It is not doubt that since the reunification of the both Cameroons (East Cameroun otherwise La Republique and Southern Cameroons ) in 1961, Southern Cameroonians have always cried foul as they saw their very intention of joining the union disregarded by the repressive and imperialist tendencies of La Republique who imposed herself as a “new colonial power” over Southern Cameroons, ripping them off their colonial heritages and imposing methods inimical to the very understanding of the average speaking Southern Cameroonian. This had a natural effect; nursing a zeal to revolt later on in the life of the country. As a consequence, many secret meetings that held directed their minds to one thing; forming a pressure group to sell the idea of secession to revert to the status quo ante before the union which has largely termed “fake”.
This finally led to the birth of one of the strongest pressure groups that was baptised and named The Southern Cameroons National Congress (SCNC). A short while after this was formed, Government felt the pinch of the steam it had gathered amongst the cream of intellectuals and in the youths and their activities were banned totally. One major activity of the SCNC was to always hoist the Southern Cameroons Blue and White flag every October 01st, a day they considered as their independence day.
This has always not gone down well as there has always been a constant ruthless crackdown of their activities forcing many of their activist on exile and some imprisoned without trial as many more endured torture and inhumane and degrading treatments in the hands of pro-government forces.
The above notwithstanding, this wave of awareness soon crept into colleges and Universities with students coming out to decry aspects of Anglophone Marginalisation. Clubs on campuses and University Student Unions took front stage in openly decry aspects of Anglophone marginalisation and constantly revolted repressive tendencies.
The effect of the above was in two folds;
- It led to growing awareness of the fault of the “fake union” and opened many minds and eyes with facts and figures that La Republique had shifted from the terms of the union of two federated states to now acting as a new colonial outfit over the Southern Cameroons.
- On the other hand, it left protagonist of these ideas in severe danger as many of them were forced to drop out from school, many more were illegally imprisoned, a few having terrible criminal charges against them and lots of others have lost their livelihoods either because they have been blacklisted in many public and private opportunities or incapacitated because at some point they were maimed.
This is the very essence of this analysis which is intended to inform public opinion how our youths have been frustrated for crying foul and wanting a better life.
The examples are inexhaustible and requires decent brevity to be able to capture some cases that stand out as terrible abuses to our youth who have all the protection of internationally ratified legal instruments paramount of which are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the African Charter on Civil and Political Rights that assert in not many words the right of a people to self-determination.
ABIA DAVID was the first ever elected President of the University of Buea Students’ Union who led a strike action that saw two university student killed with life bullets, an action which is a gross travesty to national and international legal instruments. Upon his graduation, he picked up many jobs he could not keep as the government kept a close eye on him and always forced even private employers to terminate his employment. Our findings show that he finally fled the country when violence in the North West and South West Regions escalated due to calls for secession and now working as a volunteer with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Cross River State, Nigeria, taking care of helpless Cameroonian refugees at the ADAGOM Refugee Settlement at OGOJA, Cross River State. This was a fine brain in Political Science now frustrated as he can never be gainfully employed in La Republique controlled space.
DONATUS ASU WANOBI, pioneer Chairman of the University of Buea Students’ Union who also led an awareness campaign towards secession fled from the shores of Cameroon immediately he graduated from the University of Buea with a Degree in Law. He sought for safety in neighbouring Nigerian before eventually finding himself in Europe with no hopes of returning to Cameroon, ever.
BARA MARK BARETA, also pioneer Vice President of the University of Buea Students’ Union also managed to pick up a job as a Teacher with the catholic Mission after graduating with a Degree in Environmental Sciences. He was constantly arrested on the grounds that he still had an influence on University Students each time they revolted for something right. This forced him out of Cameroon to Belgium where he was granted asylum. He is now safe in Belgium and a frontline activist in the restoration of the statehood of Southern Cameroons and runs the popular online news outfit “BARETANEWS”.
TEKE MOTOMBI ESOSE, a student with the Government Technical College Ombe whose penchant for probity at a very tender age forced him to join the anticorruption club in the college and later became Vice President of the same club. He was rusticated and banned from gaining admission in any Government School in Cameroon and barred from sitting any public exams. His membership with SCNC made him a constant target as he was always a victim of torture and harassment. It is reported that he fled away to the Middle East for better life and upon his return to Cameroon sometime between September and October 2019, he was accused of spreading tracks calling for boycotts of the Presidential Elections and being vocal on social media on the restoration of the Southern Cameroon State. He was tortured and abandoned in prison considered dead and saved by an International right group team visiting detention centres. By some unexplained and unimaginable stroke of luck, he fled once again to a destination unknown to many and he has warrant for his arrest anytime he sets foot in the Country for offences carrying the death penalty if found guilty.
ALBERT JAMES NGUNGE, a Student with a Vocational Training Centre in Kumba who ventured into business shortly after his graduation as carpenter. He opened a road side beer parlour that entertained serious debates on the ongoing crisis and he was arrested and tortured severely and he fled to neighbouring Equatorial Guinee abandoning his wife and three year old twins’ daughters.
The story of many who even fled to neighbouring Nigeria who were surreptitiously repatriated with complicity of the Nigerian Government too are many but not within the contemplation of this analysis.
The above examples are a minimal percentage of the actualities on the ground and with growing violence and crackdown, it is feared that many more youths won’t only flee but may lose their lives. All these happens under the watchful eyes of foreign Governments and International Organisations who have employed a kind of weak strategy in the face of growing violence. The Government of La Republique now feels untouchable, if not, what will justify the gruesome killing of 23 civilians amongst which were pregnant women and kids under the ages of six (06) years in Ngarbuh in the North West Region on February 14, 2020? In the face if these most horrendous international crimes against humanity, the international community has kept a suspicious silence albeit a few have come out strong to condemn the acts and call for an independent commission of inquiry. Unfortunately, results of such commissions appointed by Mr Biya are never madepublic.
Many pundits are now saying that may be the international community will strongly intervene only to make a censors of graves when all of Anglophones, bona fide citizens of Southern Cameroons (AMBAZONIA) would have been killed.