Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crackdown on SCNC activists still cause for concern.

By James Mukoh 
The struggle to restore the independence of Southern Cameroons appears not to be dying down even as its advocates are molested, harassed, arrested, tortured, prosecuted and jailed. Members of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), which is championing the cause, have sworn to stay the course until their goal is claimed. Families of SCNC supporters sometimes report not only about the molestation, arrest, torture or detention of loved ones militating in the SCNC movement but also of the disappearance of some. 

The Cameroon Government, which insists the SCNC is an illegal and secessionist group, has vowed to disband it at all cost, putting security forces on red alert to crack down on them particularly during their public or private meetings.

It would be recalled that on December30, 1999, the SCNC seized a local government radio station (CRTV Buea) and for three hours proclaimed the Independence of Southern Cameroons. Since the secessionist broadcast, the Government has intensified its persecution of SCNC, which was created in 1994. 

But the SCNC cause is genuine in history and law, according to its pioneer chairman veteran Barrister Sam Ekontang Elad.It was in protest against the marginalization of Anglophones by the Francophone-dominated Biya regime that the SCNC was formed. Anglophones feel grossly marginalized in development projects and leadership positions, which is against the spirit of their union with Francophones.SCNC adherents argue. 

Many vocal SCNC activists such as Akwanga Ebenezer and Cho Ayamba had since fled the country and now live abroad for safety, considering Cameroon too unsafe for them. Abroad they are keeping the fight for the independence of Southern Cameroons alive, as they mobilize for support. 

Mafani Emmanuel: Activist
Fresh reports have cited the arrest last month in Buea of Mafani Emmanuel Kaisa, an outspoken SCNC activist, who reportedly was one of the leaders of the February 2008 rioting against high-cost of living in Cameroon. The nation-wide rioting resulted in the destruction of public property and the death of over 50 Cameroonians. 
 Mafani Emmanuel kaisa, prior to his arrest in Buea as the SCNC was about to hold a meeting,had been living in hiding for quite sometime, conscious that he was a wanted man.An SCNC official who spoke to this news line on condition of anonymity, said security agents tortured him before whisking him away to an unknown destination. He regretted that the police keep torturing members of the scnc whose motto is “The Force of Argument and not the Argument of Force”

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