Pourquoi la “secession” et la “separation” sont des faux amis
Throughout this crisis, I have seen how some highly enlightened people seem to think that “secession” and “separation” are identical in meaning and therefore interchangeable. This is simply not true.
In 1964 when Zanzibar and Tanganyika came together to form the United Republic of Tanzania, there was a signed union treaty and the instruments of ratification were adopted by the parliament of Tanganyika and Zanzibar making the union legal under international law and the said instruments were addressed to the UN Secretariat in accordance with article 102 of the UN Charter. That is why in the case of Tanzania if Zanzibar wants to leave that union, it can be called “secession”.
The case of Cameroon is different because, in 1961, the incompetent people involved never thought of signing a formal union treaty and sending the instruments of ratification to the UN Secretariat. That means that for 55 years we have merely engaged in an informal cohabitation. Consequently, the decision of the Southern Cameroons to become independent can be termed “separation” but not “secession”: This distinction is important because the Cameroon problem will soon go back to the UN Security Council for consideration because Paul Biya is the one who has made it inevitable. In the process of separation, the UN Security Council must make certain things possible in order to avoid a wider crisis which will engulf even Nigeria
1. Total Separation: The people of the former British Southern Cameroons have come to the conclusion that the only permanent solution to the Anglophone problem in Cameroon particularly in respect to the protection of their educational system and the integrity of their judicial system is total separation from French Cameroun in like manner to the separation that took place between Czechs and the Slovaks in Czechoslovakia in January 1993. There is a fundamental incompatibility between the French and the British way of thinking which has made it impossible for a highly educated Anglophone minority of 25-30 to find a proper place for itself in a country which is dominated by the Francophones.
2.. France and the United Kingdom should cosponsor a resolution on separation: The people of the former British Southern Cameroons want to inform the United Nations that the reunification between the Southern Cameroons and the French Republic of Cameroun which was envisaged under UN General Assembly Resolution 1608 (XV) of April 21, 1961, and which came into effect on 1st October 1961 has failed. One of the main reasons for this failure is the fact that this union was not backed by any formal union treaty which would have required that the instruments of ratification of such a treaty should be sent to the UN Secretariat in accordance with article 102 of the UN Charter. The implication is that the 55-year long reunification between the two former UN Trust territories was merely an informal cohabitation which lacked legal validity under international law. Given the fact that the current Anglophone Crisis is the direct consequence of the difficult and impossible cohabitation of French and British political cultures within an informal union, France and the United Kingdom should settle the problem by cosponsoring a UN Security Council resolution paving the way for the two former UN Trust territories to peacefully become two separate independent states, subject to negotiations to take place, under the auspices of the UN, for an equitable sharing of assets and liabilities.
3. Sharing of Assets and liabilities: The people of the British Southern Cameroons want this separation to be peaceful and should be done following a negotiation of an equitable sharing of assets and liabilities in order to protect the interests of foreign powers like France and China which have economic interests in Cameroon today
Dr. Nfor Susungi