Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cameroon: Over 250 Anglophone Rights Activists arrested, 60 others flee into Nigerian Consulate for Asylum

By Christopher Ambe Shu. 

 Police yesterday arrested about 300 English-speaking Cameroonians who converged on a road junction (Mile 17) in Buea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independence of Southern Cameroons.
Some Activists fled into Nigerian Consul's Residence in Buea
As police paraded the town of Buea arresting the unarmed rights activists who had come from various towns in Anglophone Cameroon to stage a non-violent protest, at least 60 others fled in to the residence of the Nigerian consul-general for protection, even as the Consul –General was absent.
 Cameroon Police vehicles were then stationed out side the residence and as more activists tried to enter the residence, they were arrested. Those arrested were detained in the various cells in Buea up to the time of posting this report.
 Cameroon Government has always described those fighting for the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroon as secessionists.Several rights groups especially the Southern Cameroon National Council(SCNC) are championing the cause
Two journalists –Tah Elvis and Bouddih Adams of The Post Newspaper, who were covering the  Saturday arrest, were also arrested and detained but were later released.
Solomon Amabo of Equinox Radio, Douala was beaten while Tamfu Harrison of the Equinox TV had his Video camera confiscated by Police.
Mola Njoh Litumbe, Home Front Leader of the Patriotic Coalition Front, which had mobilized the activists for the peaceful march, was put under house arrest for the whole day of yesterday, with heavily armed police on guard.
“The forces came and sealed my gate so that I could not go out. I asked them who gave them the orders to do that, and ‘One said it was the governor and another said hierarchy. Nobody could enter my premises all day; no domestic help to even give me food. But this morning my gate was opened by the forces. 

 “Those who fled into the residence of the Nigerian Consul-General  have also left. The only people in captivity are the over two hundred arrested and detained. I don’t know what they intend to do with them”, Mola Njoh Litumbe told this reporter today evening on telephone.

 It  would be recalled  that it was on October 1, 1961 that the former British Southern Cameroons gained  independence by joining the Republic of Cameroun (former French Cameroon), which had earlier, on January 1, 1960 gained its independence.
Yesterday October 1, 2011 there fore marked 50 years of the independence of Southern Cameroons and at the same times its reunification with la Republic du Cameroun (French Cameroon)

But facts have emerged that the reunification of Southern Cameroons with La Republic du Cameroun was not legally binding, since it did not comply with UN regulations. 

 And with Anglophones feeling grossly marginalized by the majority Francophones, the former now want a walk out of the union and have been lobbying the UN to ensure a peaceful separation
According to the UN Charter, Article 102(1), “Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the secretariat  of the UN and published by it”

(2)No party to such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations”

 Mola Njoh Litumbe,84,who is now one of the frontline advocates for the independence of Southern Cameroons, has written a book on what he calls the colonization of the then UN British Administered Territory of Southern Cameroons by La Republic du Cameroun. 

Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest Regions are what used to be the UN British Administered Territory of Southern Cameroons, which  Mola Litumbe strongly argues has never gained independence- going by UN regulations, but has only been annexed by a neighboring sovereign state, a Republique du Cameroun.
Mola Litumbe challenges La Republique du Cameroun that is claiming that Southern Cameroons is part of its territory “to produce the documentary proofs, based on the UN Charter provisions, as well as the constitutive Act of African Union”

 “In the absence of such verifiable proofs”, Mola Litumbe maintains, “La Republique du Cameroun is committing an act of annexation and imperialism over Southern Cameroons by denying the latter their legitimate right of self-determination”

The arrest of the rights activists took place just one week to Cameroon’s Presidential election, which is billed for October 9 and will be contested by 23 candidates including the incumbent, Paul Biya, 78, who has ruled Cameroon for close to 30 years.

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