or US free and you can attend school or go to work as you wish and then we should suffer back at home because you are fighting for a cause? Did the Martin Luther or any successful freedom fighter you have ever read run away from where the fight was taking place?
    from your write-up I am confuse if your stance is to adhere to the demands of judges, English teachers etc… or Independence. you see it’s this confusion people don’t see all this.
    Mark let’s be sincere where have we seen independence granted to a state only with dialogue? I know you will te me Ghana had no school for 2years or Nigeria but what I will say is that those countries were not fighting for independence but for social and economic amenities to be equal in distribution. when you want to talk of restoration or Independence or whatever you want to call it,take a long look at Southern Sudan. be Frank to your states gives independence like that to a people. because there is no time frame for this your struggle. it does not affect you directly but us who are here and can’t go to work for 3days because you said so or our children not going to school.
    Also the government will grant your request as they come but when you keep changing stance I am not part of it. this fight has changed it cause because pf power mongers and people want to feed their interest.
    You say the released leaders should take some time off!that just shows your new so called President of Ayuk wants to cling to power. and I said this earlier in a revolution as you claim this to be,natural leaders lead not ELECTED. God have mercy on us on what is going to happen next.because I will tell you. it’s fight for power within your inner circle.
    Anyways apart from passing on hate messages, try and be truthful to your people.we understand you are there to help but please be just and see things from the right angle!
    I have said my own!!!!

    • Pascal

      September 2, 2017 at 5:17 PM

      You are all over the place William. Take a pen and paper write out what message you want the public to know. We are aware a few nonchalant detractors will surface like you but be constructive in your disorder.
      S.Cameroonians are bigger than your little propaganda. Wakeup from slumber, from your writing I know you still in bed .

  10. SAA

    September 3, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    It is important that all of the released leaders should have an immediate plan of getting together with the rest of freedom fighters either in Nigeria or South Africa and to chart a way forward else the mindless dirty hyenas in the names of Fru Ndi, Mussonge and the rest will take advantage of the release these people to position themselves as speakers for our people. Southern Cameroonians/Ambazonians are itching for directions and information at this moment and not much seem to be coming from SCACUF spokesperson or whoever. The Southern Cameroonians/Ambazonians liberation struggle must not only be reactionary but also a times proactive, in other words not only being defensive. We should not only sit and wait for LRC to act first while we give ourselves break only to react much later.

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