UK House of Commons’ Briefing Paper Attempts to Force Federalism on Ambazonians
Is the UK House of Commons, through its recent briefing paper on the conflict in Ambazonia attempting to force Federalism down the throats of Ambazonians?
On June 6 2018, the UK House of Commons Library published a briefing paper number 8331, on what it described as “The Anglophone Cameroon Crisis.” The paper is divided into five sections – Overview, history and legacies, 2015-17 main developments, Event during 2018 and future prospects, and the Response of Western governments.
According to the House of Commoons Library Research Service, such briefing papers which are often impartial and evidence based, are aimed at providing members of the UK House of Commons, with the necessary information on critical issues to facilitate their work. In this case, the briefing paper on Ambazonia, according to the library, is to help the lawmakers understand the conflict in the Cameroons and act more vigorously towards finding a peaceful and lasting solution.
But how impartial and unbiased is the briefing paper, as claimed by the House of Commons Library? After BaretaNews’ analysis of sections 1 & 2 of the briefing last week, we now try to answer the preceding question based on some of the issues presented in sections 3 & 4 of the paper.
The paper in these sections highlights the escalation of the situation from a crisis in 2016 to the present stage of a serious violent conflict, noting that the appointment of French-educated judges and teachers to courts and schools in Ambazonia respectively as the immediate causes of the revolution.
“By the end of 2016, local teachers and lawyers had launched a campaign of strikes and demonstrations. University students and other activists began to get involved too. The security forces responded heavy-handedly.
Then in December 2016, four protesters were shot dead during protests outside a ruling party meeting in the city of Bamenda. In January 2017, an umbrella protest group, the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) was banned and two of its leaders were arrested.”
Even though the writers of the briefing described it as an impartial and fair assessment of the conflict, a critical look at the writeup shows the writers already adopting a position in which they would wish to see the conflict culminate with – Federalism. The following statements in section 4 particularly caught the attention of BaretaNews:
“It is impossible to say how many people in the two Anglophone regions support secession. Plenty would probably still be satisfied by a return to meaningful federalism. But, although there was a limited cabinet reshuffle not long ago, there is no indication that the central government is willing seriously to consider restoring anything approaching federalism.”
From the above citation, one is tempted to ask the writers of the briefing the following questions; how can it be impossible for them to say how many people in Ambazonia support independence, but is possible for them to deduce that plenty of Southern Cameroonians would probably still be satisfied with a return to meaningful federalism? What informed this position of theirs?
The most reliable means so far to know what Ambazonians want would be by looking back at the mass protests of 22nd September 2017 and 1st October 2017 across Ambazonia, which the briefing technically ignored. The people were all responding to calls from the Interim government of the restored Sovereign Federal Republic of Ambazonia. What was the interpretation of the UK Parliament of these protests? Were the protesters demanding a return federalism?
From the present situation on ground, it is crystal clear. A majority of Southern Cameroons want a complete restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons, Ambazonia. The present resistance on ground is not a quest to return to federalism. It is an independence war, a war that has overwhelm the colonial government of La Republic du Cameroun (LRC).
This explains why its terrorist soldiers out of frustration have resorted to targeted massacre of innocent Ambazonians, and the burning and looting of more than 70 villages. BaretaNews wonders aloud whether a possible return to federalism, which the briefing claims majority of Southern Cameroonians want, is worth such a price by the innocent masses.
One thing is clear, this 21st century generation of Southern Cameroonians, is completely different and far more enlightened than the generation of 1961. Ambazonians of this political epoch shall not allow themselves to be manipulated and sold again by the British Crown into another failure and political bondage in the name of federalism with LRC. UNGA Resolution 181 which granted independence to Israel has no more force in international law than UNGA1608(XV).
By UNGA Resolution 1608(XV) and consistent with UNGA 1541, Ambazonia remains a sovereign independent state and the UK should be working towards the implementation of these resolutions and not trying to force Ambazonians into an illegal union already proven to be an explosive failure.
As the spokesperson of the Movement of the Restoration of the Indepence of Ambazonia (MoRISC), Comrade Boh Herbert rightly pointed out, it is very easy for the UK to know what the people of Southern Cameroons want. “Call a referendum. After all, what is good for Scotland must be good for Ambazonia, unless it’s all about racism.”
BaretaNews Political Analyst