The West Cameroon Association (WCA) condemns in the strongest possible terms, the arrest of the leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) – Barrister Dr. Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, Dr Neba Fontem and others including Dr. Michael Boyo and Mr. Kah Afumbom yesterday in Buea.
We equally condemn the ministerial order by the Minister of Territorial administration and decentralisation, Mr René Sadi, banning the CACSC, SCNC and other liberation movements in West Cameroon – This action contravenes the fundamental human rights of the citizens of West Cameroon to freely associate and demonstrate.
That the government sent representatives to seek a resolution to the problems raised by professionals in West Cameroon, and then shortly afterwards, arrested some of the individuals with whom they had been dialoguing demonstrates beyond question, the extraordinary bad faith with which the government was approaching these matters. We demand the immediate release of these leaders and all the other West Cameroons that were arrested for conducting peaceful protests.
We are aware that the government has instructed the disconnection of internet services to West Cameroon by one of the key services providers operating in Cameroon, in order to prevent social media in West Cameroon from distributing evidence of the atrocities that they have been engaging in to the world. We are, and will continue to alert the international community of these moves which we interpret as an intention to crack down on the peaceful protests and civil resistance in West Cameroon by military force.
We demand that any foreign nation that is interfering with the internal affairs of Cameroon should cease doing so forthwith and that they should stop meddling in our internal affairs. The current civil resistance in West Cameroon is a grassroots movement that is led by the people. There are no leaders of the movement because we believe in the restoration of democratic power to the people of West Cameroon – A fundamental democratic power that has been seized from the people of West Cameroon by the Francophone dominated government of Cameroon – with the complicity of foreigner powers that are well known. We note that the minister of communications has re-iterated the calls for a ‘One and indivisible’ Cameroon.
We agree – but that one and indivisible Cameroon will only be viable in a 2-state federated arrangement going forward. We fear that the conduct of the government poses a significant risk of keeping that dream of a ‘One and Indivisible’ Cameroun alive, and that its actions so far are seriously in danger of plunging the country into a catastrophic civil war. We once again demand that the President keeps to his pledge in his New Year speech to engage in frank dialogue to resolve the issues of all the stakeholders in a just and lasting settlement.
Underestimating the determination and hunger of West Cameroonians to regain their self-determination in this current movement is a grave mistake. The passion on the ground is at an absolute boiling point and the government is helping to inflame the situation by arresting those it perceives as leaders. We place the responsibility of this extreme provocation and any future escalations squarely at the door of the government.
The West Cameroon Association,