Ambazonia seeks redress of referendum on sovereignty, citizens welfare


From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Republic of Ambazonia has sought the redress of a referendum on its sovereignty and for the welfare of its citizens.

In a press release issued yesterday after a conference with media men, the President of Ambazonia (the former British Southern Cameroon), Dr Samuel Ikome Sako, said that its citizens have remained the victims as La Republique du Cameroun’s forces of occupation have continued indiscriminate arrests, killings, torture of civilians, and razing/burning down whole villages.

Adding that impunity remains the order of the day, encouraging the abusers, fueling further violence and harm, and prolonging the conflict.

Sako stated that Human Rights Watch reports, UNHCR and other NGOs have consciously reported with great underestimation of the overall collateral damage where more than 45,000 of its people have been wasted, to say the least, more than 2 million displaced, saying, “even as we speak some have recently died in the oceans of Antigua while trying to escape from the war, and we wonder why the media mostly report without seriousness.”

According to the President, “When we peacefully requested reforms, primarily in the education and judicial sectors, the colonial government’s response was brutal. Several protesters were arrested and detained. By early 2017, the peaceful agitations had morphed into an armed conflict: an existential conflict for us, given that we have the duty to ensure our existence within the community of nations of the world.

“The Republic of Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya has labelled us “terrorists” and has been disinclined to any form of honest and/or inclusive mechanism to end the war. According to him, awarding us a
special status would be a way out of the carnage.”

He also said that the Republic of Cameroon boycotted the Swiss-Led Mediation after pretending to be a party for over two years noting that most recently they deceived some individuals within our community and the Canadian government on pre-talks, only to turn around and deny their own participation in the talks.

He explained that unfortunately, this onslaught of genocidal proportions somehow remains one of the highly under-reported wars in recent times. As for the reasons for this ‘silence’ your guess is as good as mine.

He also stated that the French Cameroun’s rhetoric which has engulfed mainstream media has been very unfair. Stating that the gimmick is to misinform, disinform and manipulate.

“One of such that we have identified is the question of a referendum proposed as a way to end the conflict, and that will be our main focus for today as the Interim Government’s Position on the Issue of a Referendum,” he said.

In his words: “There are divergent views and proposals among stakeholders (both internally and externally) on how to resolve the ongoing conflict in Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia – that has resulted in an unprecedented 21st-century genocide perpetrated by the Biya regime of the Republic of Cameroon (aka La Republique du Cameroun). Among these divergent views, is a proposal for a Referendum to be held in the territory of Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia (Former UN Trust Territory under the UK) to determine the future of Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia.

“Cognisant of UNGA Resolution 1608 (XV) of 21st April 1961 granting independence to the UN Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons, and the subsequent non-execution of all the processes of decolonization prescribed therein, the
Interim Government (representing the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of Ambazonians) has been clear and consistent in articulating the basis of the root cause of the Southern Cameroons Problem, which is the non-execution in its entirety of the above-mentioned UN Resolution, thus paving the way for the annexation and recolonization of Southern Cameroons by La Republique du Cameroun in 1961.

“Therefore, complete decolonisation is what we seek, and this involves complete restoration, absolute sovereignty and recognition of Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia as the 55th State of Africa.

“We believe a Plebiscite (a non-binding survey of our opinions by the UN) is an acceptable democratic process to
ascertain the majority view of Southern Cameroonians (Ambazonians) since the last Plebiscite of 1961, if there is any doubt about the majority position.

“We object to any proposed Referendum on grounds that it presupposes falsely that Southern Cameroons is part of the Republic of Cameroon (aka La République du Cameroun) and is seeking to secede as an independent country. We were granted Independence in 1961, it was only the ‘joining’ that did not take place legally, and the Republic of Cameroon withdrew from the “union project” in 1984 when they reverted to their original name prior to 1961.”


The former British Southern Cameroon leader, further noted that, “We have never been part of the Republic of Cameroon, so we do not need a Referendum to decide if we can separate from a non-existent union.

“Also, a binding Referendum will exclude the genuine dialogue we need to address the root causes of the conflict because it is based on winner-takes-all.

“We are not fighting to change the form of government in the Republic of Cameroon. We are not also fighting for constitutional changes within the Republic of Cameroon (French Cameroon). We are fighting against annexation. We are defending our restored independence. Annexation cannot be resolved through a Referendum because it is either a right or wrong issue; just as the solution of rape is not marriage. We do not need a Referendum to tell right from wrong, we need the international justice system or a negotiated settlement.

“You are aware that after World War One, British Southern Cameroons, as well as French Cameroun became a League of Nations mandate. From 1922-1945 they both became mandated territories.

“After I945, both mandated territories became Trusteeship Territories under the UN as stipulated in chapter XII, XIII of the United Nations Charter. The Trusteeship system dealt with the supervision of known Self-governing states designated as Trust Territories. And that was what we were, a Trust territory. The basic objective of the ITS – International Trusteeship System as declared by article 76 of the UN Charter was the promotion of the political, economic, social and educational advancement of inhabitants of Trust Territories and progressive development towards Self Government. The Trusteeship agreement which brought British Cameroons under the ITS was approved on 13th December 1946.”

He noted that the UN after having recognised Southern Cameroons’ sovereignty didn’t give a referendum, rather they gave the Peoples of Southern Cameroons a plebiscite.

He further explained that, “A plebiscite is a consultation of opinion, it wasn’t a referendum. It wasn’t law. If the UN thought we were not autonomous but just a tiny part of La République du Cameroun, they would have given us a referendum.

“During the plebiscite, given the limited choice available, British Southern Cameroons entered into a trial relationship of a federation of two sovereign states of equal status because French Cameroun got its independence on 1st January 1960 while British Southern Cameroons got her independence on 1st October 1961. A plebiscite presupposes that we are two different people seeking to establish our sovereignty. Note that Article 47 of the Federal Constitution between these Two States of Equal Status provided that the federal form of the state shall never be adulterated or changed. And that is exactly where the problem is: In 1972 French Cameroun unilaterally organised a referendum with one ballot option – oui and yes which mean the same thing.

“Not only was it a one-ballot option, French Cameroun was invited to participate. This explains why we say the entire process was fraudulent and flawed.”

According to him, If the UN wants to serve the majority opinion on this issue, they should conduct another non-binding Plebiscite in the Southern Cameroons, not a Referendum. As this is the threshold position of the people we represent.

“Therefore, any views or proposals that seek to mask the status quo of Southern Cameroon’s colonial status under the Republic of Cameroon is far-reaching, and do not represent the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Ambazonians as far as this liberation struggle is concerned,” he stated.

Furthermore, he said that the reasonable immediate way forward to end this conflict supported by the International Community/external stakeholders is, a genuine all-inclusive dialogue/mediated negotiation process. The Interim Government under my leadership has advocated for this process which was spearheaded by the Swiss, but the Republic of Cameroon failed to commit.

Saying that, to concretely resolve this conflict and subsequently resolve the issue of the sovereignty of Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) once and for all, another Plebiscite, preceded by Internationally Mediated Negotiations should be the right step forward.