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Paul Biya: Confronting Historical Realities 

By Chief Charles Taku

The Presidential Decree signed by Mr Paul Biya setting up a commission under the authority of the Civil Cabinet of his Presidency to prepare for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of a purported independence and reunification of Cameroun, is a fig leaf of deception and an affront to international legality. A careful reading of the decree within the reality a historical and legal context leads one to this conclusion.

The Decree purports to derive its legitimacy from the "Constitution" without citing which provision of the purported Constitution to which it relates or which of the two Constitutions that Biya has consistently stated governs the country. This is deliberate because citing one of both would have had serious legal implications about the rationale for which the purported Commission was created.

Citing none creates ambiguity and perpetuates the illegality in the most egregious manner. The reason being that since 1984, Biya got a law enacted in which La Republique Du Cameroun reasserted her international legal personality at independence, with it, her symbols of state and international boundaries. To be consistent with international legality, this is the anniversary that this Decree should aim at organising. But then, the date of the occasion that this Commission aims to celebrate has come and gone on January 1, 2010. Why then create a Commission to celebrate an occasion which no longer exists?

Must there not be a reason why Mr Biya has shied away from the date of the Independence of his country, considering that he had previously held it so dear to the extent of enacting a law in 1984 to define, reassert and preserve her identity, and with that, emphasised its effective renunciation of any pretensions or semblance of a union with Southern Cameroons?

In any case, that act in 1984, was legally plausible since no union treaty between the two existed, thus none was deposited at the Secretariat of the UN as ordained by article 102 of the UN Charter. Since the Cameroun Government Spokesman, Isa Tchiroma, has publicly conceded to this reality on behalf of his Government, the matter can no longer be subject of any reasonable disputation.

Absent, however, from the Decree at issue, is a mention of any date affixed to the event for which the purported Commission is created to organise. Understandably, Biya has not mentioned October 1, 2011 as a date to which this Decree relates. To do, he will first be required to admit the reality of the Independence of Southern Cameroons and its legal and historic significance in International Law.

To avoid this reality, therefore, he has come out with a Decree whose true purport is to galvanize resources obtained through the rape of the economy and resources of Southern Cameroons to prepare for massive fraud at elections come 2011 under the pretext of preparing for the celebration of an event which he does not have the moral courage and integrity to acknowledge or call by its true name. This is the reason why, he has personalised the purported commission within his Civil Cabinet of his Presidency. In that regard, the activities of the purported Commission will escape public and international scrutiny.

The Decree states that the event will be organised with funds from a secret budget within the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency. This public and international scrutiny of the true purpose and use to which these funds will be employed will be impossible. A reasonable question to ask, is, if this was for the public good, why all the secrecy?  The composition of the Commission itself is intriguing, in that it is made up of Secret Service and Spy Agencies within the State as well as other Governmental Institutions that operate mainly in the dark.

The message it sends is that the setting up of this Commission may be to co-ordinate operations completely inconsistent with the stated purported and purpose for which it is created. Two constituencies therefore must be on guard, namely the SCNC and organisations for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons within and without the territory and what is left of the Opposition Parties within the Cameroun itself.

If that were not the case, why shield the preparation of an event which if legal would have necessitated the massive participation of the people who made the alleged independence and union possible? Why personalise it? The continuous existence within the Presidency of Cameroun, of a secret budget besides that allocated to the Presidency in the national budget, which Mr Biya uses his pleasure for any purpose he deems of interest to his very political survival is nothing but a perpetuation of corrupt practices.

Re-emphasising this reality at a time in which he is accused of paying lip service to the fight against corruption and using it as a selective weapon to stifle political dissent real or imagined undoubtedly sets this country on a collision course with its often trumpeted illusory path to democracy. For those of us who are committed disciples of international legality, the base and deceptive tactics of this nature will only help to consolidate our march towards freedom.

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