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SCNC Activists Transferred To Kondengui Prison 

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Nformi Sonde Kinsai

CameroonPostline.com — Some members of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, arrested weeks to the Reunification anniversary celebrations in Buea, have been transferred to the Kondengui Maximum Security prison.
 

Some SCNC sympathisers who visited the Yaounde Bureau of The Post on March 8 and pleaded for their identities to be concealed, said the SCNC activists were moved from detention centres in the Southwest Region, to the Yaounde Kondengui prison, on February 26, to await trial on allegations that “they were working to puncture the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Reunification.”
 

The case of one Maxwell Oben Eyong, who was picked up in Buea two weeks to President Biya’s visit to the Region, came to the fore. The SCNC sympathisers equally expressed fears that another activist, Theodore Leke, who was also picked up in Tiko and taken to Buea for detention, weeks to the reunification celebration, as well as some boys arrested in Muyuka, are also amongst the activists transferred and detained incommunicado at the Kondengui prison.
 

The sympathisers strongly argued that the decision by the Yaounde regime to transfer the activists to await trial in a prison in “La Republique du Cameroun,” is in sharp contrast to one of the recommendations contained in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ACHPR, ruling of 2009.
 

The ruling that was adopted at the 45th ordinary session of the African Commission which held in Banjul, The Gambia, from May 13 to 27, 2009, was the outcome of a case against “La Republique du Cameroun,” that was filed in that court by members of the SCNC and SCAPO on behalf of Southern Cameroons.
 

They quoted one of the recommendations urging “La Republique du Cameroun,” to put a stop to “the transfer of accused persons from the Anglophone Provinces for trial in the Francophone Provinces.” The ACHPR, also recommended that “every person facing criminal charges be tried under the language he/she understands. In the alternative, interpreters must be employed in Courts to avoid jeopardising the rights of accused persons.” Capitalising on these, the SCNC sympathisers blamed the Yaounde regime for the total disregard of views of an important institution such as the African Commission to which they are a party.
 

“At a time we thought the Yaounde regime would have long opened its doors for dialogue with SCNC as recommended by the African Court ruling, we are surprised that our brothers are still being arrested in Southern Cameroons and transferred to stand trial in Francophone Provinces of the country. They are being tortured simply because they have a different political opinion contrary to the way things are being done in this country,” one of them lamented.
 

An independent source contacted in Buea on the phone told The Post that the whereabouts of Theodore Leke is not known. Meanwhile, The Post gathered that when Maxwell Oben Eyong was arrested on the streets of Buea, he was holding a book in hand. Other sources hinted that he was caught distributing tracts to people along the streets in Buea even though the sources failed to state clearly the type of message(s) that were found on the said tracts.
 

Other recommendations addressed to the Yaounde Government by the African Court in order to appease the SCNC called for location of “national projects, equitably throughout the country, including Northwest and Southwest Cameroon, in accordance with economic viability as well as regional balance; payment of compensation to companies in Northwest and Southwest

Cameroon, which suffered as a result of discriminatory treatment by banks; “Entering into constructive dialogue with the Complainants, and in particular, SCNC and SCAPO to resolve the constitutional issues, as well as grievances which could threaten national unity [as well as the] reforming of the Higher Judicial Council, by ensuring that it is composed of personalities other than the President of the Republic, the Minister for Justice and other members of the Executive Branch.”
 

To the SCNC and SCAPO, the African Court ruling had recommended that they be transformed into political parties, abandon secessionist tendencies and engage in constructive dialogue with “La Republique du Cameroun” on the constitutional issues and grievances. The African Commission had placed its good offices at the disposal of the Parties to mediate an amicable solution and to ensure the effective implementation of the above recommendations.

The African Commission had equally called on the Parties to report on the implementation of the aforementioned recommendations within 180 days of the adoption of the decision by the African Union Assembly. Since the ruling was delivered in May 2009, nothing positive seems to be happening. Instead, the Government has continued with its systematic intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detention of SCNC activists.

First published in The Post print edition no 01511

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