Deacon TASSANG Wilfred
Prison Principale, Kondengui,
The legitimate struggle for justice and statehood restoration of the former British Southern Cameroons did not start with the teachers’ and lawyers’ strikes of 2016; the same has been evident and seething for more than 35years today. From its inception, the struggle as conceived by the father of Ambazonia, HRM Barrister Gorji Dinka was intended to be the most civil and civilized quest for self-determination in the history of nationalism.
When the AAC/ CAM, SCNC, SCAPO stepped in, all of these reaffirmed our people’s determination to use the verb and no other weapon to articulate our cause; “The Force of Argument; not the Argument of Force” is the battle cry of our quest for statehood, and this is still true even whilst our communities are being burnt, our children denied education, our parents, children slaughtered, our daughters raped etc. So how did we get to this situation and who is to blame?
The history of the former British Southern Cameroons leaves no room for doubt as to who did not do their job well, leading to the botched decolonization of the Southern Cameroons in 1961. The none respect of the UN Charter and other international instruments of the same organization spelling out the rights of peoples. These include the right to statehood, the right to self-determination, the right to self-defense, etc. Why is it that this equation was not solved many years back whilst Southern Cameroonian leaders paraded international diplomatic corridors carrying files and relying on two weapons only; the VERB and the LAW? Is not the international community directly responsible for the present carnage and genocide going on in Ambazonia seeing they had all the time to do so?
Ambazonia, following are your rights, carefully enshrined in the statutes that matter to us the most; the African Charter on Human and People’s rights.
All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another. (Were the provisions of this article to be effective only against white colonial masters and not against fellow African oppressors and colonisers?)
- All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen. (Were existence and self-determination to end with decolonization? Even if this were true, the UN has not ended decolonization, especially, not in the case of the British Southern Cameroons. And did not the Banjul Court in 2009 rule that the Southern Cameroons are a people?)
- Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community. (Note that in spite of the fact that international instruments grant us even the right to use arms to assert and enforce our independence, the Southern Cameroons has not done so. We are not the aggressors here, our oppressor is.)
- All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of State Parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural. (Yet, it is on record that Nigeria refused us the opportunity to make use of this provision; that was what happened when she refused to respect the Abuja High Court ruling of 2002, ordering her government to carry Southern Cameroons file for statehood restoration to the UN).
Now, Ambazonia, having in 57years faced cultural and economic genocide, is today undergoing active physical extermination, with an arrogant scorch earth policy while the UN and international community supervise as though helpless. How many more communities must Yaounde burn down to reach the threshold of intervention? How many more children, and babies must they fry in oil to attain the threshold of direct UN intervention? What excuse shall the UN have to give Ambazonian generations to come?
We are a people, a nation with a culture albeit inherited, (we’ve chosen to love it); language and a legal system, international boundaries etc. Can the UN even in today’s crockery deny these?
Ambazonia is as real as God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Have faith in the Lord our God and pull not away from your hand from the restoration plough.