By Chief Charles Taku
Jan 22, 2017
My decision to post these judgments is not to generate a distracting debate from the ongoing crimes against humanity. No one needs to interpret the attached judgments for we are all literate. After reading the judgments, and with a great sense of discernment, we can individually search answers to the following questions:
1) What new issues did the Consortium of Civil Society Associations bring to the the supposed negotiating table with representatives of the Republic of Cameroun which have not been previously raised since 1961 and even litigated and conceded to by the Government of Cameroun?
2) What new issues did the Consortium and Southern Cameroonians against whom crimes against humanity are being committed with impunity raise which were not previously discussed by a panel of experts established by the government during the supposed 50th anniversary of independence?
3) What new issues did the Consortium and Southern Cameroonians raise to invite the internet blockade, crimes of rape and indignities on our girls and women at school and in their homes, torture,cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, murder and other inhumane acts on discriminatory basis?
4) What new issues did they do or say which was not the subject of ACC1, ACC11 and the Tripartite?
5) How can anyone trust a government that invites persons to a purported negotiation and then arrest and court-martial them for matters placed on the negotiating table?
I could go on and on asking more questions. One thing is obvious. The elaborate armed attacks against civilians in the Southern Cameroons and the heavy toll exacted rather than subdue the people to silence will rather justify the legitimate aspirations of the people united than ever in their quest for freedom.
I have repeatedly stated that the responsibility for these crimes does not rest on the Francophones generally. They too are victims of a failed neo-colonial system. Their docility must not be conflated with complicity in the crimes against Southern Cameroonians. I have written elsewhere that the evil spirit of Louis Paul Aujoulat is hovering over France African neo-colonies. Imposed tools of enslavement, control and domination like the CFA Francs, neo-colonial economic and military and public symbols glorifying war criminals and extolling their military prowess remind the citizens of the neo-colonies that their countries seemed independent but not free.
The public erection of symbols glorifying war criminals who hounded down and massacred hundreds of thousands of nationalists in France’s neo-colony of Cameroun are a mockery of the liberation struggle in which hundreds of thousands nationalists were slaughtered.
While a frank and open debate on the ” contentieux historique” may rehabilitate the cause for which they died, it behoves all reasonable persons to support the Southern Cameroons Cause which is similarly based on justice and history. The ongoing cowardly slaughter of arm-less men, women and children, some in the bosom of their homes and their sleeps as collective punishment for their quest for freedom and justice must be condemned by all people with a conscience. The martyrs of Southern Cameroons freedom are speaking to our individual and collective consciences from their cold and lonely graves urging us not relent in the quest for the freedom whose price they paid with their blood. The living and the unborn have a commitment with fate to keep the flame of resistance to tyranny and oppression alive until justice is not only done but seen to be done. A court-martial of significant Southern Cameroonians and many hundreds of others who have been kidnapped and interned in military and paramilitary cantonments away from their homes and their territory will not attenuate the flame of freedom. Most of those who held the power of life and death over Camerade Emile Ernest Ouandie of Africa and condemned him to death by firing squad have all bowed to the biblical injunction of “dust to dust”.
No one remembers them but for the fact that they were used as tools of oppression to execute a neocolonial agenda. Is history going to repeat itself in the Southern Cameroons case in the Yaounde Military Tribunal? The jury is out for an answer. However, the Presiding Judge who condemned Camarade Emile knowing that he was innocent was my neighbour in Buea. During an intimate discussion one evening, he confided to me that the five guns that were presented as the symbolic guns to execute the Coup against Babatoura Ahidjo did not qualify as weapons under the definition of weapons under the military code. Why convict nevertheless ? After a long silence and an anxious look into the empty space. He venture an answer but stopped and urge us to move to a different topic. I got the message. That trial was still playing and possibly haunting his mind long after the judgement.
I stated in my previous writings over the years that no one should live under the illusion that the spirit of Aujoulat is no longer hovering over the goings on in France’s neo-colonies. So therefore, we know where to pin the blame for the ongoing crimes against humanity.The court-martial before the Yaounde Military Tribunal is not a case against three or four individuals. It is a case against the collective soul of the Southern Cameroons; indeed it is all Southern Cameroonians who are on trial. No one should have an illusion about this hard fact. History they say, plays tricks on people. But history is also a fair judge.
If I am asked to express a personal opinion on the ability of the courts of the Republic of Cameroon, in particular a Military Tribunal to deliver justice to Southern Cameroonians, in particular in the context of the fulfillment of a political agenda, my answer will undoubtedly be linked to the convictions and execution of Ernest Ouandie and the five dane guns. Did the execution of Ernest Ouandie kill the cause and liberation ideology he professed? So therefore, I strongly urge President Paul Biya to unconditionally set Felix Agbor Nkongho, Dr Neba Fontem, Hon, Paul Ayah, Mola Njoh Litumbe, Mancho Bibixiy and hundreds of Southern Cameroonians held captive free. I strongly urge President Paul Biya to allow an international commission of inquiry to come in and thoroughly investigate the crimes that have been perpetrated against arm-less Southern Cameroonians.
I strongly urge him to seriously consider the option of dialogue which the African Commission has recommended and which Southern Cameroonians have accepted. This is the second time the AU is proposing dialogue under its auspices to address the Southern Cameroons issue.
Chief Charles A.Taku
Clarification of Conflict of Interest in the representation of Dr Fontem Neba and Barrister Nkongho Agbor.
The matter of the court martial of the above mentioned persons is of immense public interest. Given this situation, I am writing as an individual from a public interest perspective.
All lawyers and law firms involved in the legal representation of the above named persons should declare and disclose any conflict of interest that may coincide with any legal services they provide to the Government of Cameroon.
The purpose of this statement is not meant to draw negative inference in their representation of Cameroon. It is solely to advance the interest of these defendants such as may be compromised by advice and counsel provided.
The motivation of this statement is based on present circumstances namely, the arrest of negotiators and legal representatives engaged in negotiations with Cameroon.
For example, it appears on circumstantial information that the law firm of Muna and Muna has represented Cameroon in International Aviation law proceedings and negotiations. If the firm intends to represent these defendants, it needs to disclose the nature of its business relationship with the Government of Cameroon in its entirety. The same goes for all firms.
Unusual nature of this situation
The Government of Cameroon is an unusual legal client. It has taken the drastic step of arresting and interrogating lawyers and negotiators participating in negotiations/dialogue that has failed. There is no reason to believe that such pressure tactics may not be applied to law firms that represent it, who may be providing counsel to these defendants.
It further demonstrates in public manner that by interrogating these individuals, attorney client privilege and confidentiality is not taken seriously by this government.