Crossing the Moungo Bridge from Douala gives you the feeling of arriving at a big family reunion. As you approach Tiko, one of the chief towns in the Fako County, you are greeted by children who have not been to school for the last two years but rehearsing the new Ambazonia national anthem. The situation is true for Manyu, Lebialem, Mezam, Menchum, Ndian, Meme, Kupe Muanenguba, Boyo and Fako.
Southern Cameroonians are talking of their baby nation with immense pride and hoping that the Interim Government is winning on the diplomatic front. The war has lasted barely two years and there are indications that it may drag for another decade which will eventually give Southern Cameroonians a good cause for celebration.
It is abundantly clear that there is going to be a referendum for independence in Southern Cameroons whether Biya and the French likes it or not and Ambazonians will vote decisively to split from French Cameroun. The resistance that is being displayed by Southern Cameroonians on Ground Zero with the support of the Ambazonia Self-Defense Council Restoration Forces represents a major achievement for the leadership of the Interim Government.
After the plebiscite in 1961 and the fraudulent reunification on October 1, most of Southern Cameroons remains profoundly underdeveloped, especially in more remote areas in Lebialem, Akwaya, Menchum, Bui and Oku. The Acting President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, His Excellency Sisiku Ayuk Tabe noted during his last interview with the Cameroon Concord News Group that Ambaland is frequently misreported as being poor but its oil wealth and rich agricultural lands means that in GDP terms it is rich.
French Cameroun is heading towards collapse. The current proportion of Cameroon government’s revenue that is being consumed by the ruling CPDM crime syndicate and the Francophone dominated army is not sustainable. It will take considerable political courage for the Fulani-Beti-Ewondo military to tell Mr. Biya that he has overstayed his time.
The Interim Government (IG) of Southern Cameroons should establish an effective military force to deal with the rampant insecurity created by Mr. Biya and his appointees in Southern Cameroons and they should avoid following the route of other former African liberation movements which have succumbed to autocracy when in power. Like the great Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, Mola Sako Ikome should contribute his own quota and be ready to hand over the baton of command.
Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia was an independent state long before it joined La Republique du Cameroun. So, the Interim Government does not need to bother itself about continued negotiation with French Cameroun on sharing oil wealth and border demarcation. The greatest blunder the international community could make would be to juxtapose the establishment of the new Federal Republic of Ambazonia and the failures of the Biya regime in Yaoundé. The creation of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia should be seen by the US and the European Union as a bold step to create the necessary conditions for sustainable peace and security in Sub Saharan Africa.
Southern Cameroonians in the Diaspora who are busy creating funny organizations in order to undermine the authority of the Interim Government should understand that since the very beginning of the Southern Cameroons revolution, many of the problems faced by Southern Cameroonians on Ground Zero have been blamed on the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime. This will no longer be possible as the international community prepares to start mediating. Expectations are very high and Southern Cameroonians on Ground Zero will no more tolerate any nonsense from the Diaspora. The hard work of turning our fledgling Southern Cameroons nation into a functioning state with its own army will have to begin and end with the IG.
By Sessekou Asu Isong, London