Southern Cameroonians while commemorating the abduction of 12 of their nationals on January 5, 2018 have called for the unconditional release of all their abducted citizens. They made the call in a peaceful protest and one million Twitter tweets in their various countries, stating that the activists were arrested over one year ago.
In a statement to LEADERSHIP signed by Nfor James Abinda in Anambra state, it stated that January 5 2018- January 5 2019 is a year already since the abduction of Southern Camerouns Pro independence activists. He said “those abducted by alleged Nigerian secret security and deported, in violation of the international law of non-refoulement include Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, Dr Cornelius Kwanga Barr. Shufai Blaise Berinyuy, Tassang Wilfred, Dr Kimeng Henry, Dr Nfor Ngala Nfor, Dr Fidelis Ndeh Che,Dr Ogork Ntui, Professor Awasum Augustine, Barr. Eyambe Elias and Dr Ojong Okongork.
He recalled that amidst world outcries, the deportees were held incommunicado for 9 months before making their first public appearance at the Yaounde military court in December 2018. “Some of their conditions include the unconditional release of all Southern Cameroonians held in prisons, withdrawal of French Cameroon military and civil administrators from Southern Cameroons, and a neutral ground for negotiations in the presence of a third party notably the UN, USA, UK among others”.
Their next court appearance in the military court is scheduled for January 10th 2019. Given insight to the crises in Cameroun since 2016, Abinda said “The silence of the United Nations(UN) the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the powers that be, to ensure the rights of the people of the British Southern Cameroons is respected is what gradually degenerated into the crisis happening in Cameroon since 2016.”
He maintained that in the wake of all these experiences, Southern Cameroonians, have continued to pursue diplomacy and legal action for the UN resolution 1608 of 1961 that granted their independence be respected. Abinda added that since November 2017, there has been continuous influx of Southern Cameroons refugees into Nigeria, with the figure now standing at over 150,000 though the number registered under the UNHCR is still far below 50,000. “They are found in about 14 refugee settlements in Cross River, Benue and Taraba, Ogun, Lagos, Nassarawa, state and Abuja. More keep coming into Nigeria as the war that was declared by Paul Biya on November 30th 2017 continues with worsened Humanitarian situations’ He further revealed that the Interim Government of Southern Cameroons with the appellation “The Federal Republic of Ambazonia” had extended a hand for the negotiations to end the war.