TIBOR, “MINI STATES” ARE EVERYWHERE
By RAY TIMAH, Southern Cameroons Political Scientist
I have no issues with the outing of Mr. Tibor Nagy, US Secretary of State For Africa except for his mentioning of the need to avoid the creation of more “Mini State” in Africa. By that, it is fair for anybody to assert that his position is influence by the size of Southern Cameroons and not the legality or legitimacy of the independence quest. Citing a predictable poverty and foreign aid burden as a tenet for “mini States” even makes it clearer, that the respectable diplomat cast the wrong dice.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the prolific diplomat, but his statement is weak by all ramifications. Is like asking a woman in the hearing of her violent husband, to remain in an abusive marriage because of the existence of poverty among divorcee. This is more of a free boxing license awarded to the beast of a husband to strangle the wife since poverty and debt burden awaits her exit.
WHAT NAGY FORGOT
Just a quick reminder, the Mini State he cited (Southern Cameroons) was the first to have a free, fair and transparent Election in Africa, where an opposition won and came to power through a peaceful transition. In essence, we are not struggling to create a mini-state, we are restoring a State whose people had embrace and manifested democratic principles even before the so-called “LARGE STATES”.
The restoration of our statehood is an act of restorative justice and justice is not granted by looking at the height, weight or shape of a man, it is granted base on the provision of facts, within a framework of established principles that exposes the TRUTH. If size was a standard variable, then, Kosovo would’ve been left to perish. Or if “Mini State” is a hallmark of Poverty and foreign aid, then a Macro State like Nigeria would’ve been free from poverty, while Swaziland would’ve been in penury. I think his statement is not logical and falls short of any moral and legal argument even within the context of US Foreign policy. Take for instance…
MINI STATE ARGUMENT VIS-A-VIS SOUTHERN CAMEROONS.
In 1947, the State of Palau became a UN trust territory under the administrative authority of the United States of America, just as British Southern Cameroons was a trust territory under the authority of the British. Palau who shares maritime boundaries with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Micronesia, was persuaded to Join the Federated State of Micronesia in the 1975 UN-sponsored referendum.
Unlike British Southern Cameroons who were cornered with 2 disastrous choices, the people of Palau and the Trust Pacific Island States were given 6 open options to choose
3) Free Association
5) To retain the current status
6) Another Status.
Palau rejected the move to vote for independence and form the Federated State of Micronesia which was a combination of other pacific Island States under the Trusteeship.
The vast majority of Palauans argued that any attempt by the US or the UN to push Palau to join the other pacific island state and form the Federated State of Micronesia was a violation of article 76 sub 1b of the UN charter which reads…
“The basic objectives of the trusteeship system shall be: To promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement”
They voted to maintain the current Trusteeship Status and later file for Self government in a compact with the US. 4 referendums to seal the Compact agreement was rejected by Palau and the 5th was successful.
The US respected their right to decide as a people without taking into consideration the size of landmass or population. UN #Resolution 683 of 1990 as (seen on the shot below) didn’t discriminate against the size and patiently waited for them to make their decision. And in 1994 Palau became a sovereign State and was admitted into the United Nations on the 15th Dec 1994 as the Republic of Palau.
WHAT IS THE SIZE OF PALAU.
The Republic of Palau has a population of about 22.000 people as per the world bank report of 2019 which is about 20 times less than the Population of Buea. Palau has a capital city that has a population of about 316 people.
The surface area of the Republic of Palau is about 466 square kilometers which are almost half the size of the Buea Municipality with a surface area of 780 km r square. Not just Palau, the combination of Maldive, Micronesia, Mariana island and the Republic of Paula is not up 1.5 million people. Even the total landmass of the above mentioned UN member states cant equate that of Southern Cameroons.
The population of Seychelles(97,000), Sao Tome and Principe(194,000), Cape Verde (525000), Djibouti(961,000), Swaziland(111,900), Mauritius(1263000) put together does not amount to the population of Southern Cameroons. Botswana with a population of about 2.3 m people is doing great.
The funniest part is that Nagy is asking a former class B trust territory to grant decentralization to another former class B territory. As a people, we have accepted all forms of insults, but we shall define our self. Whether Nagy was speaking with a diplomatic tongue or not, only Southern Cameroonians will decide their fate. #collaborate and you will listen to the twist of many tongues.