Explaining MTN liability for the collective punishment and genocide perpetrated by La Republique du Cameroun on Southern Cameroons
Southern Cameroonians and the world have listened to the interview in which an MTN official in South Africa attempted to explain and justify the contractual basis on which it terminated or suspended indefinitely internet services in the Southern Cameroons. The problem is that the so-called national security threat clause alleged by Republique du Cameroun to request the cooperation of the MTN in its ongoing criminal actions that have led to loss of life and limb in the occupied territory pertains to a situation where a state of public emergency is legally justified and declared.
Even in such circumstances MTN would have been required sufficient guarantees of the non-derogation of certain International Treaty protected human rights like the right to life as a condition to acceding the impugned request. There is in this situation, no legal or constitutional authority to justify the actions of the MTN in acceding to a request that has facilitated the commission of crimes against humanity or a widespread and systemic basis without such guarantees.
Apart from their contract with the government of Cameroun their operations are regulated by international treaties which as a state party, Cameroun must respect. The collective nature of the impugned crimes is a violation of international law. There ought to have been an arbitration clause in the MTN contract with Cameroun which MTN would have invoked to protect their clients, ensure that its involvement does go beyond their contractual obligations and are within international law.
The fact that their actions are facilitating the perpetration of crimes which they acknowledged in the interview and with its knowledge is a source of great concern. There is no indication that it has taken measures to protest these violations to Cameroun.
MTN should have protested and/or insisted that Cameroun notifies the International Telecommunication Union of its actions and get assurances that the intended actions to abate the so-called national security threats were neither disproportionate nor abused to commit international crimes. It would appear such guarantees were neither sought nor obtained prior to MTN taking action that have facilitated the perpetration and attempted misprision of international crimes against Southern Cameroonians.
The responsibility of the MTN is thus not based on the alleged compliance with the contract it has with Republique du Cameroun but its inability to obtain verifiable guarantees that the purported national security clause was not used to perpetrate egregious violations and crimes of a collective and grave nature.
Chief Charles A.Taku