Sunday, March 19, 2006

Justice Ebong's Diplomatic offensive

Justice Ebong’s Diplomatic offensive:

By Timbong Innocent

The British Gov't condemns Anglophone secession

The British Government has unequivocally condemned current moves by the militant Southern Cameroon’s National Council to proclaim an independent Southern Cameroon’s State. The British government’s current position comes in the wake of a far reaching memo addressed by rebel SCNC scribe, Rt. Chief Justice Ebong Alobwede to the Secretary General of the UN, Dr. Koffi Anan on December 8, 2005 in which the British government is not only indicted but copied.

The British reply of which The Star Headlines obtained a copy dated January 23, 2006 is addressed to Justice Frederick Alobwede Ebong and signed by the Assitant Desk Officer for Cameroon at the Foreign and Common Wealth office Jane Blacklock. The letter comes shortly after Justice Ebong and 23 others landed in America on January 23, reportedly granted asylum by the America government. The group also includes the exiled SCNC youth leader Akwanga Ebenezer.

The British government’s reply, admits that “we share your concerns that all Cameroonians should enjoy equal rights, free from disadvantage for regional or linguistic reasons”. The British government recognizes , “the constitutional arrangement by which the Southern Cameroons joined the Republic of Cameroon in 1960 was willingly entered into by their own representatives and the UK recognizes that the government of Cameroon as the legitimate government over the whole of Cameroon”.

With finality, the memo continues, “As such we do not believe secession of the Anglophone provinces to be a credible solution to the above problems.” After cursing the Anglophone secessionist moves, the British government reiterates her unflinching support to the Cameroon government.

“The British government maintains an intensive dialogue with the Cameroon government and is committed to continuing to assist Cameroon in progressing further towards democracy, good governance and respect for Human Rights”. The missive concludes by resolving that, “we will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat and other international partners to support the government and people of Cameroon”.

Justice Ebong’s salvo to the UN scribe, stated categorically that “the Southern Cameroons is and has never been the Southern part of French Cameroon. Under the Versailles treaty, the German Kamerun was divided between Britain and France. Both Territories as mandatory Territories were administered by different colonial powers that were always at war with each other”.

According to Justice Ebong’s memo, “in 1885 when West European Powers met in the Berlin Conference and decided to share Africa among themselves, Southern Cameroons came under British Empire colonies along with the Nigerian Colony. The Southern Cameroons was attached to Eastern Nigeria”.

Ebong continues that under articles 78 of the United Nations charter on the International Trusteeship system, the basic objectives of the Trusteeship system were to further peace and stability and also to promote political, economical, social and education advancement of the inhabitants of the Trust Territory and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each Territory and its peoples, and freely express wishes of the people’s concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement.

It was with these considerations in mind that Dag Hamaskjold, the UN scribe proposed in 1959, independence for the Southern Cameroons for October 1, 1960 i.e. the day of Nigerian Independence. The Southern Cameroons achieved self-government in 1958, the UN then severed its trusteeship mandate from Nigeria as part of the British colony and promulgated the Southern Cameroons independent constitution in October 1960.

Ebong continues that on April 19, 1961, the UN General Assembly passed a Resolution for the Independence and sovereignty of the Southern Cameroons by 50 votes in favour, 2 against and nine abstentions. Rather than grant independence to the people, Justice Ebong continues, the British adopted stage managed plebiscites Justice Ebong also quotes Lord Thompson, M.P. who addressing the House of Commons in 1959 strongly opposed any proposal for uniting the British and the French Cameroon, “as these are two different Territories with complex problems.” Lord Thompson advised against any such union reiterating that “any plebiscite forced on the Southern Cameroon could be a balloon buried under water which will one day float”.

Lord Thompson’s admonition was not observed and at the 89th 6th General Assembly of the UN in October 6 1959, Justice Ebong’s memo’s regrets that, speaking for the USA the UN Ambassador, Clement J. Zabloiski said, “the USA had voted for Resolution 1350 (Xlll) and still finds its provisions satisfactory. The USA congratulates the people of the Southern Cameroons for their accession to Auto-determination as it constitutes the will of the population who wants to run its affairs democratically”.

‘The Government and the opposition parties of the Southern Cameroons unfortunately have not come to an agreement; however, there is no reason to deny the population of the Southern Cameroons a brief, the results of the hurried choice imposed on the population of the Trust Territory would be catastrophic for their political future”.

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