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Reunification Is Null and Void — This is what Njoh Litumbe said about Reunification At Buea Colloquium

1.  It is common knowledge that La République du Cameroun and Southern Cameroons were two distinct territories, otherwise there would have been no question of the UN conducting a plebiscite on February 11, 1961 in Southern Cameroons to ask the People of Southern Cameroons if they wished to associate with either Nigeria or La République du Cameroun.

2.  The governing constitutional/statutory law for states that are members of the UN is the UN Charter. This contains clear provisions in Article 102 on the prescribed procedure to be followed if a member state of the UN wishes to join another territory

3. La République du Cameroun was admitted a member state of the UN on 20th September, 1960 and from that date it became bound by the provisions contained in the Constitution (Charter) of the United Nations.  Consequently, for any joining with another territory to be legal, La République du Cameroun had to conform to the statutory provisions of the Charter, in Article 102. Failure to comply with the provisions in Article 102(1) attracts the penalty in Article 102(2) which renders such alleged joining unconstitutional.

4. To argue, as some misguided proponents say, that an association of a UN member state with another territory could be deemed valid, is to say that while the constitution of a country defines the prescriptions to establish a marriage, parties who cohabit without going through the statutory and legal STEPS to construct a legal marriage, could be deemed nevertheless to be "married." The statute would first have to be amended, to permit of such an interpretation.

5. The provision of Article102 in the UN Charter has not altered over time, and it is, therefore, safe to say that if La République du Cameroun, which is a member state of the UN, desires to legally unite with Southern Cameroons, the appropriate statutory steps prescribed by statute must first be performed.

6.  The solution to the present impasse is for La République du Cameroun to engage the People of Southern Cameroons to agree on mutually acceptable terms of association, under the auspices of the African Union/United Nations, sign an agreement to that effect and file it at the Secretariat of the United Nations.  If the parties have been living together in harmony, there should be no great difficulty in reaching an agreement. If, however, they fail to reach agreement, they should revert peacefully to their respective positions.

7. Until the parties go through this motion, a celebration of "Re-unification" is a contradiction in terms and, at best, a terminological inexactitude.

First published in The Post print edition no 01506

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