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Southern Cameroons National Council plans street protests to have activists freed

Summary & Comment: This paper explains the plight faced by some members of the separatist SCNC group in Cameroon and exposes the perception members of this group have towards Cameroon’s membership in the British Commonwealth.MU

Author: Chris Mbunwe Date Written: 27 November 2005
Primary Category: Western Region Document Origin: The Post News
Secondary Category: Human Rights Source URL:
Key Words: SCNC, rights, seccession, commonwealth, Southern Cameroons

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Southern Cameroons National Council plans street protests to have activists freed

Chief Ayamba Ette Otun, Chairman of one of the factions of the separatist Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, has announced what he says are a series of peaceful street demonstrations throughout the territory, to secure the release of detained members.A press release dated Thursday, November 24, and signed by the faction leader, indicates that street demonstrations would begin Tuesday, November 29.

The release calls on all Southern Cameroonians to stand as one man for the "immediate and unconditional release of the SCNC National Vice Chairman, Nfor Ngala Nfor and other compatriots detained incommunicado since November 11, as well as 15 detainees in the Kondengui maximum prison in Yaounde, held since 1997". In yet another five-page memo addressed to all Commonwealth Heads of State and governments at the just concluded session in Malta, Chief Ayamba appealed for urgent intervention, to "halt the incessant brutalisation and crackdown on Southern Cameroonians by the Yaounde regime."

"As a result of our peaceful successes towards the peaceful restoration of the sovereign independence and statehood of the Southern Cameroons without recourse to violence, the Yaounde government has, since 1997, imprisoned many SCNC activists in Yaounde maximum prison up to date," states Ayamba's memo to the Commonwealth leaders.

The crackdown, the SCNC leader says, intensifies every year, prior to the celebration of the Southern Cameroons Independence Day, on October 1. In order to obliterate the true memory of Southern Cameroons history, Chief Ayamba says, President Paul Biya spends huge sums of money to dispatch gendarmes and Anglophone members of government to Bamenda and Buea, to dissuade, brutalise, arrest and detain Southern Cameroonians.

The memo urges the Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon, and others, to take notice of the fact that the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Chief Ephraim Inoni, representing President Biya at the current summit, has no executive powers. According to Ayamba, Inoni's presence "does not and cannot, therefore, represent one iota of the six million suffering Southern Cameroonians." He argues that most Southern Cameroonians vehemently opposed the Commonwealth's admission of La République du Cameroun into membership in 1995 because, "we wanted the Commonwealth to first exert pressure on President Biya for meaningful change and respect of the rights of Southern Cameroonians in this dispensation."

The SCNC, Ayamba noted, is "really disturbed that this membership has not addressed the Southern Cameroons question and the Biya government ironically uses the Commonwealth much more than ever, to enhance the annexation and occupation of Southern Cameroonians and their territory. 

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