March 26, 2017
I YEMBE MARTIN FON, Executive Coordinator of Global Information Network, GLOBINET, a Human Rights Group based in West Cameroon, monitoring and reporting on the ongoing Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon, hereby state as follows:
That the situation of Human Rights abuses is not only alarming, but pathetic. It has come to the point where Human Rights activists, like my humble person and other team members are being hunted like common criminals. GLOBINET Secretary General, () was almost kidnapped when he was seen in Yaounde at a Cyber Cafe where he went to scan and post reports to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He barely escaped from the area abandoning the bundle of files behind. Today, he has to be operating with us in hiding as he too has been blacklisted as one of those “fighting the regime”.
That media men and women are not free to cover events or report on issues related to the ongoing Civil Disobedience in West Cameroon. The case of Tim Finnian of Life Time Magazine is a lamentable one. Tim Finnian reported in his paper that some kidnapped West Cameroonians had been so badly tortured that they died on the way between Bamenda/Buea and Yaounde. Their bodies have not even been seen right up to this moment. That report earned him detention at the horrible Kondengui Maximum Prison in Yaounde.
Many other persons have just been whisked off because their cell phones had messages sent from whoever harping on the crsiis. The case of Celestin Atanga is one in point. He had travelled out of Yaounde, and as he returned and was alighting from a bus, masked armed men covered his face with a dark cloth and whisked him off to an unknown destination. He was later discovered at the (in)famous SED ( Secretariat d’Etat de Defense) in Yaounde (Gendarmerie Headquarters.
Passengers in West Cameroon are harassed on the way West Cameroon. They are made to step down from their buses and searched. This happens over four times along a stretch of less than a hundred miles. The French speaking officers oblige even old mothers and fathers who know no word in French to understand them, else they have to bribe their way through.
OUR WORRIES NOW
Why is the international community so complacent in this issue? Must the world keep playing its so-called diplomatic hanky panky called neutrality in sovereign states until a genocide situation arises? Are we not telling the story adequately enough?
Last week, March 21, 2017, while on a state visit to Rome in Italy, President Paul Biya of La Republique du Cameroun declared that he has opted for dialogue which will take into consideration the diversity of Cameroon and will not compromise the constitution. We at GLOBINET reacted by stating that it was a welcome thing, especially if he was as well going to do so in line with the precepts and proposals made by the African Union (AU) in Sirth, Libya in 2009. This position of ours has caused the panicky regime in Yaounde to dispatch a kidnap team to my constituency, Ndu. I am currently in Yaounde to show myself up and tell them to stop hunting me as if I am an ant. I am an elephant, gold fish that has no hiding place?and I am doing my work as I was trained to do. I make recommendations and give opinions on issues, preaching against violence from whatever angle. We have stood against arson of all sorts, and we have deplored this in the media?yet, the regime in Yaounde is behaving like a poisoned dog that will not even listen to its master who is frantically trying to assist it get out the deadly venom. The more it agitates, the more the poison penetrates its organs?and it is dying steadily.
Please, (?..), kindly let us know what else we have to do…what we have not done yet, to be noticed and assisted, especially by our former colonial masters, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? I am one of the few crusaders for peace and justice around still talking and resisting the temptation of fleeing the country as many others. But, we cannot continue to pretend that we are part of a global civilization when uncivilized brutes keep jumping into our private quarters and kidnapping us even in broad daylight and the world is silent. I don’t care about my personal security, as much as I do that of the people I represent. Remember, I am an elected official of the people.
God bless you and all those going the extra mile to expound on our cries.
Martin Fon Yembe
Executive Coordinator, GLOBINET, West Africa
(Affiliated to the ACHPR at Banjul, The Gambia).