By,Terence Che Ngwa SCNC-UK Activist
The Republic of Ambazonia is the world’s newest nation, but it seems a lot of people around the world have a lot of difficulty understanding the problem between Ambazonia and her Neighbour La Republic du Cameroun which is seeking to annex its territory. This was evident by a tweet from the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary after discussions with the prime minister of La Republic du Cameroun during the Commonwealth summit erroneously referring to our territory as Anglophone regions. Other actors have also called for dialogue with Anglophone leaders despite the fact that this is not synonymous with Ambazonia leaders. This confusion is further visible when western media try to report on the conflict, referring to Ambazonians as secessionist, separatist and various other connotations that are not in conformity with the fight for the recognition of our statehood. Therefore, it is important to have a clear picture of what we are and discard any attempts by anyone to label us otherwise. Our liberation must start from our minds. We must also continue to educate the world about our cause.
- We are not in the South of la Republic du Cameroun
Southern Cameroons is on the west of la republic du Cameroun and was actually referred as west Cameroon in its purported union with its Neighbour La republic du Cameroon. The name Southern Cameroons comes from the decision by the British to partition its UN mandate territory into Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons. This territory had a distinct status of its own with international boundaries on the west with Nigeria established by the Anglo-German treaty of 1913.On the East it had boundaries with La Republic du Cameroun as agreed by the Simon-Milner agreement which was the dividing line between the British and French troops as they fought to overtake the German colony Kamerun during the first world war. This agreement was also acknowledged as the international boundary by the treaty of Versailles.
Ambazonia with its international boundaries with La Republic du Cameroun and Nigeria
We are Ambazonians not Anglophones or English minority:
It is very disappointing when diplomats and politicians keep referring to the problems in Ambazonia as that of a minority English speaking region or Anglophone problem. This has led to the international community dismissing us as a people fighting over an imperialist language. This cannot be further far from the truth. Our dispute is entirely about a territory illegally annexed by our neighbour. Most people in Ambazonia or La republic du Cameroun are perfectly bilingual, being fluent in English does not make one an Ambazonian. We refuse to be equally belittled as a territory or region in another country.We are a nation with defined international status and boundaries for almost a century. So please call us Ambazonians .
We are not secessionist:
To secede is to withdraw formally from membership of a federal union, an alliance or from an organisation. Since there is no act of union between Ambazonia and la Republic du Cameroun,we cannot be termed as such. More appropriately we are restorationist, as we are trying to restore the statehood and independence of Ambazonia under annexation by our neighbours since 1961.
We are not terrorist :
As a Country trying to restore its place in the committee of nations, we cannot be terrorist and we do not seek to terrorise anyone. Rather we want to use every democratic and peaceful means available to us to achieve our goals. Terrorist will be more appropriate to the government of la republic du Cameroun. As army of occupation continues to burn homes roasting venerable people like women children and elderly inside, they rape our women, loot our properties and kill indiscriminately. They arrest innocent civilians and torture them mercilessly with aim to intimidating our people to subjugation. This regime continues to carry out human right abuses in Ambazonia. After unilaterally declaring war on Ambazonia ,La Republic du Cameroun has flagrantly breeched the Geneva conventions and protocols it is signatory to, while the international community watches but remain silent.
Our problem is not marginalization:
Since we do not consider ourselves as a territory of another nation, marginalization is very inappropriate to use as the source of the problems in Ambazonia. Living under the control of an annexationist, one is bound to feel left out and oppressed. But we are not fighting against marginalization. Marginalization are internal disputes of a country that requires different solutions to that demanded by all Ambazonians. We want to live as free men and be able to determine our own destiny.
We are not seeking for a Federal union with La Republic du Cameroon:
If our forefathers rejected any union with la republic du Cameroun, how can we now decide to enter into another with La Republic du Cameroun after 57 years of being annexed? There was no agreed union between the two countries and La Republic du Cameroun constitution imposed on our people was rejected by then premier of Southern Cameroons J.N Foncha and thus was not signed. Anyone advocating for Ambazonia to be a federal state in another country is living in fantasy. Until we live as free men in a free Ambazonia we will continue to resist.
Anglophone leaders do not represent Ambazonians:
Many countries, diplomats and organizations have been calling for negotiations to resolve the conflict. However what is very wrong and dangerous is the fact that they call on La Republic du Cameroun to negotiate with Anglophone leaders. Since our problem is not that of Language, Anglophone leaders do not represent Ambazonians. In fact, this people who claim to be English speakers are the source of the problem as they have been used by La Republic du Cameroun to hold grip on our territory. To say the government should negotiate with Anglophone leaders is like asking it to negotiate with itself. The only people that represent Ambazonians is the interim government of the Republic of Ambazonia.
It is the duty of every Ambazonia to recognise that we are a nation annexed and denied its right to self-government by an international conspiracy championed by France. Irrespective of the results of the 11 February referendum of 1961 and the failure to negotiate a treaty of Union, Britain should have handed power to the democratically elected government of Southern Cameroons. Rather it directly handed it to another state giving it the prerogative to annex our territory as it did by marching its army and occupying our land.
We therefore have a right protected under international law to seek to govern ourselves. The arguments for statehood should always be confined to international law. We should not confound this with the internal problems of La republic du Cameroun, such as lack of democracy, marginalization ,the language divide or dictatorship. These issues belittle our just cause for freedom, because these are internal issues within a country. Our problems are not an internal dispute but an international one. It is the illegal occupation of our Territory by La republic du Cameroun by crossing its internationally recognised boundaries.
Ambazonia was given an international status as a UN mandate territory in 1922.On 9th of January 1931 the “Cameroons boundaries commission” met in London and under the supervision of the league of nations the international boundary between the two nations was landmarked and concrete pillars were built to demarcate this boundary. The agreement was co-signed by administrators of both territories.
This international status was maintained by the United Nations and in 1961 when there was a failure to agree on any act union of the two countries, Southern Cameroons automatically retained its independent status as a nation.
Thus we will either live in a free Ambazonia or die fighting.
Long live the Republic of Ambazonia.
By Terence Che Ngwa,SCNC-UK
Terence che Ngwa(right) with SCNC-UK chairman Robert Tamanji at the commonwealth summit in London
- Legal argument for Southern Cameroons independence http://www.africafederation.net/SouthernCameroon.htm
- My letter to British Prime minister Theresa may on the need for UK intervention in Ambazonia https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213401480224897&set=pcb.10213401545746535&type=3&theater