Questions & Answers on the Cameroons

What is “The Southern Cameroons Problem”?

It is the annexation of Southern Cameroons (independent on 1 October 1961) by the expansionist government of La Republique du Cameroun (independent on 1 January 1960).

Is this the same as what some have called “The Anglophone Problem”?

No, it is not. The so-called “Anglophone Problem” is the catch-all phrase used to denounce the systemic (official policy) of institutionalized discrimination against citizens of Southern Cameroons by the Government of La Republique du Cameroun on the basis of language (the fact that they are mostly not French-speaking) and hail from the former British Southern Cameroons.

Is there a solution for both “The Southern Cameroons Problem” and “The Anglophone Problem”?

Yes, there is. It begins by recognizing that the Anglophone Problem is one of the symptoms of the Southern Cameroons Problem. The sustainable solution to both problems is the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons.

Are Southern Cameroonians seeking the restoration of their independence from the United Nations, the African Union or from La Republique du Cameroun?

Southern Cameroonians are seeking worldwide recognition that the independence of our people and our homeland has been confiscated ever since 1961 and the people of Southern Cameroons have been made second class citizens because of the ongoing occupation of Southern Cameroons and its colonial misrule by the annexationist and expansionist Government of La Republique du Cameroun.

Is the other name for what you are seeking not secession?

We do not seek secession. Southern Cameroonians voted in 1961 for the creation of a “Union of Two Equal States” bringing together La Republique du Cameroun (independent on 1 January 1960) and Southern Cameroons (independent on 1 October 1961). The “Union” that was supposed to have formed was named the Federal Republic of Cameroon. On 20 May 1972, the annexationist Government of La Republique du Cameroun used the overwhelming French-speaking population to topple the government of Southern Cameroons and impose a unitary dictatorship in which Southern Cameroonians have been condemned to second class status. In April 1984, one of the parties to what was supposed to be a “Union” of two equal states, finalized its secession from the “Union” by unilaterally reverting to the name La Republique du Cameroun.

Can the problems of marginalization not be resolved without a break-up?

The marginalization of Southern Cameroonians is very real, but marginalization, as grave as it is, stems directly from and is only a byproduct of the ongoing colonial occupation. The imposition of French (the dominant language) in courts and the use of French-speaking teachers in schools earmarked for English-speaking students are occurrences that would never be there had the people of Southern Cameroons maintained their government, as agreed to in the lead-up to independence in 1961. It will take the withdrawal of French-speaking occupation troops and paramilitary forces like Gendarmes; the calling back of French-speaking colonial administrators posted to Southern Cameroons by La Republique du Cameroun and the restoration of the Government of Southern Cameroons to begin to address marginalization.

Is the situation that bad?

It is worse than anyone can find appropriate words to paint. The intent of La Republique du Cameroun from the very beginning has always been to annex Southern Cameroons. That is why it voted against independence for Southern Cameroons during the April 21, 1961 session of the United National General Assembly which granted the territory international sovereignty. Destroying the Federal Republic of Two Equal States in 1972 was consistent with that plot; as was reversion to the name La Republique du Cameroun. The Justice Minister of La Republique du Cameroun told its parliament in 2015 that “unification” in 1961 was meant to be like “dropping a cube of sugar into a bowl of water”. They wanted Southern Cameroonians to melt into oblivion and become Francophones. The many injustices of the past 55 years have now left Southern Cameroonians with no choice than to call for the restoration of their independence.

Should citizens of the French-speaking part of the Cameroons have a say in what Southern Cameroonians seek?

No, they should not and this is why. The decision to form a “Union of Two Equal States” was made in a Referendum (on 11 February 1961) in which only Southern Cameroonians voted. Putting an end to that experiment only requires those who voted for it to say they want out. Besides, citizens of La Republique du Cameroun have proven to the entire world that they are a different people from the people of Southern Cameroons, whom they mockingly refer to as “ennemis dans la maison” (enemies in the house), Nigerians and/or “Biafrans” (in reference to citizens of the failed Biafra Republic in Nigeria). For example, lawyers, teachers and students across La Republique du Cameroun are totally unconcerned by the injustices that led to the strikes by lawyers, teachers and students in Southern Cameroons because the police brutality and the killings of peaceful protesters have targeted Southern Cameroonians exclusively.


At Least Ten Killed or Executed by Security Forces in Bamenda

By Ntumfoyn Herbert Boh (Yindo Toh)*

Washington, 8 December 2016 – Riot police and paramilitary forces shot into crowds of protesters Thursday killing more than ten people in the town of Bamenda, the capital of the English-speaking North West Region of Cameroon and a stronghold of Cameroon’s main opposition political party, the Social Democratic Party (SDF).

Many more people are believed to have been “disappeared”.

As the sun set Thursday, video posted on social media showed troops patrolling the main streets of Bamenda on foot or in the open backs of pickup trucks – firing aimlessly into the air and sometimes towards buildings.

A dozen lorry loads of gendarmes numbering several hundreds of troops drove through the western town of Bafoussam just before darkness headed for Bamenda, according to online reports citing Canal+, a Bafoussam-based private broadcaster.

One audio recording posted on the Cameroon Online WhatsApp eGroup claimed that the troops coming from Bafoussam are trainees, well known for putting down demonstrations by employing only the worst forms of brutality and savagery. The student soldiers are currently in training at the Koutaba Military Camp based in the outskirts of Bafoussam. Their mission, according to citizen journalists online, is to raid Bamenda under the cover of darkness and perpetrate as much killing and violence to completely intimidate the protesters, and to do so at a time of day (darkness) when their acts cannot be recorded and shared via social media.

Photos and video of some of the ten victims killed in Bamenda Thursday and posted on social media suggest that several of them were executed outright or were killed execution style.

One of the horror pictures purports to show one of the victims who was allegedly arrested, stripped, tortured and a bullet fired up either his anus or his genitals, ripping through his manhood. Independent sources were quick to point out that the young man with the torn genitals was apparently involved in a motor bike accident.

Another horror picture showed a young man who was executed by a lone bullet fired into one of his nostrils.

Another picture showed eight young men arrested, stripped of their shirts and made to lie facedown on the road with riot police and gendarme officers patrolling not far away from them. Social media accounts hold that the eight were later executed while lying on the road and their bodies were carted away by their executioners, apparently also instructed to cover up for their crimes by moving the bodies away from the scene of execution.

State television confirmed the fear that the government was carting away and burying people without informing their families when its French language newscast said only two had been killed.

On one video, a group of young men who had converted a piece of plank into a stretcher are seen rushing an injured teenager to a nearby hospital. Voices in the video explain that the teenage victim was standing outside the entrance of their family home when he was shot, point blank, execution style.

Yet another video posted by one of the many citizen journalists struggling Thursday to document the executions (at great risk to themselves) showed a military pickup truck, picking up and carry away the remains of someone that had been killed and had been lying in the street just minutes before.

Cameroonian security forces and the dreaded secret or political police are known to “disappear” protesters and opponents of Mr. Paul Biya, the president of Cameroon for 34 years already. He is more likely than not to seek another eight-year term in presidential elections expected to hold in 2018.

Democracy and human rights activist, Tapang Ivo Tanku, quoted “unconfirmed reports” on social media as alleging that a police station had been burnt down by angry protesters in Bamenda after they stormed it earlier on Thursday to decry the killing of young men in Bamenda.

Video posted online showed young people outside that police station, screaming their grief and calling for justice. Pointing at the remains of another young man, shut dead and still lying in the street outside the police station, the protesters said the victim had been killed by gunfire coming from that police station. One of the protesters raised the lifeless body of the victim, leaned the upper part of the remains from waist up against his legs, and screamed into the phone camera “we want justice”.

Yet more video showed a crowd stumbling on another young man who had been executed or killed execution style. A few voices in the video identify the victim by his first name, apparently, Divine. The remains of Divine showed that his jaws had been slashed from the mouth right up to just before his ears with a knife or some other sharp object. Bullet wounds on his left leg, through the jeans trousers he was wearing and one on his face left little doubt that the victim had died of his gunshot wounds.

Born on the Wrong Side of the River Mungo, Charged with the Crime of Not Being Francophone, and Executed

The worst has happened in Bamenda, screamed a headline on the online news portal, Cameron Journal, published by a Texas-based Cameroonian-American.

Young people are being killed in Bamenda, wrote Innocent Chia, a Cameroonian journalist and blogger now based in Chicago, USA, and author of an online blog, The Chia Report.

“Many watched this morning how… police fired straight at me. God Almighty did another miracle. The bullet was diverted to my feet and only wounded both feet”, wrote Mancho Bibixy on social media.

Mancho Bibixy is the young man who has become the face of the ongoing protests in Cameroon after he brought his own coffin to the first protest march in Bamenda and stood in it to make his speech.

Mancho Bibixy told the crowd at a Bamenda town road junction – Liberty Square, made famous by the killing on that spot in 1990 of six young people who had joined demonstrations calling for the end of one party rule – that he had come to the rally ready to die and had taken the time to buy the coffin for his own funeral.

His feelings are shared by millions of people who have nicknamed the ongoing protests in Cameroon “The Coffin Revolution”.

The “sole crime” of the young people killed, wrote Mr. Chia, “is that they were born on the wrong side of the River Mungo and happen to speak English, not French”. The Mungo River serves as the borderline between English and French-speaking Cameroons.

Cameroonians based in the United States will be appealing the administration of President Barack Obama next Saturday, 10 December 2016. At a grand rally outside the White House, they will also be appealing to the U.S. Congress, the United Nations and the rest of the civilized world to help put an end to the horrors unfolding in Bamenda and across most of English-speaking parts of Cameroon.

The rally (outside the White House, holding from noon to 2pm) was scheduled before the events of Bamenda and was intended to drum up support in the United States for the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons.

Birth of MoRISC to Champion the Restoration of Independence

A federation of organizations has been freshly constituted to mobilize international support for the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons. Known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (abbreviated MoRISC), it brings together members of leading opposition party, SDF based in the Washington, DC, Metro Area, and leaders of pro-independence, pro-democracy and pro-human rights organizations.

The movement is focused more on independence for Southern Cameroons, but the anger overflows into demands for Cameroon’s long-serving dictator, Paul Biya, to step down.

“It is time for you (Paul Biya) to pack and go”, chanted a group of Cameroonians living in France, who on Thursday staged a protest march down several blocks of streets in the French capital, Paris.

“Tell Paul Biya and his bunch of killers and criminals that they will have to account for all the innocent Southern Cameroonian lives they are destroying”, a Washington-based Cameroonian-American activist, Chrstimas Ebini, wrote Thursday on the Cameroon Online WhatsApp eGroup. “Tell him to get his forces out of Southern Cameroons”, he added.

The feeling that there is a conspiracy by French-speaking Cameroonians to hold their English-speaking citizens in a relations of black-on-black colonial domination has been strengthened by the fact that trade unions of lawyers and teachers in the French-speaking parts of the country have not shown any solidarity with their colleagues, despite the violent attacks they have suffered at the hands of security forces.

Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and Others Airlifted to Safety

Social media is overloaded with horrific pictures and videos of the tragedy unfolding in Bamenda, where earlier Thursday, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philomen Yang, several members of his government and sympathizers of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) held a rally in an attempt to show support for the present unitary state of Cameroon and opposition to the growing pro-independence movement.

According to eyewitness reports, the ruling party ferried hundreds of youngsters from neighboring French-speaking regions to attend the rally in Bamenda, after a similar attempt to stage a rally Tuesday in Buea, the former capital of British-administered Southern Cameroons until it gained independence on 1 October 1961, flopped completely. On Monday, the leader of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi led a monstrous demonstration in Buea, attended by several thousands to show support for independence and to protest against human rights violations against students of the University of Buea and lawyers from the English-speaking part of Cameroon who, along with teachers have been on strike to protest marginalization.

The two strikes have since shown as much sympathy for independence as do many in the ranks of the opposition SDF. At the Buea rally on Monday, one singer who tried to sing the anthem of Cameroon at the start got shouted down by thousands others: “No anthem. No anthem.”

The United Nations General Assembly voted on 21 April 1961 to grant independence to the English-speaking part of the Cameroons, then known as British Southern Cameroons. The French-speaking part of Cameroon (eight of the current ten regions of the country and accounting for 80% of the population) gained independence from France on 1 January 1960, more than a year and a half before the English-speaking part of the country.

Shortly after troops started firing into crowds of demonstrators and killing people on Thursday in Bamenda, angry mobs took to the streets, chasing after those who had come to town to show their support for Mr. Biya and the unitary state he leads. According to social media accounts, the irate crowds even targeted the Prime Minister and ministers, raising barricades on roads leading from the Ayaba Hotel in downtown Bamenda where the Prime Minister was reportedly forced to hunker down for a couple of hours before being airlifted out of the town in a military helicopter.

One of his cabinet ministers, Paul Atanga Nji, who serves as the special security adviser to President Paul Biya, was reportedly also chased after by angry protesters, some of whom reportedly attacked him physically. On one video posted on social media, showing someone arriving the Bamenda Regional Hospital in the regalia of the ruling party, a footnote claimed that Mr. Atanga Nji was hurt in one of his eyes by the angry mob.

Sources say Mr. Atanga Nji also had to airlifted into safety in a military helicopter from the Bamenda Regional Hospital after mobs reportedly burnt down his car parked outside the hospital. The protesters also lowered the Cameroonian flag on the grounds of the hospital and, in its place, raised the flag of Southern Cameroons. Two days earlier, similar flag lowering and hoisting of the Southern Cameroons flag had been reported in Kumba, in the English-speaking South West Region.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Atanga Nji, a former convict who has currently been charged with embezzling public funds by the government-created anti-corruption court, was the object of strong ridicule on social media after he claimed in an interview on state television that there was no problem of marginalization of Cameroon’s English-speaking minority (20% of the country’s 22 million inhabitants).

As Bamenda settles into an uneasy calm Thursday night, most social media postings from residents in that town repeat a message that rang through most posts in the day. By ordering executions in Bamenda Thursday, Mr. Biya has declared war on Southern Cameroons, citizen journalists kept repeating Thursday on social media.


Please, share this report with your representative in Congress, your Member of Parliament or the National Assembly, your Senators, with Media Outlets in your country, with Human Rights Organizations… and add your name to several petitions online to denounce the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the colonialist government of Cameroun against citizens of Southern Cameroons.

The writer is a veteran Cameroonian journalist with years of pro-democracy and human rights activism under his belt who know lives in the United States.


SCNC Condemns Biya’s War on Southern Cameroons

Washington, DC, 9 December 2016 – The Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC – North America) condemns, in the strongest terms, the horrifying executions of more than ten people Thursday in the city of Bamenda (North West Region of the Cameroons) and of two additional people gunned down Friday in the town of Kumba (situated in the South West Region) by soldiers of the expansionist and colonial government of “La Republique du Cameroun”.

According to reliable sources, hundreds have been arrested in both towns and have been taken into detention in unknown places. The regime in Yaounde has said two people were killed were killed in Bamenda and has not owned up to killing people in Kumba, raising fears that many citizens may be “disappeared”.

The SCNC calls on the African Union, whose court based in Banjul (The Gambia) has issued a ruling recognizing Southern Cameroonians as a people, different from the people of French-speaking “La Republique du Cameroun”;

The SCNC calls on the United Nations, whose General Assembly adopted Resolution 1608 on 21 April 1961 granting independence to Southern Cameroons effective 1 October 1961, being more than year after “La Republique du Cameroun” gained independence from France on 1 January 1960;

The SCNC calls on President Barack Obama and the Government of the United States of America, which voted in favor of ending the colonial occupation of Southern Cameroons during that U.N. General Assembly meeting;

We call on the USA and the International Community to not only condemn, in the strongest terms, the savagery of the colonial regime in Yaounde, but to call them out by their name. What happened in Bamenda on Thursday and is unfolding in Kumba this Friday, added to the events of the last few weeks in Bamenda and Buea, constitute a declaration of war by the colonial regime of Yaounde, which thinks that “might is right” slaughtering a peace loving people whose “force of argument” the colonialists have been unable to counter, including before international courts, where they have repeatedly suffered humiliating defeat.

We call on the International Community to denounce these acts of state terrorism on a people who are only exercising their universally recognized right to self-determination and their constitutional right to protest. And, we call on President Obama, to declare “La Republique du Cameroun” a terrorist state/organization and take the same action in removing him from power as the U.S. government has supported or spearheaded in other lands ruled by terror.

The SCNC invites the United Nations, the African Union and the rest of the International Community to take all necessary measures to defend the defenseless people of Southern Cameroons from the acts of terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity that “La Republique du Cameroun” has been committing in Southern Cameroons since 1961.

We urge the United Nations, the African Union and the rest of the International Community to appoint a Special Prosecutor and to deploy United Nations Human Rights experts to investigate these crimes and ensure that their perpetrators, beginning with President Paul Biya and his government, are brought to book.

We have learnt from reliable sources that political dissidents and leaders of Southern Cameroonian pro-democracy and pro-human rights organizations have been earmarked for assassination. Leaders of the associations of Southern Cameroonian lawyers, teachers and students, who have led peaceful protests against discrimination on the basis of language and called on the regime in Yaounde to end the ongoing cultural genocide, have been forced into hiding by Death Squadrons (“Squadron de la Mort”) sent by “La Republique du Cameroun” to hunt down and assassinate them. This means these organizations are now without the mature leadership they need, opening wide the possibility that even minor mistakes by young people, like throwing stones at riot police and paramilitary troops, cannot be checked by leaders and will provide the pretext the regime is looking for to kill even more people.

After 55 years of colonial occupation and domination by “La Republique du Cameroun”, the people of Southern Cameroons have had enough of the black-on-black colonization from “La Republique du Cameroun” and request that the United Nations take emergency action to ensure that the colonialists in Yaounde march back their “killing machines” (soldiers) back across the internationally recognized boundary between French-speaking Cameroun and English-speaking Cameroon.

The SCNC condemns the criminal silence of France whose proxy war “La Republique du Cameroun” is fighting. France never wanted Southern Cameroons to gain independence because she always intended to cause the French Overseas Territory of “La Republique du Cameroun” to occupy it. That is why France led “La Republique du Cameroun” and all former French colonies who were then members of the United Nations to vote against U.N. Resolution 1608. Even as the United Nations recognized “the Cameroons” (in plural), France and “La Republique” had already hatched the plot that has doomed the experiment in a federation of two equal states proposed by the United Nations in the Plebiscite which held in Southern Cameroons on 11 February 1961.

The SCNC informs the African Union, the United Nations and the rest of the International Community that the people of Southern Cameroons have embarked on an irreversible march towards restoring their independence and ending colonial rule of their people. We are not looking back and we are not turning back. Our fight has been dubbed “The Coffin Revolution”, in honor of one of its inspiring young leaders who, like millions of our people, would much rather buy and bring their coffin to their own funeral than continue to suffer what has turned out to even worse than colonial rule under German or British occupation.

The SCNC reiterates this warning: The Government of “La Republique du Cameroun is bent on perpetrating genocide on the people of Southern Cameroons. The SCNC prays the African Union, the United States of America and the United Nations not to stand idly by (as in Rwanda) and watch another genocide unfold. If you do, history will retain that you were forewarned.



A Dozen Killed. Hundreds Arrested. Many Feared “Disappeared”. Government Media in Pre-1994 Rwandan Genocide Gear. U.S.-Donated Military Equipment Deployed, Killing Civilians.

  • More than a dozen people have been killed. Over 70 injured after riot police and paramilitary forces opened fire on crowds of peaceful protesters in the towns of Bamenda, Buea and Kumba located the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, whose eight other regions (80% of the population) speak French.
  • State-owned media says four were killed. Social media has overwhelming evidence (pictures and videos) that many more were killed and many may have been “disappeared”. Female students have been raped, including the 17-year-old niece of an MP, Hon. Joseph Wirba, whose citation of Thomas Jefferson’s “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty” has become a rallying call.
  • The strikes by lawyers and teachers were aimed to protest the dominance of French-speaking teachers and the use of French in courts in the English-speaking regions.
  • President Biya’s offer to appease the strike organizers with 2 billion francs CFA (about $s400 million) in subsidies to schools and a recruitment drive for 1,000 bilingual teachers has been ridiculed as a “bribe” and is considered too little, too late.
  • The violent response to strikes by lawyers, teachers, students, taxi bike riders, etc. triggered widespread street protests, making a wide range of political demands, from an end to discrimination based on language to outright independence.
  • The Diaspora in several Western capitals, including in the USA decry the use of military hardware donated by the US government and intended to fight Boko Haram terrorists that have been used against civilians.
  • The main English-speaking movements (SCNC, Ambazonia, SCARM, SCARPO, SYCL, etc.) have banded together to form the Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC) which has published an ambitious – even daring – roadmap aiming for the restoration of independence by 1 October 2017.
  • The Government Spokesperson and state-owned media sound increasingly like Radio Mille Collines ahead of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda – calling protesters “rebels”, “insurgents”, “terrorists” and “secessionists”; and justifying police violence as “self defense”. Fears of genocide are accentuated by a statement in parliament a year ago by a Minister that the 1961 merger between the two Cameroons was meant to be like “putting a cube of sugar into a bowl of water”.
  • President Biya’s policy is to achieved what he calls “national integration”, seen as a euphemism for “assimilation” of the minority.
  • The botched decolonization of La Republique du Cameroun or present-day French-speaking Cameroun (independent on 1 January 1960) and of the British-ruled Southern Cameroons or present-day English-speaking Cameroon (independent on 1 October 1961) are at the genesis of the ongoing crisis.
  • Following the two independences, an experiment at building national unity based on two equal states (East Cameroon and West Cameroon) lasted 11 years, until 20 May 1972 when the French-speaking majority voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to set up a unitary state. Six years earlier, all opposition parties had been banned.
  • Biya inherited this system in November 1982 and has hardly changed it in his 34 years of one-man rule, taking advantage of the all-powerful presidential powers to put a end to the “United Republic” (started in 1972) when he reverted in April 1984 to the name of La Republique du Cameroun.
  • English-speaking pro-independence activists argue that the 1984 presidential decree constitutes secession by the French-speaking part, leaving Southern Cameroons with the choice of either submitting to “black-on-black” colonialism or restoring the independence of Southern Cameroons.
  • One poll by one of the country’s Catholic universities has suggested that an overwhelming majority of English-speaking citizens (88%) are for independence.
  • A 2009 ruling by an African Union-created court based in Banjul (The Gambia) recognized Southern Cameroonians as “a people, different from the people of French-speaking Cameroon”.
  • President Biya’s government has failed to implement the part of the ruling which ordered a dialogue, moderated by the court, between the two peoples of the Cameroons. Expected to hold in 180 days, it had not convened seven years after.
  • Last Friday, 9 December 2016, SCARPO submitted paperwork before the court in The Gambia, asking it to grant non-objection for the admission of Southern Cameroons as a member of the African Union – a vital first step if the territory and its people are to regain international sovereignty.

Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC)


Movement for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons (MoRISC)

Mission: Enthrone a Government in Southern Cameroons that is based on popular consent, deriving authority and legitimacy from the people; not from the decrees or might of a regime that, since 1961, is injurious to citizens’ rights to life, freedom, independence, equality and dignity.