Mr. Tassang Wilfred, Consortium Programm Coordinator continues to school and responds to the Bishops of Cameroun letter concerning the Anglophone Crisis: He wrote amongst others:
The Rule of Law
In point 5 of their Episcopal Letter, the Bishops made reference to the rule of law, thereby giving the impression that Cameroun not only has good laws, but respects such laws. In fact, the Bishops are saying Cameroun is a State of law, whereas we all know the contrary. The mere fact that government agents released forces of law and order to unleash torture, harsh brutality and inhuman treatment on armless lawyers during a peaceful march, breaking into their hotel rooms and seizing their gowns and wigs, raping armless university students both on their campus and in their hostels in Buea, dragging innocent students in the mud and opening fire on civilians with live bullets in Bamenda, demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that Cameroun is a barbaric State.
In fact, the interruption of internet services in the North West and South West regions for three good months was not enough; reason the innocent people had to be exposed to State-sponsored terrorism. Uniform men went on the rampage arbitrarily kidnapping people from their homes at ungodly hours and carting them to Yaounde and unknown destinations, while at the same time extorting huge sums of money from others in exchange of their release. To worsen the situation, it became a crime for anyone in the two regions to communicate on the internet; that is how scores of young people were brought down from vehicles while travelling either between Bamenda and Bafoussam or Tiko and Douala and carted to Yaounde to be judged in military courts on grounds that they were travelling in search of internet signals. These horrible abuses place Cameroun in a category of its own when it comes to the treatment of the human person; the country thereby created a record of its own as no one nation in the world has ever meted such harsh and dehumanizing treatment on a people it pretentiously calls its citizens. And this to our Bishops is a State of law!
The Bishops of Cameroon highlight in their Episcopal Letter that dialogue is important and necessary; pointing out that such a dialogue concerns the State, in its institutional form, which embodies three powers: the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislative. This position leads us to wondering the kind of dialogue the government needs to implement Constitutional provisions which spell out clearly that Cameroun is bi-cultural with two official languages, two distinct legal systems, two distinct educational systems and much more. Does the government need dialogue to be reminded that magistrates with knowledge of neither the English Language nor the Common Law practiced in the North West and South West regions did not have to be sent to our courts in the first place? Did the government need dialogue to understand how dangerous it is to send Francophone teachers with no knowledge of the English Language and negligible knowledge of the subject matter to teach in purely Anglo-Saxon schools?
Did the government need to rape, kill, maim, kidnap and abduct, forcing thousands of people into exile in order to have dialogue? Did the government need to destroy the economy of the two regions by suspending internet services, suppressing free speech and banning any discussions on the form of the State by Southern Cameroonians, while at the same time allowing Francophones to unleash diatribes on us even on the public media in order to secure dialogue? Would we be wrong to conclude that the deliberate silence of the Church on all these ills makes of her an accomplice or an extension of the colonial regime, seeing that the Communiqué of the 29th of April, 2017 could easily pass for something written by the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, or the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary?
The aforementioned letter of the National Episcopal Conference comes on the heels of the second visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, who after a three-day fact-finding mission, called on government to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees and facilitate the safe return of all those on exile so that dialogue could be resumed. That notwithstanding, our Bishops have rather taken sides with the government by stating that; “…the destiny of the detainees be clarified according to appropriate judicial procedure”, meaning they are in agreement with the contention that Southern Cameroonians are terrorists, that to ask for a return to the 1961 Constitutional Provision on the federal form of the state or the restoration of our statehood is a crime.
Consortium Programm Coordinator