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La Republique, Southern Cameroons Should Go Their Separate Ways – Njoh Litumbe 

Anglophone Patriarch, Mola Njoh Litumbe, who recently returned from a mission on behalf of the Southern Cameroons to the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA and Europe, has stated in an interview granted The Post, that he went to the world body to convince it to oversee dialogue with La Republique du Cameroon. But that, given the genocide meted on Southern Cameroonians, he wants the UN to supervise the two nations to go their separate ways.


What was your mission to the United Nations?

When I addressed the Political Administrative Heads, I said I had sent a file of preliminary letters to shorten the length of an interview on situation of the Southern Cameroons. The Head of the Central African Department said he hadn’t received any letters.

I had a duplicate of the letters that I had kept and I told him that I can lend him the pile which contains all I have been writing about for him to photocopy, so that he can present it to his hierarchy. He accepted. So, I went on holiday and before I came back, they had returned my file to me. I told him that I wanted to see the next level of his hierarchy so that I can find out what next step they are going to take.

He said he photocopied my full dossier and a copy of the interview I had and that he had already sent it to all departments of the UN. So, it seems to me that there is secretariat gatekeeper whom the mails go through and he decides what to pass on and what not to pass on. Remember that President Trump of the US, during the last UN meeting, said that the UN is not doing their work well; that they are just come to have a good time.

So, it was this time around that the UN realised that we had been sending petitions all along which they have never seen. President Trump even recited that there are some countries,whereby, the right of Independence and Self Determination are being suppressed, where people are being arrested and put in prison, where they shutdown internet.He said he was not going to tolerate that.

Talking about the internet, there we pictures of you with an award, what is it about?

Well, the people of the Southern Cameroons or Ambazonia invited me to a party. I arrived there and saw thousands of people from all over the Americas and other countries.

They said the event was actually a birthday party for me. I said I organised my 90th birthday last year, but they said I organised that one and that they have organised their own for me. During the party, they surprised me with an award, which they said was for my efforts in the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia Struggle.

Southern Cameroonians are said to be divided between Unionists, Federalists and Separatists. To which group do you belong?

Southern Cameroons had been sufficiently educated to be granted their Independence on October 1, 1961. The highest organ of the United Nations so decided. The United Nations also decided that, before Britain left, they should graduate this colonial territory into an Independent State. And the terms of joining had been outlined before the United Nations by Ahmadou Ahidjo when he said that if Southern Cameroons was to join him, they would sit as equal partners and draw up the terms of joining.

There are no terms of joining, because,power was never handed to Southern Cameroons in consequence of which there was no agreement with Southern Cameroons. But haven taken power from Britain through the back door, instead of coming straight up, Ahidjo considered that that Southern Cameroons had been ‘dashed’ to La Republique du Cameroun, which is a serious misconception, because, it was to be a Federation of two States. You will find it in Chief Mukete’s book “My Odyssey”.

He has reproduced what Ahidjo stated. So, the understanding was that, we were to create a Federation of two States, equal in status. We have not, that means that he just took us as a colonial territory to add to La Republique du Cameroun and so exercised authority over Southern Cameroons in the mistaken belief that, it is his property.

The only territory called La Republique du Cameroun is the territory which gained Independence on January 1, 1960 and became a member of the UN on September 20, 1960. The Constitution of La Republique du Cameroun, which was passed by their Territorial Assembly in February 1960 was the one after the abortive Foumban.

That is why it was headmen who were posted in Sothern Cameroons until the British Mandate ended, because, the Government of Foncha, although he had a Ministerial Government, had no power over defence. In like manner, it had no power over foreign relations. So, the meeting in Foumban in July 1961 was a farce, because, Foncha had no power to negotiate internationally without the presence of the Commissioner of Cameroon. So nothing occurred in Foumban.

What can be done to solve this Southern Cameroons crisis?

That is why I went to the UN to confront them on whether they have any evidence of Southern Cameroons joining French Cameroon and whether Britain accomplished their duty of handing over power before they left. They did not do so. So I said La Republique du Cameroun, at the time of entry into the UN, entered with its territorial boundary.

That is what is recorded in the UN. By just entering with their territorial boundaries as a member State of the African Union which says in order to avoid troubles in Africa, keep the boundaries of your territory, on the date of your Independence. We were never part of that agreement.

So, it was the Constitution of La Republique du Cameroun which they amended on September 1,1961,when we were still a British colony and they changed their name from La Republique du Cameroun to La Republique Federale du Cameroun.

As I said before, you can’t marry yourself, however handsome you may be. You need a woman in order to celebrate a union. In like manner, you need two parties to create a Federation. Now, Ahidjo just changed his name, promulgated it into law on September 1, 1961, and we were not there. Ahidjo ruled on the basis of his constitution, not on the terms as organised by the International Community.

In spite of the concessions made by Government, you still went to the UN in pursuit of the statehood of Southern Cameroons. What will actually satisfy you, then?

I had hoped originally that the United Nations would invite La Republique du Cameroun which is a member and say the proceedings we had were that you and Southern Cameroons were to join and create a Federation of two States, equal in status. My advice to the United Nations was that, since there in no Union Treaty and La Republique rather annexed Southern Cameroons,call them, sit them together and let them try and see if the intentions of the founding fathers creating a Federation of two States, equal in status, can be realised. If they cannot be realised, then, the two parties should go their separate ways. Well, I am not a member of the General Assembly.

I addressed this to the Political Affairs Department of the UN. They asked that what is the way forward and I said; “You have power to summon La Republique du Cameroun to bring Southern Cameroons and say; you people intended to join in a Federation of two States, equal in status. That was the Resolution of the General Assembly of the UN. But we don’t see the two States anymore.So, to correct this issue, you have got to sit together and see if you can construct a Constitutional arrangement embodying the understandings you had from the word ‘go’.

So, I will lock you up in a room … if you get into agreement, you just sign it and you would then have complied with Article 102 of the UN Chatter. If you don’t agree, then, you go your separate ways.
That is the separatist option. Is that where you belong?

First of all, there was no Federation which was created. We are still working under the Constitution of La Republique du Cameroun. To create a Federation, at all, you needed two parties of equal status. That was never done, so there’s no Federation. Ahidjo just took advantage of the departure of British Army and launched his own troops over here. He has been in occupation and annexation ever since.

And the solution to it is that the two parties should be brought together as equal delegations. If we get into such a conference, it would be the conference to repair all the damage that has been done. But if such a conference cannot be called by the United Nations, there is nothing that I can ever tell you we will ever join.

Thus, you are for the dialogue that has been proposed by civil society organisations and even the UN?
That was my position when I was addressing the United Nations. Since then, things have developed in a manner all forecasted by the African Union Commission, that if this thing is not properly settled, it would result in Genocide.

How can I advise people to stay together when what has happened has happened? This is your brother, I kill him in your presence because he entered the gate and then, you call me later that, I should discuss with you after you had killed my brother. My mind would be so poisoned that I too would only be scheming to kill you. So, my position now, in the face of the massacre on Southern Cameroons … I say; NO! We have crossed the red light and we must go forward and look for our own State.

So, how are you going to do that, by declaring independence?

Southern Cameroonians have already declared it. It would now be left for the world. There were 64 countries which voted for the Independence of Southern Cameroons, but the resolution was passed unanimously.

Their actions have compelled this matter to another level, and now that La Republique has not opted for dialogue and has opted for genocide;now they don’t throw any stones at people, but to take life bullets and shoot at people mercilessly as I saw the evidence on the internet. This is an unthinkable way of treating another human being.

The only crime would be, fighting for the fundamental human rights of going to whatever church you belong, speaking your mind without necessarily going to destroy public properties of which there would be laws to try them, if they broke these laws. But to kill them, shows that you regard them as something below the dignity of a dog.

I see all these astwo people having problems and the one party sees killing the other as the best way. This means you’re not equal, whereas, it a fundamental human right for you to express your opinion as to what type of Government you want to lead you.

Interviewed by Bouddih Adams &Tah Nduko