10 August, 2008

MORE STORIES....BAKASSI ETC

THE REPUBLIC OF AMBAZONIA

(British Southern Cameroons)

THE PROBLEM: ILLEGAL ANNEXATION BY LA REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN

  1. The Facts: Ambazonia which was described as "The United Nations Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons under the United Kingdom Administration" achieved the objective of Trusteeship Administration on 1st. October 1960 with the promulgation of the Southern Cameroon Constitution (Order-in-Council). This effectively terminated Ambazonia's trusteeship status. Ambazonia thus became technically an adult UN member and would have been formally so seated if administering authority had so requested the General Assembly.

  1. UN Plebiscite of February 1961 invalid: Once trusteeship was legally ended UN had no legal authority to conduct any plebiscite in Ambazonia. But UN still did.

  1. PURPOSE OF PLEBISCITE: To vest UN with a Mandate to do one of the following "Two Alternatives": either (a) merge Ambazonia into Nigeria or, or (b) united Ambazonia and Cameroon in a Confederation of Sovereign States (CSS). The terms of the proposed confederation appear on the UN plebiscite manifesto stipulating that each state has EXCLUSIVE COMPETENCE in all maters except that, in the Eight subjects specified therein, federal law would prevail over state law if there is a conflict.

  1. WHY AMBAZONIAS VOTED FOR CONFEDERATION: After stating that progress of the Cameroon towards independence had not fallen behind that of Nigeria, on the Southern Cameroons Britain stated that "the position of the Southern Cameroons is largely that of a Region within the Federation of Nigeria." UK memo to Trusteeship Council dated 06/18/1958. The memo went on to state that the Southern Cameroons would achieve Self Government in 1958. This being one of the objectives of Trusteeship Administration, its achievement legally terminated further trusteeship administration. From the legal standpoint the Southern Cameroons ceased to be a Trust Territory, but an independent country in 1958. Yet the original intention of annexing it to Nigeria motivated UK to suggest Two Plebiscites for the Southern Cameroons. One to find out if the country wanted to remain with Nigeria or secede from Nigeria. If they voted for secession then the second plebiscite would as if they wanted to join Nigeria or remain independent.

After the Chair lady of the African Block, Ambassador Angie Brooks of Liberia presented to the UN a declaration jointly signed by Prime Minister and Dr. EML Endeley Leader of opposition (who were then participating in the United Nations debates of the ordinary session starting September 1959) proclaiming the secession of Southern Cameroons from Nigeria, the UN cancelled the idea of plebiscite number One. The UN acknowledged the Southern Cameroons and recognized it as a self-governing and separate nation from Nigeria. Again that by itself legally ended Trusteeship and the Southern Cameroons became an independent nation. Accordingly, the UN caused an independent constitution to be worked out and was promulgated as THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS C ONSTITUION ORDER-IN-COUNCIL. This came into effect on October 1, 1960. Yet the UK insisted in the Plebiscite number Two, but ensured that it was framed in such a way that the alternative to joining Nigeria was to join Cameroon Republic which was then been ravaged by the UPC guerrillas seeking to depose the French puppet President Ahidjo. The UK believes that the terrorism exuding from this war would make Southern Cameroons opt to get back Nigeria.

But for the following three reasons our people still voted against merging into Nigeria.

[a] FIRST, of all if the UN eventually succeeded in creating the proposed Confederation the terms of Union as spelt out in the plebiscite ensured that Ambazonia would continue to be a sovereign state and have 'exclusive competence' in all maters subject only to the fact that in the eight matters where the Federal government was allowed to legislate its legislation would prevail in the event of a conflict with State legislation. Thus even in those subjects the states had concurrent jurisdiction with the Union government. Ambazonia would thus retain her sovereignty and exclusive competence over all else including her currency, the issuing, valuation and revaluation of same; while Cameroon would continue to depend on France which to this day constitutes the central Bank for Cameroon and issues, values, devalues and revalues currency for Cameroon.

[b] SECONDLY, at the post-plebiscite United Nations Conference which would draw the draft union constitution, all that the Ambazonian delegation needed to ensure the continued independence of Ambazonia, would be to make sure that there is no agreement on the draft federal constitution, or just walk out, or boycott it.

[c] THIRDLY, the draft, if at all agreed upon, would (the ratification clause according to the Plebiscite Manifesto) be submitted to the people to express their opinion for or against it. Thus once the Ambazonian people voted against it, there would be no union with Cameroon.

5. WHY UNITED NATIONS DROPS THE PLEBISCITE

    The United Nations, on April 18, 1961 passed Resolution 1608 [XV} GAOR which: (a) Appointed a Commission to implement the said Plebiscite mandate, (b) Fixed October 1, 1961 for formal end of the presence of the UN Administration in Ambazonia, and then (c)On realizing that the objectives of the Trusteeship having been achieved (accordingly; [i] self-government in 1958 and [ii] independence in 1960), realized that the only legal authority which the UN had over the territory had ended. It was then argued that the UN had no legal authority for ever organizing the said plebiscite in the British Southern Cameroons at all.

    That for the following two reasons the idea of creating a Union between the territory and the Republic of Cameroon must be dropped.

    1. The creation of a union fell totally outside the objectives of trusteeship stated in United Nations Charter Article 76(b);
    2. There being no legal authority for the plebiscite the mandate thus obtained was invalid and could not be implemented. That, the Southern Cameroons, as every other independent nation, should be left to determine its relations with other nations by itself.

Accordingly, the United Nations Commission appointed for working out the draft constitution for the proposed Confederation was dropped, but the date line of October 1, 1961 for United Kingdom to leave Ambazonia remained unchanged.

  1. THE ILLEGAL ANNEXATION OF AMBAZONIA

    1. On September 1, 1961 (i.e., a month before UK ceased to be agent of the UN in Ambazonia), the President of the Republic of Cameroon promulgated a constitution which suppressed the Southern Cameroons Constitution and assumed the powers of the Queen of England as Head of State of British Southern Cameroons.
    2. Franco-Cameroon troops moved into British Southern Cameroons and took over positions held by the British troops.

    (c ) Finally on October 1, 1961, when their role as the UN Administering agents formally ended, the Queen's representative as Head of State of Ambazonia was transformed into British Consul to The republic of Cameroon with residence in Buea (Capital of Ambazonia) All these happened while the British were still formally the United Nations Trusteeship Administering Authority.

  1. THE AMBAZONIAN CASE as presented BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE which was rejected, is still the same CASE BEFORE THE INTERNAIONAL COMMUNITY, that is, if the rule of the law is to prevail

In 1994 Nigeria and Cameroon troop clashed over the oil rich Bakassi peninsula which was part of, and still part the Southern Cameroon. Recall the Bakassi people participated in the UN organized Southern Cameroons plebiscite as a region of the Victoria Plebiscite District. Cameroon's reaction was to immediately sued Nigeria at the International Court of Justice [ICJ] asking for Nigeria to withdraw its troops and pay reparation for its 'armed aggression".

SOME BACKGROUND ABOUT THE AMBAZONIAN MOVEMENT:

About a decade earlier, an Ambazonian Restoration Council [ARC] lead by the first President of the Cameroon bar Association, and Traditional ruler, Fon Fongum Gorji-Dinka, lunched a pacific and legalistic struggle for the restoration of the independence of Ambazonia. As may be expected the Fon, Fongum Gorji-Dinka was imprisoned without charge nor trial, but in reaction to international protests, Biya set him before a military tribunal and demanded the sentence of death by firing squad. When the tribunal acquitted him, Biya rearrested him and placed him under house arrest from where after more than two years; he made his escape to neighboring Nigeria. There the UN and Nigeria government accorded him protection as a political exile.

Back at home, the struggle continued with one of ARC founding fathers, John Fru Ndi, veering off to seek a 'democratic-based' solution from inside Cameroon by forming the Social Democratic Party [SDF]. The early SDF was a nationalist movement who catered to the people's aspiration for independence by rationalizing the incremental "hidden agenda" strategy. Its simplistic assumptions, devoid of any legal anchor, assumed that Ambazonians {Southern Cameroonians} could still be able to gain their independence by encouraging Cameroonians to accept and practice democracy. While all these were gaining momentum inside Cameroon, the ARC on the advice of foreign diplomats, filed at the United Nations in 1990 the formal Independence Proclamation of Ambazonia, with Fon Gorji-Dinka as Head of State of Ambazonia. There Ambazonia applied for her seat as a UN member state and demanded for the UN to end Cameroon annexation of Ambazonia.

To further provide evidence of having exhausted domestic remedies, Ambazonia, in 1992, file a law suit before the Mezam Division of the High Court of the Republic of Cameroon against Cameroon illegal and forcible occupation of Ambazonia. The Court located in Bamenda passed a judgment in favor of Ambazonia. It declared that Ambazonia is now a sovereign state illegally and forcibly been occupied by the Republic of Cameroon. The estoppels judgment of the Court also made an order for Cameroon to withdraw from Ambazonian territory to which the Cameroon's President Biya has ignored to this day.

In May of 1995, taking advantage of Article 62 of the ICJ Charter, Ambazonia filed an intervention in the Cameroon-Nigerian litigation over the Bakassi Peninsula at the ICJ. In it, Ambazonia challenged the basis of Cameroon's claim of sovereignty over Ambazonia, which Cameroon acknowledged to be the real owner of Bakassi peninsula. In a word, Cameroon, now aware that the confederation no longer exist, which is the only way they can have any legal claims over Bakassi, in its ICJ application, made the false claim in having Ambazonia's mandate to sue Nigeria over Bakassi. Ambazonia's intervention not only deprives Cameroon of that false claim of Ambazonian's mandate, but has also totally deprived Cameroon of even the right to have commenced the litigation against Nigeria.

CAMEROON'S CASE

    1. That Bakassi belongs to Ambazonia.
    2. That Ambazonia opted in the UN Plebiscite of 1961 for ANNEXATION by Cameroon.
    3. That Cameroon now owns Bakassi
    4. That the previous Nigerian-Cameroon accords, estopp Nigeria from taking her present position on the Bakassi boundary dispute.

    JURISPRUDENCE QUESTIONS

    QUESTION 1: Was the United Nations sanctioned Plebiscite of 1961 for the annexation of the Southern Cameroons {Ambazonia}?

    ANSWER: (a) NO!.... By just the terms of the UN Manifesto, the TWO ALTERNATIVES, it envisaged but for a CONFEDERATION of SOVEREIGN STATES (CSS) to be called 'Federal United Cameroon Republics' to take effect only after both States have ratified the new constitution. (b) Recall, the "plebiscite' all by itself was an illegal enterprise and therefore non-binding to Ambazonians. Reasons why the UN dropped out of the "implementation segment" of its mandate because the plebiscite which gave it authority was illegal and therefore non-binding to all parties.

    QUESTION 2. Can Nigeria still be able to stand on the side of the law and bring peace and justice to bear in this Gulf of Guinea region?

    ANSWER: YES! By taking a stand on the side of the law and recognizing the extinction of the Cameroon Federation and, Ambazonia as the successor state of the now defunct Southern Cameroons --the last legal entity owning Bakassi. Nigeria should be able to take this position now in the post ICJ judgment era, to recover from the mistake they made in 1995 when their arguments did not account that the Cameroon federation had long been extinct since 1984. This is all more important since right from the start of their case, Nigeria knew there was to be no way it could have easily nullified the several Cameroon-Nigeria boundary accords signed by previous Nigerian Heads of States according Bakassi to what it though was a "Federated" Cameroonian state!

    Again, as it is with the Greentree Agreement [GTA] of 2006, an opportunity exist for Nigeria to stand on the side of the law when it should invoke Article 6(2) to prove that the "Republic of Cameroon" cited as the country to receive Bakassi is the wrong country. Indeed a country that has perpetuated a FRAUD for so long, must be exposed if Nigeria wants its standing as a progressive African super power to hold!


    Nigeria will have to state the facts as-is, that as of the extinction of the Cameroon Federation in 1984, the Republic of Ambazonia is the country which has title to Bakassi and not the Republic of Cameroon.
    Unless Nigeria stands by the law which deprives Cameroon of its claim of sovereignty over Ambazonia, which gave it right to sue Nigeria, Nigeria will soon be handing Bakassi but to the wrong country and by that committed a double jeopardy injustice!

    It is therefore the responsibility of ALL PEOPLES OF GOOD WILL to get this message of TRUTH and JUSTICE out to the open as your own 'little', but significant contribution to PEACE in this tri-state Gulf of Guinea region. The TRUTH is that Cameroon today is occupying AMBAZONIA, and that the bases of Cameroon claims of sovereignty over Ambazonia is palpably false and totally invalid, and so her very right to have even commenced any litigation against Nigeria on Bakassi is invalid and not recognized by law.

    Post script

    Those who advocate that Ambazonia must remain part of Cameroon regardless of the FACTS are simply talking because Cameroon has the "power" advantage as of now. They TRUTH is they will never be able to proof their case anywhere in any court and they know this, reason Cameroon will continue to play the political obfuscation card. The only thing going for them is the default power disequilibrium which as of today still favors Cameroons. But as in all system dynamics this "unstable" state property must seek equilibrium along its two logical options. Either:

    (2) In the total independence of what use to the Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia).

That there can be no middle ground is more reason for all people of good will to take a stand for the JUSTICE….for the PEACE….for the rule of the law. By doing this you would have taken a stand for the TRUTH.

(SENT BY.... Edwin N. Ngang)

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