Breaking Barriers To Empower !
P.O. Box 273,Buea-Cameroon
Friday, September 15, 2017
Restoration of Southern Cameroons' Independence :An Open Letter to the Secretary General of United Nations Organization
" Dear Mr. Secretary General,
Protests by Palestine cannot Revoke Israel’s Independence
Thanks for taking questions on the occasion of #UNGA72. Special thanks for your kind consideration of the suggestions I offer below.
First, thank you for what you do for world peace and security. Kindly allow me to draw your attention anew to the ongoing crisis in the Cameroons. The United Nations holds the key to resolving this crisis. Surely the Secretary General agrees that it would neither be justice nor promotion of world peace if UNGA Resolution 181 (adopted thanks to 33 YES votes, 13 NO votes and 10 abstentions and resulting in effective independence for Israel) were to be undermined because of Palestinian opposition to international sovereignty for Israel. It is the failure of the United Nations to fully implement UNGA Resolution 1608 (adopted thanks to 64 YES votes, 23 NO votes and 10 abstentions, granting independence to Southern Cameroons) that is at the root cause of the crisis in the Cameroons.
Second, when shall the United Nations do justice by Southern Cameroons and resolve this crisis by tackling its root cause? The UN witnessed and recorded the opposition of the Republic of Cameroon (which voted NO under UNGA Resolution 1608, thereby voting both against Union with and Independence for Southern Cameroons). Yet, the United Nations imposed a “forced marriage” between what, then and now, are clearly unwilling and unprepared couple. Or, did the UNGA merely mean to grant Independence to Southern Cameroons with the right hand (under Resolution 1608) while taking it back with the left? How does an abusive and more powerful neighboring country like the Republic of Cameroon accommodate an independent Southern Cameroons whose Independence the former voted to deny? Could the United Nations guarantee the independence of Kuwait by trusting Iraq to take care?
Third, you would agree, I hope, that by proceeding as outlined above the United Nations merely violated Article 76(b) of its Charter which reaffirms independence as the inherent and inalienable right of all colonies and Trust Territories (including Southern Cameroons). Why is the United Nations avoiding to address the non existence of a union treaty between the Republic of Cameroon and Southern Cameroons as laid out under Articles 102 and 103 of the United Nations Charter?
Fourth, why is the United Nations holding back from evoking so many of its own Resolutions; why is it not evoking Article 4(b) of the African Union Constitutive Act on the sanctity of borders inherited from Colonialism to rule that the borders of the Republic of Cameroon were frozen when it achieved independence on 1st January 1960? Why is the UN unable to evoke its own Resolutions and International Law to remind the Republic of Cameroon that colonialism and, obviously, recolonization are crimes against humanity? Why is the United Nations not evoking Principles VII, VIII & IX of UNGA Resolution 1541 to help deal with the ongoing crisis in the Cameroons?
Fifth, could I kindly ask the Secretary General to, please, put himself in the shoes of Southern Cameroonians today. Growing up or living in his native Portugal, could the Secretary General consider his country independent and his people sovereign or self-governing if he and his people, among other things, were under brutish rule by a police force, a gendarmerie, an army, and an administration (at all levels: region, province, town, hamlet and village) which speaks the English language for example instead of the language of your people (Portuguese)? This is the yoke the United Nations put on Southern Cameroons by failing to hand over the instruments of sovereignty (independence) to the people of Southern Cameroons.
Sixth, would the Secretary General consider Portugal independent if the legal system used in your homeland was coming from a neighboring country; if it was inspired by the French system, not the law the Portuguese people use? If Portuguese political leaders, trade unionists, lawyers, teachers, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens (all of them civilians) were to be abducted from Portugal, deported to France, for example, and forced to go through torture, detention, awaiting trial and trial before military tribunals using the French language, not Portuguese? Or, if young Portuguese people went to primary and secondary school in Portuguese but had to do university education in English?
Seventh, would the Secretary General’s mother, brother or sister still consider their country independent instead of being under colonial administration and military occupation by a foreign dominating force if the official language of Portugal (Portuguese) was bypassed in official documents, in currency, on road signs, etc. in favor of French, for example, which also happens to be the language of the neighboring country? Would they call Portugal independent if their president and senior government officials spoke English, instead of Portuguese; if they had no choice but to consult with a medical doctor or nurse at Government hospital who spoke English, not Portuguese? If they could only make a case before the judicial police of their country by using French, instead of Portuguese? If nearly six decades of history have proven beyond any doubt that Southern Cameroonians are only second class citizens of the country the colonizing power wants them to believe is also theirs?
I could go on, but I am sure that the SG gets my drift and, hopefully, understands the kind of linguistic apartheid, economic, cultural and political domination that the colonial government of the Republic of Cameroon has imposed on Southern Cameroons for 56+ years. Our people have been patient these many decades, hoping and working in good faith to make whatever union is claimed to work. However, and as with Nigeria over the 44 years which came to an end when our representatives walked out of the Eastern House of Assembly in 1953, our people have come to one more than obvious conclusion: this God forsaken union or whatever it is called will never work.
I am writing, therefore, to add my voice to the millions of Southern Cameroonians who are appealing to the United Nations and the African Union to recognize that the illegal occupation of Southern Cameroons is similar, in many ways, to the illegal occupation of East Timor by Indonesia.
One fact the Republic of Cameroon is not sharing with the world is this: Yaounde seceded from whatever union it wants to claim existed between it and Buea when it unilaterally reverted in April 1984 to the name it had inherited from colonization on the 1st of January 1960; a full year and nine months before the independence of Southern Cameroons was supposed to be effective on 1st October 1961.
Please, do not listen to those offering what is an unsustainable solution in the form of decentralization or federalism. After 56 years of experimenting with this so-called union, it is important to recognize that even the solution of a union of two states, equal in status, initially pledged by Yaounde and envisaged by the UN, is impossible to implement. Equal in status to Yaounde really means, as our people have rightly argued all along – quietly, at first, but very loudly since last year – “two states, equal in status” means that not only Yaounde but also Buea flies its own flag, runs its own government, runs its own diplomacy, has its own seat at the United Nations and the African Union, runs its own administration, hires, trains and manages its own security forces and army, etc. As I am sure the Secretary General will agree, such an arrangement can only be possible if the independence of Southern Cameroons (obtained under UNGA Resolution 1608) is recognized, fully implemented and guaranteed.
The argument put forward by Yaounde that Southern Cameroons used to be a part of the former German Kamerun is an attempt at masking expansionism. More countries than Southern Cameroons were part of that German Kamerun. Shall Yaounde annex other countries once it is successful with Southern Cameroons? If the United Nations will not allow such expansionism, then why make Southern Cameroons the sacrificial lamb? Who is the United Nations appeasing? Would that be different from the appeasement which failed to satisfy the expansionist tendencies of Adolf Hitler? Should we expect the Republic of Cameroon to claim Northern Cameroons next? Besides, and even granting Southern Cameroons was a part of the Republic of Cameroon, are we the first country to gain independence from an existing country? So many independent countries were once part of another country. The USA was once part of the British Empire. South Sudan was once part of Sudan. Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia. Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau were once part of Portugal.
What is clear, Mr. Secretary General, is that the Sovereign People of Southern Cameroons today overwhelming reject all the unsustainable solutions of the past. We seek a meaningful solution to the crimes of annexation, illegal military occupation and abusive colonial rule by the Republic of Cameroon. And you, Mr. Secretary General, are in a unique place in history to render justice to Southern Cameroons. The hard work has been done already. UNGA to Resolution 1608 is already on the books. All what the UNGA has to do is to seat Southern Cameroons as a full Member State of the United Nations once its Sovereign People elect a government of their own. The fact that our independence is contested and challenged by the Republic of Cameroon should not cause the UN to revisit the matter as this would be responding to the colonial whims and annexationist caprices of the Republic of Cameroon.
Rather, the UN should reaffirm that no country has had to vote for or obtain independence twice. When it was time for The Gambia to break away from the SeneGambia Confederacy, Banjul did not have to organize another referendum for independence and neither the UN Security Council nor its General Assembly have to vote anew. The United Nations should reaffirm that Southern Cameroons can only be part of the Republic of Cameroon if they obtained independence together. Of Southern Cameroons, as Yaounde claims, is only two of the ten regions of the Republic of Cameroon, can Yaounde show which other two regions obtained a vote for independence separately from Yaounde? Which other country had regions of it seek and obtain independence separately?
The people of Southern Cameroons place their trust in the ability of the United Nations to uphold justice and to defend its own Resolutions. We rest our hope in the United Nations doing for Southern Cameroons what it has done in defense of the independence of Israel despite many decades of protests, contestation and even wars waged by the Palestinian people and parts of the Arab World to subvert it. UNGA Resolution 181 has the same force as UNGA Resolution 1608, unless the United Nations is sending a loud message to all the peoples of the United Nations that all peoples are equal, but some people are more equal than others.
Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh)
Spokesperson, Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC)
On the web at www.morisc.org
NB:This letter was posted on September 14, 2017 on UNSG’s WALL