Common Law Lawyers’ Strike: African Bar Appeals to France to Call President Biya to Order

Cameroonian-born Agbor Felix Nkongho, Vice President of the African Bar

By Mua Patrick, December 16, 2016

Cameroon Journal, YaoundéThe African Bar Association has in a statement issued December 14, appealed to France, French Cameroon’s colonial master, to intervene and call the Biya government to order and put an end to police brutality and abuse meted on Anglophone lawyers in the Country.

In their statement titled “Anglophone-Francophone quagmire in Cameroon” signed by the Association’s president, Hannibal Uwaifo, the Advocates said they are calling on France to use its leverage to bring the government of Cameroon to order.

In the Lagos-Nigeria issued statement of Wednesday which came just days after the US Statement Department condemned police killings of unarmed civilians in Bamenda; the African Bar said it was dismayed by recent police brutality on peaceful protesting lawyers in Cameroon who are simply demanding justice.

“The African Bar Association condemns in very strong terms the Gestapo tactics employed by the government of Cameroon and their security agents in derailing an otherwise peaceful and legitimate protest by Anglophone lawyers complaining against the almost fatal inhalation of

the English version of the penal code and the drafting of civil law French judicial officials to English speaking common law part of Cameroon in a constitutionally bilingual country,” wrote the African Bar.

They continued that, the African Bar is saddened by the gradual decent of Cameroon into chaos as a result of the activities of what they described as “the recalcitrant regime of President Paul Biya.”

The brutalisation of lawyers in their legitimate demand for justice in their country and the attempt to gag the press and curtail the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Cameroon, the African Bar said “is an evil wind that will blow the government of President Paul Biya no good, instead as history has taught us all, the victory of the oppressed people of Anglophone Cameroon is certain.”

“We solidarise with our professional colleagues in Cameroon and pledge  to take further strong steps in the local and international arena against the government of Cameroon and individuals responsible for these atrocities unless a halt is put to these ignoble acts immediately” the lawyers disclosed in their statement.

The African Bar, the statement said, is also taking measures to assist in finding a lasting solution to the reason behind the protest.

About the African Bar

Established in 1971 as a non-governmental organization for the purpose of uniting individual lawyers and national legal associations in Africa, the African Bar Association, AFBA was

created by a group of progressively-minded lawyers as a federation of national legal associations, corporate and unincorporated legal entities and individual lawyers.

The Association seeks amongst other objectives to foster exchange of opinions and experiences among members, formulation of policies that would better reposition the continent’s socio-economic and political development and advancement with the law as the bedrock for these developments, and lastly breaking new legal frontiers. The Association brings together five African sub-regional Lawyers, their respective National Associations spread over the AFBA continent.

The AFBA organizational structure consists of a 64 member Governing Council called the African Bar Council and the Executive Committee. These two arms form the highest decision making organs of the Association.

The mission of the Association is to be the regional voice of the legal profession in Africa, bringing together the brightest minds in the world for the betterment of Africa.

 

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