Friday, August 11, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Washington DC – There is no doubt that two major sides have now emerged in the struggle for the restoration of the Southern Cameroons. While a very tiny fraction preaches federation, an overwhelming majority approves of total independence as the way to go. A little division it seems! It is evident, however, that the tactics both camps are employing to accomplish the ultimate goal remain the same – which is the uniting factor we most need now.
Consider the spirited show of opposition to Biya’s delegations to Belgium, South Africa, USA and Canada for example. Such vigorous resistance was without political labels or leanings. Nobody showed up at any of the events in a federalism t-shirt, or sign post or independence t-shirt or placards. The resistance had a single message channeled through the anger and invectives directed at Laurent Esso, Dione Ngute in South Africa and others. And the message was one – that of freedom for our people and territory – the Southern Cameroons, our Southern Cameroons.
Now we are faced with the challenge of all times – that of schools shutdown, and whether you be a federalist of seperatist, once more, we all are in agreement that school resumption for the 2017/18 academic year must be incapacitated. This is indeed the kind of spirit we need at this time in the struggle. It is the kind of spirit that both federalists and separatists must continue to cultivate. It is the kind of spirit that will give us the victory we need.
The only problem hanging on the balance is that nobody seems to be articulating for how long the schools remain shut down or the conditions under which the school shutdown will be lifted. Of course, the easy answer is that till we get our independence or the kind of federation we want. But then, the next question becomes, how do we get it? This is an important question that demands an answer from policy makers before we engage fully in this next step.
It will demonstrate to the world the visionary leadership we nurture. Here at the Cameroon Journal, we are of the opinion that school resumption must be tied to two things:
– (1) the unconditional release of all Southern Cameroonians being held in captive in LRC and;
– (2), a successful summons and holding of a referendum in the Southern Cameroons – a referendum that decides on the form of gov’t Cameroon is to assume there after.
Any form of dialogue that doesn’t begin with the unconditional release of detainees and the holding of the referendum must be aggressively resisted. We’ve gotten to the point where only a referendum will give us the way forward. And whether you are a federalist or seperatist, we should all rally around the referendum subject and speak with one voice, making the demand that unless such is conducted and our leaders released, schools in the Southern Cameroons will remain indefinitely shutdown. There is the urgency to have this included in our roadmap , so that we do not just come across as mere agitators which LRC wants the world to believe, with no constructive plan but with the sole goal to sabotage what they do.
We need a referendum movement that will begin to forcefully make the case for the convening of one. A referendum with two questions in the ballot. Do our people want to stay with LRC in a federal system or do they want an independent Southern Cameroons? A vote for either of the two will give us the type of federation that we want or a country that we can call our own. Only until then should we be willing to negotiate schools resumption in our territory. Such an approach gives us opportunity to revamp the educational system, drafting a new curriculum no matter what way the results of the referendum goes.
Having said that, it remains to be seen what the Governing Council and other movements are putting in place to practically enforce the school shut down. Presbyterians, Baptists and Catholic institutions have sent out communiques to the effect that their schools are resuming lectures this August and September. SCACUF in particular and every concerned Southern Cameroonian ought to be sending to these mission institutions, the message that, they should be prepared to choose between their infrastructure and school resumption. In this regard, every Catholic, Baptist and Presbyterian school must be a target, not the students, because if they shut their doors, no student will be out. You lower down 3, 4 or five of those schools, the rest understand the message.
SCACUF has to ensure that all the self-defense groups in every county are equipped with the resources necessary for effective operations. And not only SCACUF, this is the moment for all the groups that have been preaching self-defense and door-to-door to come out and be counted. It is time for the AGC and the SCYL, including MoRISC, to come out and contribute to the success of the school campaign. The time when we all made noise on WhatsApp, Facebook and all of social media is past. Now is action time and resources are needed.
We are at that moment where, organizations/groups that have collected donations for this cause since last year show themselves doing exactly what they promised to do with the money they raised.
MoRISC in particular still has thousands of dollars sitting in its account. Donors want to know that some of the funds are going towards this school shutdown campaign. If the AGC, SCYL and MoRISC do not show their organizations as visibly directly or indirectly sponsoring operations on the ground or sending out funds to SCACUF to coordinate ground efforts, they will soon be called upon to render account of the finances in their keeping.
Every Southern Cameroonian has a peculiar role to play at this very critical moment in the struggle. The diaspora, the youths who live in the home front, the police, army and gendarmes of Southern Cameroons origin who serve in LRC, Southern Cameroonians living in French Cameroon territory, – everyone has a role to play at this moment.
Southern Cameroonians in the diaspora should pick up the phones, call your families, and tell them to stock food that can last for weeks, tell them to respect ghost towns, remain indoors when necessary and obey other instructions as directed by the Governing Council. There are allegations that LRC is once more planning to shut down the Internet. The Governing Council, has to know that if internet is disrupted, communication through SCBCTV remains the only channel of information to the homeland and as such, it must take preemptive measures to step up briefings at such a moment.
The youths in every county should take this upon themselves – that they are the foot soldiers for this struggle. The youths should understand that Self-defense is a right, not a privilege. In every county, young people should form vigilante groups to defend their towns and retaliate against any police arrest, torture or brutality. Every school or college that opens its doors for lectures must be hurriedly shut down by the youths before others follow their example.
For Southern Cameroonians serving in LRC forces, you should know that you are the army and the police that the new Southern Cameroons will need at liberation. Don’t connive with your slave masters to arrest, kill or torture your own brothers and sisters. If you cannot decamp to join the struggle, consider leaking every piece of secret and instructions from LRC to the struggle.
We have created a link at the Cameroon Journal through which you can leak secrets to us and we will never ever disclose your name or identity. Besides the link, you can also forward leaks to the Cameroon Journal using the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Cameroonians living in Francophone territories especially Yaoundé and Douala must be prepared to leave at very short notice. This means withdrawing enough cash from your bank accounts and keeping it where you can have immediate access in any emergency. Francophones – especially in Yaoundé have been known to attack Anglophones each time there is heat in the Southern Cameroons. If you have property in Yaoundé, Douala or any of the Francophone cities or towns, make sure you gather all your paperwork/documentation now to a save keeping in the event you have to vacate the city/town.
Every parent in the Southern Cameroons is warned, if you love your children, keep them home. LRC isn’t going to be paying any indemnities in this war. The war has just started. If you still don’t have SCBCtv in your house, make sure you buy the antennae and install it before it is too late.
At the Cameroon Journal, it is our believe that the moment has arrived to let LRC know that we Southern Cameroonians are one in resolve and mean what we say and what we want.