By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
A jailed Cameroonian activist has said in his book titled, “Paradise Lost?” that the fight for the independence of the British Southern Cameroons will continue until the independence is attained.
Nfor Ngala Nfor is a political prisoner held in a high-security detention facility in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde. He’s currently serving a life sentence. The case has been appealed.
There’s a 3-year-old armed conflict ravaging Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions with demand by the majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia.
In the book that talks of “A Political History Of British Southern Cameroons From 1916 to 1972″, Ngala foresees a sustained and a ‘not to give up’ battle due to injustices and foreign dominance that dates back from colonial times in the 1880s.
He cautions that the kind of inaction by United Nations that turned its eyes on Namibia and Eritrea in solving their impasses that latest almost for decades, leading to ugly occurrences which would have been avoided will only strengthen those of Southern Cameroons
The book also seeks to counsel the UN to involve parties from both territories to avoid revengeful ‘costly war of liberation’ as self-defense.
Nfor Ngala Nfor says due to prolonged suffering, and being mindful of inherent rights to freedom and equality, they would gladly welcome the idea of defending their national self-determination and national sovereignty.
He says denial and statehood of British Southern Cameroon undermine the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of La Republique du Cameroun, referring to the Republic of Cameroon.
According to the book, British Southern Cameroons on the attainment of self-government in 1954 was a burgeoning parliamentary democracy after the Westminster model.
The author also states that under annexation from October 1961, the people and territory have been subjected to Napoleonic constitutionalism and Gaullism with the big government–highly centralised and powers concentrated in the chief executive, a Presidential Monarch, and in one place: the national capital, Yaoundé.
British Southern Cameroons was a state in equal standing with French Cameroun before the United Nations up to 1959, into an annexed territory and periphery of an imposed mother country, La Republique du Cameroun (former French Cameroun).
This book exposes the injustice the people of British Southern Cameroons have suffered for almost two centuries. It seeks to arouse both national and international consciousness for an end to such gruesome injustice and for a permanent solution, namely sovereign independence for British Southern Cameroons.
The consequences of the prolonged foreign domination (British, 1858-1884, German, 1885-1916; British, 1922-1960 and Cameroun Republic, 1961-Present) and other politically, economically, culturally, intellectually and socially have been devastating, and only a radical change can restore the people to their self-worth, it says.
The book further suggests that in restoring the self-worth of the people of this former United Nations Class B Trust Territory, both the people of the territory and the international community led by the United Nations have significant roles to play. Each has to summon the political will to right the wrongs of 1961.
He and eleven others were arrested in Nera, a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria on Friday, January 5, 2018. Ten of them would later be extradited to Yaoundé, an act that has been described as a bootleg.
They were accused of fueling the armed conflict ravaging the two English-speaking regions. They’ve all denounced their Cameroonian Nationality, insisting that they’re of Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia, a self-proclaimed new nation.
Unrest in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions began in October 2016 as a disagreement in language but the government mismanaged it, turning it into an armed conflict.