Time for UN Secretary General to Evoke Responsibility to Protect in the Cameroons– MoRISC
The Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC) has called on the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to as a matter of urgency evoke the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in order to end war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the Cameroons. According to a statement signed September 19, 2018 by the Spokesperson of MoRISC, Comrade Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert, the UNSG has the responsibility to do this now or “forever assume full responsibility for the shame that will come with the failure – as in Rwanda in 1994 and Bosnia in 1995 – to prevent a full fledge genocide.”
The principle of The Responsibility to Protect is a global political commitment unanimously adopted by member states of the United Nations at the 2005 World Summit in order to address its four key concerns to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
The Principle rests on the underlying premise that sovereignty entails a responsibility to protect all populations from mass atrocities, crimes and human rights violations. It is anchored on a respect for the norms and principles of international law, especially the underlying principles of law relating to sovereignty, peace and security, human rights, and armed conflict.
Relating this to the current independence war in Ambazonia, Comrade Boh Herbert notes that it is a case where the colonial Yaoundé regime under the dictator Paul Biya is both unwilling and unable to protect the peoples of the Cameroons.
“It is also the case that sovereignty cannot be evoked in a territorial dispute, opposing the expansionist
Republic of Cameroon (independent on 1st January 1960 within international borders that did not include
neighboring Republic of Ambazonia, which gained independence on 1st October 1961. It is the case that
these are two peoples; they obtained independence on two different dates; and they live on two territories
with internationally recognized borders.”
The MoRISC leader also reminde the UNSG that; unlike his predecessor, the late Kofi Annan, who did not have R2P until 2005 (11 years after the Rwanda Genocide and 10 years since the massacres in Bosnia) he, will have no excuse for the eloquent silence while:
- A war of recolonization rages against the people of Ambazonia. It was declared on 30th
November 2017 and has now led to the slaughter of more than 6,000 people; the arrest,
abduction, deportation and jailing of tens of thousands; the implementation of scorched earth
practices that have led to more than 110 villages being burnt to the ground, driving 100,000 into
exile and leaving over a million people internally displaced;
- The existence of customs checkpoints for Ambazonians; the obligation to carry passes (once used
by slaves and/or by blacks in Apartheid South Africa) and the imposition this week of a laisse passer or a de facto visa needed by Ambazonians visiting Cameroon;
- The risks of intercommunal violence along ethnic, nationality and linguistic lines given the
issuance of an ultimatum for citizens of Cameroon to vacate Ambazonia and plans, effective next
September 25th, to enforce effective an entry visa for citizens of Cameroon visiting Ambazonia;
- The declaration of a ban on all movement in Ambazonia beginning next September 25th even as
Cameroon balloons the number of its brutish military in Ambazonia ahead of the October 7th
election and the multiplication of cordon-and-search raids targeting Ambazonians in Cameroon.
MoRISC, concludes the statement by inviting the UNSG Antonio Guterres to recognize that the seeds of genocide germinate from the above-mentioned measures among many others. Consequently, the UN will never be able to claim that its boss was not warned.