Of Southern Cameroons Struggle And Conditional Release: A Mark Bareta’s Opinion.
Over the last days, the Southern Cameroons Internetosphere has been washed with the news that the outlawed Consortium leaders Barrister Balla and Dr. Fontem shall be Released conditionally. Though we have not heard from their lawyers directly, the people of Southern Cameroons based their reactions on Ashu Nyenty’s declaration over the state radio CRTV wherein he explained what a Conditional Release will mean for this two leaders. We do not yet know if the lawyers have engaged in any such negotiations or if they are going to accept such conditional bail come 7th June, 2017.
Considering the fact that every Southern Cameroonian is emotionally attached to this struggle, their reactions over such a News is understandable and welcome. We do not expect people to fold their arms and not debate such. Debating is part of the Anglo Saxon culture. However, it should be recalled that there is none who will not want to see our leaders out. Staying in jail is never a good thing. This morning, Mr. Chris Anu of the Cameroon Journal, sent out an editorial why Balla and Fontem must reject any Conditional Release and public opinion agrees that releasing any of them conditionally will be bad not only to themselves but also to those in jail.
It should also be recalled that the ban on the outlawed Consortium has not been reversed. The Cameroun Government as of the 17th January, 2017 considers the Consortium illegal through it ban. Should the Consortium leaders be out Conditionally, they won’t be able to assume their role of the consortium. Conditional release will subscribe to judicial supervision which is like a house arrest.
We cannot really start throwing stones on this or on our leaders because the lawyers of our leaders have not spoken and we do not yet know the conditions. Be it as it may, we the people of Southern Cameroons, political figures, international organisations and bodies have all called for the unconditional release of our leaders. This is so because they were and are not criminals. Our leaders must not should La Republique gives such conditions loose the power in them. Whatever conditions accepted must be that which put the people of Southern Cameroons first.
I know it is difficult to accept because these leaders have families and their own self to take care off but he who put his/her hands in the plough must not be ready to look back. Before we engaged in this struggle we knew the repressive nature of the Cameroun regime. The Lawyers and teachers who started this revolution in 2016 knew the type of Government we are dealing with. Before the consortium leaders called for ghost towns, two states federation, boycotts of 11th February and 20th May, they knew the repressive nature of the regime. Before Mancho went out with the coffin, he knew the repressive nature of the regime. Before Ayah was talking and preaching he knew. None of our leaders were taken by surprise. They knew the nature of this regime and I guess it is something they should be prepared because they carry now the weight of former British Southern Cameroons. It was not going to be easy. Yes, they knew what they were getting into.
No one man is more than the aspirations of Southern Cameroons and the people shall not accept any compromise from any leader or leaders who sort to take us back to the collapsed status quo. The Southern Cameroons people shall not also accept the release of few while others remain in jail. This is a song we have been singing for months. The news flying over the internet that few will be bailed out because of a known abode, profession or respected people of the society is aching to the marrow. We are not fools. Before La Republique arrested our people and charged them as terrorists, didn’t they know they were and are respected people in the society? Are the “commoners” in jail not known by their abode, professions etc? Therefore, our mantra that all must be released must continue. The release of few and others in jail will solve nothing and no one will hear from those released if they don’t speak the language of the people.
This struggle is not a child’s play and any leader or front line activists engaging in this must have known that it is not for fun or popularity contest. It is DO or Die something. I, Mark Bareta earlier declared that I have killed all emotional, psychological, spiritual, sexual , financial etc attachments as such I am fully engage into this struggle in such a way that only death will stop me from this struggle. I am aware that I can be killed tomorrow, arrested etc. I know I have sacrificed my going home to the Cameroons until restoration and therefore I have no regrets. Yes, I knew what I was getting into, therefore all front line leaders and activists must understand the danger they are into against an organised criminal state of La Republique. We have collectively lived as prisoners for 56 years under the bondage of La Republique. We must break the chain now.
Therefore, as we push for other issues to take the struggle ahead, our only major concern now is fighting for the unconditional release of all our people in jail and not some conditional release of a selected few. A Conditional Release is worse than prison in itself. It gives more talking points to La Republique and condemns the rest in jail as criminals. The rest who are in there because they listened to the directives of the consortium leaders.
The people of Southern Cameroons are not expecting to receive their leaders who will come out and be mute. We expect our leaders to come out and continue where they stopped. It could be in the form of dialogue, meetings, tours and social media activism that’s why they must be released unconditionally. We don’t want to see a leader released conditionally and can’t even give a press interview. Such a leader does not promote the struggle in anyway. We should have known what took us into this thing and be prepared to take it to the logical end.
Also, the arguments by some that people who are against their conditional release should replace them in jail is so childish and weak minded. Everyone whether home or abroad and even the unborn have a role to play. Distance has never been a barrier. We are separated by rivers and oceans but bonded by a common vision to see a free Southern Cameroons. The strike didn’t meet us in Southern Cameroons and we ran abroad. This strike met us at our respective destinations and we embraced it fully. For those who escaped police arrest and went to Nigeria or USA was a tactical move to not have killed the struggle and while out we still see their huge contributions. We are called upon to play our role in the struggle whether home or abroad and we must put the people’s interest first.
There is no turning back. No forgiveness for anyone who will compromise this winning struggle.
Freedom Ghost Towns continue Monday 29th, May 2017.
This is Mark Bareta, From Bui County and I approve this message.