One Mr. Munzu says “No Genocide”. Here are a couple of responses to that by two Citizens whose birthplace is the area in question: AMBAZONIA
Response 1: By Dr. Tatah Mentan
Sorry for not seeing the calls that I should “respond” to Dr. Simon Munzu.
I wish to note here that I am not a fan of ambush journalism. The reason is that it is vicious and superficial in its scope. To me, Dr. Munzu did the normal job of a defense attorney cum politician.
1. The push for federalism in LRC is not new. From Fru Ndi to Dr. Agbor Balla, etc.we have been fed fat with the swan song of federalism. My take is that federalism has no place in the carceral Jacobin state system. Nobody has offered any historical example to the contrary.
2. The official statement by President Paul Biya that LRC is a Francophone state has received acceptance by some. This statement has linkages we shouldn’t discard. He is the person who reenacted LRC by decree in 1984. Even during the Paris Peace Conference President Biya admitted that he had been trying to fuse the Anglo-Saxon culture into French with no success. But he stressed that he has offered Special Status to Anglophones. A former UN Trust Territory Category B giving Special Status to another former UN Trust Territory Category B? What a travesty? I will never buy such logic, even in the auctions.
3. The issue of defending the charge of genocide in court also enjoyed cavalier treatment. The late Kofi Annan was quoted partially to twist facts. Kofi Annan defined genocide thus: “A genocide begins with the killing of one man-not for what he has done, but because of who he is.”
Anybody can revisit the statement made by former US Ambassador to LRC, Peter Henry Balering after his audience with President Paul Biya. He defined what was going on in Southern Cameroons as “targeted killings.” You may cite Ngarbu, etc. Why the international community has not deemed it genocide as such isn’t due to ignorance of the facts. International Law compels immediate intervention, when acknowledged as such. It’s simply because LRC has its cover in the UNSC.
I wish to note that despite the “genocide fax” in April 1994 by Canadian General Romeo Dallaire the UN looked the other way as Tutsi and moderate Hutus were being massacred in Rwanda. Does anyone here doubt the screams by Ernest Obama and Jean Jacques Ze in Vision 4 for the massacre of rats, roaches, and pests? Does one need to be a disingenuous fact twister to discern this as such?
Kofi Annan never failed to recognize his failure in stopping the genocide in Rwanda. By then he was boss of the UN Peacekeeping Department. He contributed immensely to International Law and International Criminal Law. I benefitted richly from his scholarly contributions in my teaching and research as a scholar.
Anyone interested may read my: The United Nations Organization: (In)Securing Global Peace and Security. It’s an indictment of the UN, UNSC, etc. in handling conflicts. It goes into selected countries like Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya to satisfy the quests of imperialist powers, not to defend International law. Was there any genocide in Libya or Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?
4. The argument that the UN handled the issue of the Southern Cameroons independence with legal respect is to me indefensible. I want anybody to convince me that there was any legal merit for the denial of independence to the Southern Cameroons because, as the UN argued, was not economically viable. UN Resolution 1541 and UN Charter Article 102 don’t offer such excuses. Else, how more economically viable was Gambia than the Southern Cameroons?
Let ALL journalists avoid being delusional hybrids. They should embrace Anticolonial journalism to free Africa. Thanks for reading my contribution to the debate though not on Chatnite Africa.
Response 2: Barrister Charles Taku (ICJ)
“I have listened to a *pathetic apology* of the atrocity crimes committed against Southern Cameroons by Dr Munzu, in particular, his allegation that mass killing of members of the group is a requirement for the crime of genocide. *This reasoning is inconsistent with the law and the jurisprudence of international criminal* tribunals and courts.
The ICTR in Prosecutor v Jean Paul Akayesu Case No. ICTR – 96-4-T defined genocide Article 2(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal as follows:
Para.494. Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical racial or religious group as such:
a) killing members of the group
b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The trial judgement determined and the appeal judgement confirmed that inflicting any of the enumerated acts against a single member of the group with the required dolus specialis-special intent was enough for a crime of genocide to be found to have been committed. Akayesu was found guilty of genocide for specific acts which occurred at a check point where persons were targeted for their Tutsi ethnic identity through a showing of identity cards. The alleged presence of Southern Cameroonians in LRC or the alleged widespread attacks or targeting are not legal requirements.
Dr Munzu miscomprehends the law on this issue. Furthermore, conflates the widespread and systematic requirements for contextual elements for crimes against humanity with context elements of genocide. He may not be aware of the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals, many which occurred in cases in which I participated, that crimes against humanity and genocide may occur outside an armed conflict.
ps: This is good study material for High School and College students of British S. Cameroons aka AMBAZONIA.