A crisis of sovereignty in Southern Cameroons and the United Kingdom

(An in-depth comparative analysis of the perennial struggle by the people of Southern Cameroons to wrestle their sovereignty after 158 years and the malign erosion of Britain’s sovereignty during her brief stay of 43 years in Europe.)

By Ojong Clement Akem

Minor infringements on British sovereignty provoked outrage and triggered BREXIT, whereas they have refused to repair the damage inflicted on the people of Southern Cameroons by selling them into slavery to La Republique.

This research endeavour is an attempt to draw parallels with what had happened in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2016, and ask why the people of Britain have failed to notice the injustice their Government had imposed on our people (by refusing them independence). This exercise is intended to educate our people, the British public and our neighbours. It will be presented in two parts.



“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance” (Jawaharal Nehru – at midnight on August 14th 1948, on the eve of Indian Independence).

That moment should have come for Southern Cameroons on October 1st, 1961, but a conspiracy of three exogenous forces (the creation of the Unification Movement by the East Cameroon Workers Union in Kumba in alliance with the U.P.C. & R.D.A, the fear of communism (U.P.C & R.D.A were allied to the Soviet communist party) and perhaps of more significance, the non respect by Britain of Her obligations under Article 76 of the Trusteeship Council Agreement), all combined to derail the prospects for our independence. We are sure the sovereignty of Southern Cameroons will soon be installed.

One of the things we humans have in common is a reluctance to discard the past, and a willingness to look back for whatever may still fit in our lives (Mary Catherine Beteson 1990). Our generation yearns to prove itself – and, in proving itself, to accomplish great things for our people. Researching, composing and publishing this narrative involves a continual reimaging of the future of our territory, her people, and the reinterpretation of our past so as to give meaning to our quest for a bright future – the coming of the sovereignty of Southern Cameroons.

The territory and homeland of our people has been occupied for 158 years (1858–2016), by European intruders and by an illegal neighbour to the East. However, BREXIT has shattered the myth. It has demonstrated, that “PEOPLE POWER”, can, and should reverse any treaty agreements that erode (or in the case of Southern Cameroons), takes away your sovereignty.

We lay emphasis on the fact that memory is crucial in shaping our identity, and can motivate us in the face of the challenges we have faced over the years, the driving force behind this researched article is to educate our people about the reality of the nation of Southern Cameroons which has sometimes been questioned by usurpers.

We have been inspired by three historic events which have rekindled our hope, the hope that has never been extinguished as far as regaining our sovereignty is concerned. The 2009 recognition by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights that “the people of Southern Cameroons,” qualify to be referred to as a “PEOPLE” (cf 45th Ordinary Session Banjul Gambia, 13-27 May 2009).

The Green Tree Accord signed by the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo and the Republic of Cameroon Paul Biya witnessed by Mr. KOFI Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, UN. The signatories of this accord accepted the clause which demanded “that each country will respect its boundaries as they stood at independence” (October 1st, 1961 for Nigeria, and January 1st 1960, for the Republic of Cameroon).  The boundary treaties exist.

Then on 23 June 2016, in a referendum, the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union. BREXIT was a defiance of international treaty obligations, a defining moment which demonstrated, that anything that infringes upon the SOVEREIGNTY of a nation can, and should be nullified by a vote of “the people.

The February 11, 1961, plebiscite vote to create a Union with our neighbour produced a stillbirth, so we adopted the motto, “the force of argument, not the argument of force” to educate our neighbour about the wisdom to part ways. Now that BREXIT has cleared the way, what is our option?

This researched article is devoted to, and dedicated to the 13 selfless, fearless nationalists from Southern Cameroons who risked everything by walking out in block of the Eastern Regional House of Assembly in Enugu. Their action created a political crisis and forced the British Government to grant self Government to Southern Cameroons in 1953. Their statues will be erected at the Independence Square to immortalize them.

  1. Historical Background: Timeline

This timeline chronicles in summary form, the events that have marked the 158 years of occupation of our territory, together with the ascendant loss of power, freedom and sovereignty and our determination to end this state of affairs once and for all, by achieving our sovereignty. This is perhaps the longest occupation of an African country by Europeans, and an illegal neighbour:

2.1. The year 1858 marked the beginning of the intrusion by foreigners into our territory under our village chiefs or kings. This land gained international status in 1922 when it became the League of Nations Mandated territory – Southern Cameroons.

2.2. The first British Occupation lasted from 1858 to 1887.

This was confined to coastal villages which included Douala, Bimbia and Victoria. Their main goal was trade.

2.3. German occupation 1884 – 1914

The expedition was led by the warship Möwe under Dr. Nightingale and arrived the coast of our territory on 12 July, 1884 and by July 14, 1884, the Germans signed a treaty with chiefs Bell, Akwa and Deido granting rights of sovereignty, legislation and management over their respective countries (note that the word countries referred to the territories that were under the rule of the above chiefs. However, the Germans eventually extended their dominance over the entire country which became known as German Kamerun. They fought wars where they met resistance, like with the Bakweri people for the capture of Buea, the Bali people fought against Zintgraf, while Fontem fought against Gustaf Conrad. These battles took enormous tolls on our people and the Germans (witness the graves and tombstones in these chiefdoms).

By 1907 there were 800 Germans, 6 Austrians, 16 Swiss, 3 Dutch, 58 English, 2 Norwegians, 43 Americans, 3 Spanish, 8 Portuguese, 3 Russians, 1 Belgian, 3 French, 4 Swedes and 1 Japanese, giving a total of 1010 foreigners of different nationalities (cf appendix 1 W033/448). These foreigners and the population were guarded by German troops distributed across the country (cf distribution of troops in April 1907 p87 and 88 W033/448).

2.3.1. In 1905 – 1906 a joint Anglo-German Commission matriculated the boundary between Southern Nigeria and the Cameroons. It runs from the mouth of the Akwayafe River for about 85 miles. The agreement between the United Kingdom and Germany respecting the boundary between the British and German territories from Yola to Lake Chad was signed in London on March 19, 1906. This boundary goes through the so-called “Yola arc”, which has been fixed by the arrangement concluded in August 1903, was, with but slight modifications, allowed to hold good (cf W033/448 p6).

2.3.2. On 28 July, 1919 Britain, France and Germany signed the Versailles Peace Treaty at Le Palais De Galeries in Versailles France. This brought to an end German occupation of Kamerun after their defeat in World War 1.


We must emphasize that Southern Cameroons was being administered as a mandated territory of the League of Nations NOT A COLONY. In 1922, Southern Cameroons gained International Status as a Mandated Territory of the League of Nations and was placed under the tutelage of the British Government.

The other Mandated Territories were; French East Cameroon, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Papua New Guinea, British Togoland, French Togo, Rwanda, Burundi and South West Africa. The question may be asked, why all other mandated territories gained their independence, while Britain sent Southern Cameroons into slavery?? There is a latin axiom “Nemo dat quod non habet” (you cannot give what you do not have), Her Majesty’s Government defied logic by transferring Southern Cameroons to the Republic of Cameroun (It was not her colony). This monumental error of judgement MUST be urgently rectified and Southern Cameroons returned to its legal owners “THE PEOPLE”.

  • In December 1933, the Nigerian surveys, Lagos drew and reproduced the orographical map of Nigeria and Southern Cameroons under British Administration in the scale of 1:3000 000 or 1 inch to 47,35 miles showing the International boundaries of Southern Cameroons and Nigeria (perhaps it was this map that proved to the International Court of Justice at the Heague that Bakasi Peninsular belongs to Southern Cameroons, not Nigeria or La Republique).
  • On the May 18, 1940, Protocol No. 11 was drawn up in Victoria between Monsieur George Verges Administrateur en chef des colonies and Mr. J.G.C. Allen, District officer, Nigerian Administrative service, commissioner appointed for the delimitation of the Anglo-French Cameroons boundary. The protocol was signed on behalf of the French Government by the French commissioner and for the British by the British commissioner (cf FO37/32066 page 11). This protocol closed the loop on the question of boundaries and proves that Southern Cameroons has identified boundary demarcation that separates her territory from Nigeria in the West and East Cameroon to the East. It is a nation state period (not part of another country).
  • 1946 – 1953 British Administration of the United Nations Trusteeship Council Territory (NOT A COLONY OF BRITAIN)

In 1946, Britain signed Article 76 of the charter of the United Nations designating her as the Administering Authority for Southern Cameroons. This article set out the obligations of the British Government.

  • The British Consul General on January 24, 1952 in a confidential letter addressed to the foreign office, (cf paragraph 18 ref. F037/10/390) clarified as follows: Our obligations under article 76 of the charter of the United Nations are: “To promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the Trust territories, and their progressive development towards SELF-GOVERNMENT OR INDEPENDENCE as may be appropriate to the particular circumstance of each territory and its people and the FREELY EXPRESSED WISHES OF THE PEOPLES CONCERNED, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement”.

Unfortunately, despite the precision, logical and unambiguous manner in which the mandate was drafted, the British Government still found a way to circumvent article 76 (read paragraph 18 p7 of the letter referred to), and what follows below.

“The British view is that in the particular circumstance of the British Cameroons the progressive development of their inhabitants towards self-government or independence may most appropriate be promoted in association with the socially advanced protectorate of Nigeria. The British Delegation has impressed this view with consistent firmness and frankness upon the Trusteeship council, and the council has been obliged to accept it, grudgingly”.

This attempt to derail the determination of the people of Southern Cameroons to achieve self government was emphasized in paragraph 8, page 3. “The failure of the British Cameroons people in the course of the review of the constitution to achieve Regional Status, in spite of the guarantees they have received for representation in the central, as well as the Eastern Regional legislature, automatically inclines the politically conscious elements in Southern Cameroons to turn towards the prospect of union with French Cameroons. In fact, “we have deliberately accepted the possibility of embarrassment from a unification movement as part of the price to be paid for our success, during the review of the constitution, in restraining Cameroons nationalist demands in the interest of the over-riding policy of consolidating three strong regions in Nigeria’, but Southern Cameroons was not a British Colony. The British Government was redefining the terms of reference of Article 76 which they had already signed. How dishonest was this?

Enters the East Cameroonians to destabilize Southern Cameroons


In summary form, the Unification Movement was conceived, designed by the French East Cameroonians, hatched in East Cameroon, and transported to Kumba were it was born under the midwifery of the French Cameroons Welfare Union of the Cameroons Development Cooperation C.D.C.

The President of the Movement was Mr. R.J. DIBONGE (President of the French Cameroons Workers Union, Vice President Chief Joseph FORMIYEN, and Secretary Mr. N.N. MBILE. The movement was sponsored by the representatives of the Rassemblement Democratique Africaine R.D.A, and Union of Population of Cameroon U.P.C (cf paragraphs 14,15 and 16 of the confidential letter no 5 referenced 5/10/52 no 24/173 of the British Consulate General Brazzaville French Equatorial Africa addressed to the foreign office F0371/10/390.

Without receiving any mandate from the people of Southern Cameroons the unification movement addressed secret petitions to the Trusteeship Council on the possible unification of Southern Cameroons with East Cameroon (attempts to divert our independence).

Unfortunately, the R.D.A and the UPC were known allies of the Soviet Communist Party (communism was enemy No.1 in the Western World). To counter this movement, the British intensified their deliberate attempts to annex Southern Cameroons to Eastern Nigeria in gross violation of their treaty obligations under article 76 of the UN charter (witness item 8… “the British view…)”.

The people of Southern Cameroons now had two forces to battle against. Those whom we had accepted as refugees fleeing oppression from their dictatorial masters, had prepared a political vendetta against the innocent people of Southern Cameroons because they were refused voting in the C.D.C Workers’ Unions (refugees have no voting rights in the host country). We emphasize that by 1937, there were 4343 East Cameroonian in the labour force in Victoria Division alone (cf C.O.582/228/2 p137).

Our people had accepted these refugees, without knowing, that, they were Trojan horses that had been smuggled into our territory to sow the seeds of our future annexation to their country of East Cameroon. The British colonial forces were the others we had to confront (the British began to deliberately forget that Southern Cameroons was a UN Trusteeship Territory not their colony).

  • This British refusal to abide by the terns of Article 76 of the UN charter provoked a political crisis in the Eastern Regional House of Assembly in Enugu. In 1953, all the 13 representatives of the Southern Cameroons in the House walked out as a block. This idea had immense impact on the struggle four our independence. All the cunningly woven arguments which the British were advancing for our annexation to Nigeria were brushed aside.

The names of these confident, self esteemed and patriotic leaders who represented all constituencies in Southern Cameroons shall be engraved in gold, under their statues, that shall be erected upon our liberation at our independence squares. We therefore cite them here for posterity because they forced the British Government to reluctantly grant Southern Cameroons self government. Here then are the heroes: Hon. Emmanuel M.L. Endeley of Buea, Hon. Martin N. Foju of Bangwa, Hon. John Ngu Foncha of Bamenda, Hon. Sampson A. George of Mamfe, Hon. S.T. Muna of Mbengwi/Ngembu, Hon. Rev. J.C. Kangsen of Mbem, Hon. V.T. Lainjo of Kumbo, Hon. A.T. Ngalla of Ndu, Hon. R.N. Charley of Tombel/Bakossi, Prince Sama C. Ndi of Kom, Hon. J.T. Ndze of Tabenken, Hon. N.N. Mbile of Ngolo-Batanga and Hon. Motomby Woleta of Victoria.

These leaders, upon returning to Southern Cameroons mobilized all the influential traditional rulers, opinion leaders and the elites to attend the historic Mamfe conference, which took place May 22 – 24, 1953. They brainstormed on the intrigues, deceit and flattery which our people have been subjected to and ruled out all options except independence that must be granted to our people.

That conference will be remembered for the prophetic, and wisdom packed words of advice from the natural traditional ruler of Bafut Abumbi I. He expressed dismay about any suggestion, or proposal that may delay our independence. Here is what he said; “Joining Nigeria was like jumping into the ocean, but joining East Cameroon was like running into a blazing fire”. We were forced against our own deep convictions and free wills to accept the option of joining la Republique and, we have been burning ever since.

The Mamfe conference produced a compelling letter based on irrefutable statements of facts, addressed to the Secretary of State for colonies, demanding the creation of a separate and autonomous legislation for the Trusteeship Territory of Southern Cameroons, as stated in the mandate.

On May 28, 1953, Dr. E.M.L. Endeley left Lagos, Nigeria for London with the petition which he delivered to the Secretary of State for colonies.

Now, if we admit, as historians do, that great men lead humanity to the attainment of their ends, then, the 13 Southern Cameroonians who risked their lives and triggered the process which resulted in the granting of self-government, were indeed great men.


The two essentials for “representative” democracy are the freedom of the individual, and the regular opportunity for him to join with his fellows in replacing, or reinstating the government of his country by means of the ballot-box and without recourse to assassinations or uprisings.

In 1954, following the granting of self-government to Southern Cameroons, a general election was organized. The Kamerun National Congress K.N.C of Dr. Endeley won the election. Legal Institutions of Government were established, the Assembly, House of chiefs and the Government Ministries. Dr Endeley became the first Prime Minister of Southern Cameroons.

However, following the 1957 constitution of the London Conference, membership of the House of Assembly was increased from 14 to 26 seats. The Assembly was dissolved and a new general election was convened for January 24, 1959.

The Kamerun National Democratic Party K.N.D.P led by Mr. John Ngu Foncha won the election. Dr Endeley conceded defeat, congratulated Mr Foncha who became the second Prime Minister of Southern Cameroons. They say, ‘’power is the combined wills of the masses transferred by their expressed or tacit consent to the rulers by the masses in a democracy”. These transfers took place in 1954 and 1959.

Leo Tolstoy wrote, “The subject of history is the life of peoples and humanity”. African history, must therefore record the two transfers of powers from one Prime Minister to the other which took place in Southern Cameroons between 1954 and 1959 as the VICTORY OF TRUE DEMOCRACY in AFRICA. The seeds of representative democracy were firmly planted in Southern Cameroons. This was quickly followed by the consolidation of economic and financial institutions, the Cameroon Bank, the Southern Cameroons Marketing Board (constituted by Farmers’ Co-operatives), the Cameroon Development Cooperation C.D.C – an inherited statutory corporation, the Southern Cameroons Power Company – POWERCAM and many others. It must be mentioned here that the hydro electric power station in Yoke was conceived, designed and built by a Southern Cameroon Electrical Engineering – Mr. Mbiwan.

  1. THE PLEBICSITE. The Decline and slow death of Southern Cameroons

This was a poisonous gift imposed on the people of Southern Cameroons, in violation of the principles and objectives that motivated the creation of the League of Nations. One of these principles was made public by the American President Woodrow Wilson while addressing the joint session of the two Houses of the American Congress on January 8, 1918. He said, and we quote, “A general association of nations should be formed on the basis of covenants designed to create MUTUAL GUARANTEE of political independence and, territorial integrity of states, large and small equally”. This was the corner stone for the creation of the League of Nations on January 10, 1920, and subsequently the United Nations.

The non respect of this secret pact has plunged the world into chaos and interminable wars. The two questions which were imposed on the people of Southern Cameroons were motivated by British greed and the French Cameroons Workers Union – the vampires who had descended into Southern Cameroons as refugees turned into Trojan horses to derail our quest for independence. These refugees had high jacked our political process through the unification movement and their association with the communist further complicated our quest for independence.

It was these three exogenous forces acting from different directions that combined to condemn Southern Cameroonians to vote on how they wished to be executed, by drowning in the sea, or by burning in an eternal fire – we chose the latter, from the prophetic declaration that has since been vindicated.


On 17 July 1961 Ahmadu Babatura Ahidjo – President of the Republic of Cameroun opened the constitutional conference in Foumban, without a representative of the UN that should have chaired the talks or that of Britain, the Administering authority of Southern Cameroons (still a Trusteeship Territory of the UN).

This ran against the grain, because the “law of natural justice forbids any man from being the Judge in his own case”. President Ahidjo was therefore “NOT qualified” to preside over the constitutional negotiations between his country La Republique and the self-governing Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons.

However, the Southern Cameroons delegation was led by Prime Minister John Ngu Foncha, accompanied by Dr Emmanuel Endeley, leader of the opposition and their entourage.

Ahidjo tabled the draft constitution and announced that the negotiation would last just two days. Immediately, the Southern Cameroons delegation smelt the rat. Their request that the talks should last three weeks based on their rich experiences gained during the constitutional conferences in London and Lagos (Richards, 1946, Macpherson, 1951, Littleton, 1954 – cf Fonkem Achankeng 2014), was rejected out of hand.

One of the issues that Ahidjo rejected outright was the demand from the Southern Cameroons delegation to maintain their Police Force and have their own army, within the Federation.

Records have it documented, that the Southern Cameroons delegation put forward the following amendments to the draft; (a) the flag, (b) National Anthem (c) Motto (d) Federal Capital to be in Douala (e) Electoral maturity at 21 years, (f) Secret ballot (g) powers and attributions of the Federal President (h) Presidential Mandate Limited to two terms (i) a Federal Assembly made up of a National Assembly and a Senate (j) double nationality (k) Primary and Higher Education System and (l) cancellation of the word INDIVISIBLE from the constitution.

What is important is that the constitutional conference did not adopt a constitution, and the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly and the House of Chiefs did not rectify any constitution, because the Foumban conference had not produced any.

It must be restated that the Foumban Constitutional Conference was convened in violation of the London Conference agreement of October 10 – 13 1960, UN Doc T/1556 p40, UN resolution A/C.4/l685 of April 18, 1961 the Landmark UN resolution on the concept of independence by joining 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 updated 15/12/1960 by UN resolution 1541 (XV). Given the above violations can the resultant constitution drawn by Ahidjo be considered binding on Southern Cameroon?

The Southern Cameroonian delegation went to Foumban with open hearts, in anticipation that by blending together, both nations would one day form the foundation stone of African Unity. It was not to be-Ahidjo’s delegation came with a hidden agenda to lure the Southern Cameroonians into total submission of their identities. They failed because the constitutional talks were reduced to a stalemate. There is no written agreement as required by Article 102 of the UN chartter at the UN Secretariat to prove that Southern Cameroons and La Republique joined.


On the 30 September, 1961, at the invitation of Her Majesty’s Government, in violation of their obligations clearly laid out in Article 76 of the Trusteeship Agreement, Ahidjo moved in military forces and illegally occupied a United Nations Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons. Jeffrey Hughes has repeatedly asked; ʺWhy did the British Government abandon the people of Southern Cameroons in such great haste, failing to ensure an appropriate negotiating body in the post Plebiscite period in 1961 and continue to be negative to the Southern Cameroonian subsequent request for sponsorship to the United Nations for their independence, in accordance with the United Nations charter 76b and the United Nations charter 1514 (XV)ʺ (cf Jeffrey Hughes 1999 p 158).

ʺBREXITʺ has given us the answer, that when a people find out, that their sovereignty has been USURPED, they can vote to repel the obstacle. Britain did not seek authorization from the other member states of EU or the UN before launching their referendum.

The illegal occupation of Southern Cameroons has lasted more than half a century. It is time to vote and take back our sovereignty too. The occupation MUST END.


They say knowledge is power. Unfortunately, ignorance has a way of robbing people of their rights, privileges and duties. It enslaves rather than liberates the mind. It brings about stagnation, and this explains why dictators are allergic to true intellectuals. Ignorance has delayed our liberation.

Ahidjo’s first administrative edict was the abolition of all the Teachers’ Training Colleges, followed up by the change of name from Southern Cameroons which has international boundaries to, West Cameroon, an anonymous state. He was laying the groundwork for the complete annexation of our territory, by blind fooling us with names.

He then suspended the production of electric energy from the Yoke hydro-electric power generation station, to force our people import electricity from Edea (located about 160km from Yoke). They destroyed our community Development System which together with the Swiss Technical Assistance ensured the installation of pipe born water in our villages. Transferred the headquarters of Cameroon Bank from Victoria to Yaounde, Southern Cameroons Marketing Board to Douala and emptied the cash savings of our farmers estimated at about 78 billion CFA, at the time. Our farmers have been reduced to beggars.

They destroyed our road network infrastructure too. Evidence exists to show that in 1961 there were 272km of paved roads in Southern Cameroons and 473km in East Cameroons. Our major streets were also paved in Victoria, Tiko, Buea, Kumba, Mamfe, Bamenda, Wum and Banso – Kumbo. The Public Works Department P.W.D stationed maintenance teams along the roads to guarantee all seasonal passage. Most of these roads and streets lie bare today from neglect. (To be continued)

Youth is the Moon


You’re not darkness but the moon that shines

When laughter’s gone and wailing abounds.

You’re the moon that shines when smiles are gone

and only frowns,  clowns and coos abound.


You’re the moon that shines when love and peace are gone

and only hatred, hunger and anger abound.

You’re the moon that shines when hope’s gone

and only desperation and frustration abound.


You’re the moon that shines when courage’s gone

and only intrigues, threats and fear abound.

Believe in no one, unless you believe in yourselves.

Shun tricky sailing and risky trifles ‘cause your country’s ailing

and be that moon that shines when all else is failing.

Oke Akombi

AFTER ‘AMBAZONIA’ LEADERS’ CAPTURE: Will Gov’t dialogue or crush Anglophone agitation?

About two years ago, the word dialogue, stealthily crept into the political lexicon of Cameroon. President Paul Biya intoned it. His appointees sang it like parrots even if many of them did not buy into the concept.

Dialogue was said to be the panacea that should put paid to the Anglophone crisis. But from all indications a principal party to the dialogue was either stone deaf or simply imagined that it was better carried out with both the stick and the carrot. Better still, that the gendarme and the gun were better instruments of dialogue than the round table.

Certain compatriots were named and tagged. Arrests were perpetrated, certain members of the opposing side were chased into exile and some even summarily killed. The situation got out of hand and dialogue transformed to hard times for the “terrorists and secessionists” so tagged.

About two weeks ago, Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma, like the Physicist, Archimedes of the Eureka fame, ran out of his bath stark naked more or less, to announce that “terrorists and secessionists earlier arrested in Nigeria had been handed over to Cameroonian judicial authorities.”

The Rambler was prompted by Tchiroma’s announcement to ask its respondents if this action on its own would put paid to the festering crisis or reignite the much parroted dialogue.

What they state could be very instructive to whether this dialogue and not outright military bravado is the true answer to Cameroon’s awful socio-political plight.


The solution is dialogue

I strongly propose that now that the Government of Cameroon has hunted down and is keeping the secessionist leaders, it is time they sit at a table together and open the so called dialogue that they have been propagating. This will even be advantageous because it shall be a litmus test to Cameroon’s democracy.

Nancy Fuma, Teacher Bamenda

Anglophones should constitute new leaders to carry on the struggle

I do not even know whether the said leaders are dead or alive. Despite the fact Government media has been singing their capture and extradition to Cameroon, we have not even seen their pictures. I propose that the Anglophones should constitute themselves again and let new leaders emerge and carry on the struggle.

Gwendolyn, Nsang Trader Bamenda

Gov’t should immediately announce dialogue

Now that the Government has them, it should immediately announce dialogue and call for an immediate ceasefire so that all these brutal killings that have gained notoriety these days can end.

Christopher Agu, IT specialist Bamenda

There’s no way forward as long as those leaders remain in custody

They should at least make a public presentation of these leaders, interview them on why they will want to separate and even find out from them what needs to be done to maintain the status quo.

I will tell you there is no way forward to solving this problem as long as those leaders remain under custody. See the abduction of those leaders, permit me use the word abduction because if they were arrested they would have at least shown us images. By doing what they are doing, Government is radicalizing supporters of this course more than ever. Maybe the Government thought that keeping those leaders will render followers weak, but you have seen and heard of attacks here and there. It only tells us that Ambazonians are determined in death or life to have their freedom. If there will be any way forward then let them release those leaders in their keeping.

Joseph Ntui, History Teacher Bamenda

Gov’t should bring them to dialogue table

Talking about way forward of the crisis because leaders are in Government custody is a broad situation to analyze. Why do I say so? Firstly, you must have understood by now that this crisis is far more than what Government thinks is in the hands of Mr. Julius Ayuk Tabe and others. If the situation were so, then since after their arrest there would have been peace in the country but contrarily the number of attacks has instead increased with both sides suffering. Yet their being in custody without gainsaying can only be one step solution to the crisis by bringing them to dialogue table. But think of those who lost loved ones, farmlands and even villages. How will Government compensate them because if they are ignored the crisis will never end.

Ngasi Jacob, farmer Kumba

Let powers that be call for dialogue

The only way forward now is dialogue. The Government has always talked of dialogue. International organisations and even Presidents of neighboring countries have cautioned on dialogue. Even the President in his end of year speech talked of dialogue.  It’s going to be a month by Monday since the leaders were arrested in Nigeria but nothing is being said about dialogue again. I wonder how much time we are they going to take when soldiers and innocent civilians keep dying. I heard the Government’s spokesman the other day talking about them facing justice for their crimes. I bet you if they go to that direction, I smell Rwandan experience of genocide in Cameroon. Let the powers that be call for dialogue.

Williams Mbohteh, Kumba

Gov’t should release those in detention and then dialogue

The way forward now is that Government should first release those in detention before bringing about dialogue. Because if they talk dialogue now when the leaders are still jailed it will be as though they are forcing options on Southern Cameroonians. Besides, if those leaders are not released no one will even be interested in talking. All the killings on both sides should stop.

Celia Ebako student, Kumba

We need a national dialogue

The Anglophone crisis has never been about secessionists or the secessionist movement. This thing started in November 2016 with teachers and lawyers and the general population. There was a dialogue put in place before Government arrested all the genuine leaders. I think Government should go back to the negotiation table back with those they started the dialogue and bring all the other leaders, for a national dialogue. People are dying in the (Anglophone) Regions because we want to solve this crisis through war.

Emmanuel Achanyi, Agricultural Engineer, Douala

Let us review the terms of our coexistence

There is nothing Government can do to stop the movement whether they arrest all Anglophones or not. The message is clear and has been sent to Yaoundé, no form of arrests will intimidate Anglophones. The arrest of consortium leaders did not change anything so the arrest of the secessionist leaders will not change the situation on ground. I think some Government forces just want to see the situation on the ground continue because some of them are benefiting from it. The only way a solution can be found to this crisis is an international mediation supervised by the United Nations to review the terms of our coexistence. Anything short of that will be a failure because no form of arrests, intimidation, violence or torture will ever suppress the Anglophone feeling.

Charles Mafeh, photographer

Proper and genuine dialogue

I don’t know if the arrest of the secessionist leaders can solve anything in this crisis. We see that fighting has been ongoing; people continue to die every day in the Southwest and Northwest Regions despite the arrests. Arresting people is not the only solution, but if Government thinks it is a solution, then let us wait and see how it will bring peace in our Regions in the weeks ahead. I will propose for Government to first start by demilitarizing the Anglophone Regions; the massive presence of soldiers keeps creating tension and panic. The Government should put a mechanism in place for proper dialogue to take place. Even with those they are calling secessionists or terrorists who are in prison, I think Government will still have to look for a means to dialogue with them.

Nquiaka Viviane, Teacher Douala

An all-inclusive dialogue

I suggest that the President opens frank dialogue will all persons involved; that must include Ayuk Julius and his band because dialogue is never a one man show. Before now, they arrested some Anglophones like Agbor Balla and Ayah Paul, thinking it would solve the problem but it only aggravated it. We need frank dialogue and action. The people concerned should come together with equal status and discuss the way forward. It should not be like the dictatorship we witnessed last time in Bamenda in the name of dialogue. Without this, I am afraid that Cameroon will witness something worse than Rwanda.

Mekumba Dieudonne, Yaounde

A referendum to establish what Anglophones want

I think a referendum to establish what Anglophones really want is the best way to end this civil war that is a breath away. The Government knows this but has been pretending to want to resolve this crisis. A referendum will not cost them even a tiny bit of what they have wasted so far. But, they are riding a very high horse. Once the limping horse stops automatically, then they will fall to the ground. They should not say we did not tell them. Without a referendum, trust me, the crisis is still beginning.

Ashu Ndemalia, Actor

Yaounde has the solution to this crisis

Yaounde has the solution to this crisis. I think the dictatorial Government should now force the guys to the dialogue table now that the Minister of Communication claims that they are in Yaounde. The dialogue that will solve the Anglophone crisis should focus on the opinions of all parties. It should take into account the opinion of unionists, federalists and separatists. Then, they should organize a referendum so the people of Southern Cameroons can choose which one they want for themselves. I insist that the dialogue must be supervised by the African Union and the United Nations Organisation. Sentencing those people (if at all there is any ground on which they can be sentenced) will lead to more havoc than imaginable.

Bonvemock Cedric, Unemployed

Free, fair and frank dialogue

Now that leaders of both parties are in the same town, I think all that is left is a free, fair and frank dialogue.  By free, I mean each man should be given the chance to air their thoughts, not a talk at gunpoint. For the dialogue to be fair each party must recognize the other as a leader of a people and each constituency well defined. It goes without saying that frank dialogue would mean putting all cards on the table as they are: black or white. However, I know that this will be very difficult because no Government is willing to negotiate with people it calls terrorists,worse of all, in the eyes of international bodies. Now, let us face the facts. It is needless to think of dialogue with people who are bent and fixed on their ideas of a one and indivisible country. It is clear that with that mentality; even a referendum will not change a thing except it is in their favour. Let the Government do what it does best. Bribe them and release them. They have got a people to lead out there,even though I do not buy this method.

Ransome Nganjo, Engineer

Compiled by Jean Marie Ngong Song, Ngende Esther, Francis Ajumane & Nsono Claudia





Governor bans buying, selling, ownership of guns

Inhabitants of the Northwest Region are adjusting to a recent gubernatorial order, whose substance is the immediate cessation of sales and purchase of firearms throughout the Region for the next six months renewable, in addition to requesting that all owners of hunting guns surrender them to the police.

According to the order, the sale or purchase of ammunitions is with effect from the date of signature for six months renewable, banned. Contraveners are warned that they shall be liable to sanctions as law enforcement officers shall be carrying out regular controls. Another release signed by the Secretary General at the Governor’s Office, Lanyuy Harry on behalf of the Governor also, called on the population to hand over hunting guns to the police.

“Following the recent socio-political crisis and the prevailing insecurity situation coupled with the numerous attacks and threats…the sale and purchase of ammunitions is suspended for a period of six months renewable throughout the Northwest Region. All persons keeping hunting guns are requested to hand them over to the nearest administrative authority who will acknowledge receipt.”

Immediately the order was read on state radio in Bamenda many people began welcoming it with divided minds. According to Peter Tanwie, resident of Nkwen, the Governor simply wants to victimize his people and the tradition of Nkwen. “How can the Governor ask us to go and submit our guns? We use guns at funerals. We fire these guns to awaken the ancestors to welcome one of us each time he or she is journeying to the world beyond. I am not comfortable with this idea at all. We keep guns here as men as a show of manhood. What will the Governor expect us to do when somebody dies now?” Peter retorted.

To Mary Tebi, the Governor should have started by shutting down the gun shop at City Chemist Round About. “The gun shop Belibi is still open now as we speak. Does it mean that assailants can’t buy the guns or only private guns are dangerous? We should lead with examples,” she said.

Joshua Kum, another Bamenda city dweller said the ban on guns is Government’s mapped out strategy to deprive many a hunter from his source of livelihood. “The hunting gun remains the basic tool of a hunter. I think the Governor should have used a better way to control the guns than to completely ban their usage. I see a situation where the Governor and his administration indirectly want to legalize the brutal soldiers breaking into homes in the name of search for guns,” Joshua said.

Meanwhile the greater population of the Northwest Region is still hoping that the Governor would do something about the communiqué.

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Bohemian Reactivated

Many have nursed dreams-dreams about a clutch of presidents and assorted diplomats watching from the stands as an extravagant ceremony unfolds. One in which a man or woman raises the right hand above a mammoth book on which he or she places the left hand while repeating words offered by a presiding official, it could be someone from the clergy, the judiciary or the legislative arm.

True, a frightened animal at bay can turn violent, but this particular monster appears to have been manufactured by a kidult. Something seems to have gone wrong somewhere, to the point of throwing this monster’s body out of kilter.

Yet, the street people are talking, and the chattering classes are spreading the word, while the new prophets have no message from God but mark you; they have a message for you. The one you like to hear. Everyone advertizes his scam with great razzmatazz.

Someone says we are citizens of shithole countries, but who’s sh**hole suspends over our fatherland? This someone has all the obscurity of Harry Potter’s quid ditch and none of the charm. Even those who do not know the meaning of the word “cliché”, recognize one when they hear it from a politician. There is need for one to spend the rest of the year melting down their entire vocabulary and then re-minting it.

The street people want a voice; they want those vested with the power, to genuinely reform the public services; but when it appears those with authority had not thought through the task and when it looks like the project proves too big for them, you notice it when they shift from substance to spin.

So, I, the Bohemian of Abakwa, born on the last day of the month in the land of the proud people, under the sign of the rising sun, this day declare; some things are best left unsaid. The slogans in the shadows maybe spend more-deliver less, but brothers and sisters, there are no new levers to pull. Some people have lost faith in the current political elite; they merely conclude that all politicians are the same. So why not stick with this lot? Keep your ears to the ground, the Bohemian has been reactivated.

By Winston Lebga

BOLE BAKUNDU RAID: Many killed, burning escalates, villagers flee

There seem to be no letting up in the merry-go-round of gun fire exchanges and subsequent killings, burnings and looting propagated by resolute separatist militants and regular soldiers who have turned callousness into a favourite pastime on the Kumba/Mbonge road, with the latest episode being the exodus of thousands of inhabitants of Bole Bakundu on Friday, January 2, to nearby villages, bushes and even to Kumba for those who could easily escape for safety. This latest stampede is said to have been caused by regular soldiers in pursuit of alleged Ambazonian separatists.

Friday’s raid was a spillover effect of Thursday, February 1 clash between Government soldiers and separatist fighters. According to eye witness accounts to The Rambler, at about 4pm, roads along Kumba-Mbonge and Kumba-Kotto were reportedly blocked by “Ambazonian Tigers” thereby halting circulation, which prompted military intervention.

The narrative continued that on the night of Thursday, February 1, indiscriminate shooting from gunfire exchanges by both parties left many dead and some wounded on both sides. These actions had already induced panic in the populations of Bole and Nake, thereby causing many to flee that same night for fear of the unknown, with hindsight from memories of Kwakwa on their minds.

More than 20 houses have reportedly been reduced to ground level and at least three persons dead in Bole alone. Motor bikes that were apprehended are said to have been set ablaze. Gunshots were reported in other villages like Ekombe on Thursday night. Generally, farmlands, businesses and other valuables have been abandoned.

When The Rambler talked to a lady who had fled from Bole but elected anonymity for security reasons on what transpired in her village and how she survived, she said “on Friday morning I went to buy fish in to prepare food. On my way back, I just saw people from my quarter running so I too joined them and ran back to the bush. When we arrived at a quiet place I asked them why they were running and they told me that the soldiers had come to our quarter searching homes for only what they alone know. Thank God I always walked with identity card even when am going to the farm because I know times are bad now and one can be embarrassed anywhere. That was how I followed my neighbours and landed in Kumba. Here in Kumba I only received calls from the village of persons whom I know whose houses have been destroyed and even some who have been caught by stray bullets,” she recounted.

Some other two corpses of civilians were discovered around the Kake Bridge still on Thursday night. The corpses were later taken for burial by workers of the Kumba City Council.


Firebombing moves from schools to villages

Incineration has become a regular trademark in villages where assailants have stalked and killed soldiers in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, causing many to begin wondering if such acts of vandalism expected from unknown assailants ought to be associated with regular soldiers as it currently obtains. Moreover, this firebombing feature that used to be connected with public and private edifices has now been extended to whole villages, inflicting pains in their wake on innocent citizens.

In the event, while gunshots rent the air as separatists and the military engage in combat, air pollution has, also, become a tenant as the homes of most citizens are razed by the military in retaliation against perceived injury and/or deaths inflicted on fellow men of arms.

Whether as a strategy by the Government to render denizens of the Southwest Region especially in Kumba and Mamfe homeless or not is still a moot point in discussions. However, it has been noted that in every area where there is combat between separatists and the military, houses around such areas would be set ablaze mindless of the fact that there may be people in such homes.

A recent scene of such barbaric act by military goons is that of the innocent 96 year old woman who died in one of the buildings said to have been set on fire by the military. While strong and agile youths for the fear of the unknown scampered for safety in the bushes, the late old woman couldn’t and was consequently roasted like chicken by same people who are under normal circumstances supposed to protect her.

Natives of victimized villages have cried foul as their properties have been shattered and their lives in danger. They have bitterly complained of an unprecedented crackdown by the military, which also used helicopters to fire on civilians. Even though Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala has spoken out against the recent use of military violence and for the respect of human life, this has fallen on deaf ears as the burning persists and is instead progressing to other villages as was recently the case of Tado in Bui Division of the Northwest Region.

Many have pondered on the motive behind what they term wickedness by the military. According to natives, it is innocent people who are suffering because those the military are combating are not from of the villages which have been razed.

Though the Government is talking of dialogue but not initiating one, many have ascertained that the rampant arson on homes would eventually harden the hearts of denizens and make things worse. They have bitterly complained that the Government is doing nothing to ensure that the problem is solved and precious Cameroonian lives are going by the day.

Violence, many have said, cannot be solved by violence, but that seems to be the case now. Fear has engulfed the hearts of Cameroonians, especially, those in the two English speaking Regions as to what the future holds.

By Relindise Ebune

CAF jolts Cameroon over AFCON 2019 hosting

Reactions by Africa’s apex football governing body Confederation of African Football, CAF regarding the preparedness or otherwise of Cameroon to host the upcoming 2019 edition of continental football jamboree, still paint a sombre picture for the country of Indomitable Lions less than 18 months to actual commencement.

With Cameroon sweltering in preparations for the African Cup of Nations 2019 and with the CAF inspection team seemingly not still satisfied with the level of preparedness for the sports jamboree next year, CAF’s President Ahmad Ahmad has challenged Cameroon to address shortfalls regarding their hosting prerogative to the 2019 CAF tournament.

This is the first comment from the football governing body’s boss after the CAF inspection team visited the country last month. Ahmad was speaking on Friday after CAF’s 40th General Assembly, held in Casablanca that on the sideline also, hosted the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final last Sunday.

He said “there is still a shortfall between the report from the recent inspection team visit and the requirements we have set out. It is now up to Cameroon to make up this shortfall as fast as possible, that is all I can tell you.”

He added saying, “you should know that I am a man who keeps his word and my board will not change one iota of the decision taken with regard to the proposed resolution. You can consult our requirements (known in French as cahier de charges) I think we can even put it up on the website if need be, to be transparent. We will see what happens for CAN 2019,” he ended.

With the reactions of the CAF boss, many pundits are still stressing on the fact that, if by the required date by CAF, Cameroon is still below level of expectations, the sports jamboree could easily be lured out of her hands and given to another country which is able and capable of handling the tournament without any problems. However, Cameroon’s hired contractors still assure the nervous Cameroonian public and officials that, they will meet the expectations of CAF in time.

By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred

GCE Board autonomy shattered

The Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board, CGCEB now has a new Board of Directors Chair as well as new Registrar. While Prof. Ivo Leke Tambo replaces Prof. Peter Abeti as Board Chairman, Dang Dominick Ako, takes over from Dr. Ekema Humphrey Monono as Registrar.

Both men were appointed on Tuesday, January 30, and Wednesday January 31 by separate Prime Ministerial Orders.

The appointments have put paid to months and, even years of politicking and attempts to jettison unwritten gentleman’s agreement relating to rules of succession at the helm between functionaries of the Northwest and the Southwest Regions.

Monono and Abeti are being relieved of their functions after unconstitutionally being in office for more than a decade, contrary to the institution’s statutes. Officially, the registrar has a three-year office term, renewable twice; meaning after every three years, the post of registrar is up for grabs and may be advertised by the Chairman of the Board for interested candidates to apply.

Now that there has been change of guards at the education board, many are hoping that like their predecessors, they will put in their all to maintain the statuesque of the Board. It is also expected that the duo would use their profound educational experiences to ensure the independence and efficiency of the GCE Board.

Prof. Leke Tambo hails from Lewoh in Lebialem Division, Southwest Region. He has served in various capacities, rising from primary school teacher to University Professor. He was also, for 10 unbroken years, Secretary General in the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education prior to his retirement.

Dang Dominick Ako is from Menchum Division of the Northwest Region. Upon graduation from the University of Yaounde, in 1982, he immediately embarked on a career in the Examinations Department of the then all-encompassing Ministry of National Education, a circumstance that has made him a very square peg in a square hole in his current appointment.

GCE Board’s wings clipped?

A handful of direct interests and hangers-on are certainly celebrating the changes at the GCE Board, Yet, underlying such celebrations is a hidden potent blow that the GCE Board has been dealt and which has, tacitly watered down the examination body’s powers and ability to uphold the values of typical Anglo-Saxon like educational system.

Under laid down terms, the GCE Board members should have met in conclave, deliberated and had one of their choice appointed to the position of Registrar. This wasn’t the case in the recent exercise. The PM merely appointed the new head without due process. And from the look of things, the autonomy of the Board has been lost to Yaounde, given that it is, from every indication been made to become a department in the Ministry of Secondary Education.

By Nester Asonganyi


Douala cycling fiesta prompts heavy traffic jam

Like every other aspect of national life that is predicated on improvisation instead of pro-activeness, the city of Douala had its traffic circulation arteries blocked Wednesday, January 31, almost rendering commuters helpless owing to absence of contingency arrangements for a hitch-free kickoff of the U23 international cycling tour.

The race reserved for under-23 cyclists brought together 17 teams from 15 countries although it was a difficult pill to swallow for denizens in Douala as traffic was halted on all major roads in the city to give way for the race.

Eritrea’s Nathaneal Mebrahton, Winner

Major axis in town like the Boulevard de la Republique in Akwa, École Publique, Feu Rouge Bessengue, Carrefour Agip, Ndokoti and Ange Raphaël were all blocked as the 147 km race flagged off from Limbe reached the city.

This left workers, traders and businessmen frustrated as they trekked for long distances to get to their houses.

“I was stuck in Ndokotti for over two hours because there were free circulation for vehicles and bikes. Even the pedestrian path was blocked by people who came to watch as spectators so it was even difficult walking on foot,” a Douala resident Collins Tenkeu, told The Rambler.

“The Government needs to choose a lane out of town when next they want to organize such a competition to avoid slowing down activities in town. It is really frustrating to lose a whole day because of a race which is bringing no financial benefits to us,” another resident in Douala said.

Others, however, preferred to blame the situation on the Douala City Council for failing to provide adequate secondary roads in the city that could help decongest traffic when such instances present themselves.

By 6:00pm local time, the race had wrapped up but the town remained caught in the traffic web as bike riders took advantage to make brisk business with exorbitant fares.

For two days spent in Douala by the caravan, it was hell on earth for denizens with the traffic under the grueling sun. By 2pm when the caravan entered into town from the Southwest Region, the city had been cut into two as it had become impossible to cross on the Wouri Bridge.

Talking about the race proper, the first lap saw foreigners totally dominate the lane as Eritrea’s Nathaneal Mebrahton emerged winner in 2h 25’24. He was 11 minutes clear of his compatriot Selemun Zemenses, while Morocco’s Chokri El Mehdi finished a close third. Surprisingly, the winner of the Tropical Amissa Bongo in Gabon, Rwanda’s Areruya Joseph could only settle for fourth place.

The first Cameroonian, Ismael Voukeng, could only manage at the fifteenth place as it was a poor show in a harsh weather that forced many riders to abandon the race while others faced mechanical problems.

The second lap of the race was equally won by an Eritrean Daniel Habtemchael finishing ahead of Rwandan Jean Paul Rene Ukinwabo by sprint on the finish line. The podium was completed by Gregory Rougier-Lagane from the Mauritius Island.

The best team of the competition also qualifies for the “coupe de l’avenir” to take place in France next year.

By Francis Ajumane