Here below is the Open Letter by Dr. Kevin Ngwang Gumni
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)
His Excellency, President Paul Biya,
Presidency of the Republic, Yaoundé
Republic of Cameroun
Open Letter from the Southern Cameroons People’s Organisation demanding:
(1) A National Apology from Cameroun Republic to the People and State of Southern Cameroons and
(2) The Restoration of Southern Cameroons Statehood.
The Southern Cameroons People’s Organization (SCAPO) Political Party addresses their compliments to you, Mr. President, and has the honour to attach hereto copy of their letter to Prime Minister Philemon Yang on how SCAPO political party came into lawful existence in Cameroon.
The copy is for Your Excellency’s information.
We draw your attention to the following:
(1) That by the time the United Nations conducted a plebiscite in the State of Southern Cameroons in February 1961, The Southern Cameroons was a self- overning State with well demarcated international boundaries, a Ministerial government headed by a Prime Minister and a bicameral legislature and an independent Judiciary Department.
(2) That preparatory to the UN plebiscite the agreement which the State of Southern Cameroons reached with Republic of Cameroon was to form a Federation of two States both equal in status, This Agreement was published in The Two Alternatives and widely circulated to the general public
(3) That on the 21st of April 1961, the General Assembly of the United Nations by Resolution 1608 XV endorsed the decision of the people of Southern Cameroons in the UN Plebiscite to achieve independence. 64 friendly Countries voted to support Southern Cameroons’ independence while 23 others voted against.
(4) That having voted in the UN plebiscite in good faith to join the Republic of Cameroon the people of Southern Cameroons expected Republic of Cameroon to reciprocate by supporting their independence but to their utter surprise Republic of Cameroon voted to oppose their independence and to also oppose the proposal by the United Nations for Southern Cameroons to join her. This is why the first public action of SCAPO as a legal political party is to CALL ON YOU AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC TO TENDER A NATIONAL APOLOGY ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON TO THE STATE AND PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS. FOR this act of bad faith during the UN General Assembly vote on independence for Southern Cameroons on 21st April 1961.
We also draw your attention to the following:
(5) That on 1st January 1960 Republic of Cameroon achieved independence when the British Southern Cameroons was still a UN Trust Territory and therefore did not constitute part of the territory which the Republic of Cameroon inherited from the UN Trust Territory of French Cameroon,
(6) That That if later Southern Cameroons had joined the Republic of Cameroon in accordance with United Nations principles and in accordance with international law, a Treaty of Union should have been signed between the two States, ratified by the respective Parliaments of both States and registered at the Secretariat of the United Nations in conformity with Article 102 of the UN Charter in order to give the Union international validity but because Republic of Cameroon voted “NO” on UN proposals and preferred instead to annex the Southern Cameroons the United Nations has nothing registered at its Secretariat to show that Southern Cameroons and Republic of Cameroon ever came into union. The presence of the Republic of Cameroon in Southern Cameroons is consequently an unlawful extension of territorial boundary. This is unacceptable to the people of Southern Cameroons.
(7) That the unilateral redrawing of international boundaries by a member State of the African Union, violates Article 4 (b) of the African Union Constitutive Act concerning boundaries inherited at independence and Republic of Cameroon’s occupation of the Southern Cameroons since 1961 is in violation of this important African Union principle. .More than that: this unlawful occupation of the Southern Cameroons since 1961 has been attended by a sustained and intolerable human rights violations unleashed on the people of the Southern Cameroons especially under your rule and this is why SCAPO political party is CALLING ON YOUR GOVERNMENT TO STATE PUBLICLY WHETHER IT ACCEPTS OR REJECTS THE PROPOSAL BY THE AFRICAN COMMISSION IN BANJUL FOR DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE STATE OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS AND REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON.
(8) THE STATEMENT SHOULD ALSO TELL THE PUBLIC WHAT YOUR GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON SOUTHERN CAMEROONS’ COMMUNICATION 337/2OO7 PENDING BEFORE THE AFRICAN COMMISSION IN BANJUL FOR EIGHT YEARS NOW HAPPENS TO BE.
Mr. President, in this first SCAPO Party letter to you we want to place on record the fact that when you came to power in 1982 you started absolutely well, and gave the people of Southern Cameroons a lot of hope that you could correct what we saw wrong in the Republic of Cameroon up to that point in time. Your ideas on rigour and moralization raised our hopes to see light at the end of a dark tunnel. But you let us down and did so very badly. First, your government failed to rise to the occasion to build a lasting federal union with the State of Southern Cameroons. You transformed the voluntary decision of the people of the Southern Cameroons for unification into annexation and a Minister in your government announced in front of CRTV cameras that . Southern Cameroons was a territory that was ceded to Republic of Cameroon. Since you came to power in 1982 you, more than anyone else, have destroyed all hopes of a lasting federal union between the Southern Cameroons and the Republic of Cameroon. You will go down in history as the main architect of the dismemberment of The United Republic of Cameroon.
The most damaging contribution which you made to the destruction of the federal union was Law No 84-1 of 4 February 1984 which you signed changing the name of the country from the United Republic of Cameroon to Republic of Cameroon, the same name by which the former UN Trust Territory of Cameroon under French Administration was known when it obtained independence on January 1, 1960 and was admitted as a member of the United Nations. Mr. President, you committed an act of secession from the informal union which existed between the Southern Cameroons and Republic of Cameroon. Your lawyers gave you wrong advice.
Your act of secession was a grave mistake. Take Tanzania for example. Tanganyika and Zanzibar came together to form a union called United Republic of Tanzania. Is it possible for President Jakaya Kikwete to wake up one day and unilaterally decide that United Republic of Tanzania will change its name to Tanganyika? That would be an act of secession by Tanganyika from the union called Tanzania and Zanzibar would be forced to assume its previous historical identity. Similarly, England and Scotland came together to form the union, known as the United Kingdom when King James IV of Scotland became King James I of England. Can Queen Elizabeth II of the UK wake up one morning and unilaterally decide that the United Kingdom will once again be called “England”? That would be an act of secession by England from the United Kingdom and Scotland would be forced to assume its previous legal/historical identity as a separate Kingdom. That is why we have said that the change of name from the United Republic of Cameroon to Republic of Cameroon, and the two star flag to one star was an act of secession, which forced the Southern Cameroons to assume her previous historical identity as a different state.
Mr. President, SCAPO PARTY DEMANDS THE RESTORATION OF THE STATEHOOD OF SOUTHERN CAMEROONS AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY THE ELECTION RE-INSTATING THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY WILL NOT BE CONDUCTED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT. IT WILL BE ORGANISED BY A JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE AFRICAN UNION. SHOULD YOUR GOVERNMENT TRY TO ORGANISE ELECTIONS IN SOUTHERN CAMEROONS AGAIN WE WILL START IMPLENTING RELEVANT UNITED NATIONS’ RESOLUTIONS. To this end, SCAPO will be calling on the people of Southern Cameroons not to participate in any elections in Southern Cameroons unless it is one organized by the United Nations and/or the African Union in view of restoring Southern Cameroons’ Statehood and handing the territory of Southern Cameroons to its elected leaders.
Mr. President, permit us to conclude this letter with our party’s view on peace and unity since SCAPO fully subscribes to these concepts. SCAPO believes in peace and that is why since its creation in 2001SCAPO has pursued Southern Cameroons’ right of self-determination peacefully through litigations. SCAPO plans to carry out its political programmes peacefully but we want to be clear that peace, genuine peace, must be the substitution of right for might, law for war, and reason for force. SCAPO also believes in Unity but we have had to reflect soberly on the question, unity at whose expense? The present African Union Started as The Organisation of African Unity. Unity is still important today in Africa as it always has been since the OAU was created but we want to be clear: Unity in Africa must be based on African Union (AU) principles and instruments. Let no UN or AU member State violate United Nations Resolutions, ignore AU instruments, defy international law only to turn round after all these and sing to us the meaningless song of national unity. It is unacceptable.
For and on behalf of the SCAPO political party,
Dr. Kevin NGWANG GUMNE
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)