By Valentine A. Gana, JD
Under the University of Missouri School of Law, I did an independent study and extensive research into the U.N. Archives regarding the U.N. Resolutions that have a bearing on the Southern Cameroons. It is captured in a 54-page paper titled “The Genocide in Ambazonia: A Case for Robust Engagement by The United Nations”.
The only logical, factual, historical and legal conclusion from the U.N. Resolutions and Articles stated below is that the “Erstwhile British Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons” was never decolonized. I can share this paper with anyone who is interested. Based on my extensive research, any negotiation on the future of the erstwhile “British Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons” MUST be based on the following U.N. Resolutions. Don’t go into any negotiations if you do not have a full grasp of these U.N. Resolutions.
1.) U.N. Article 76(a) and (b)
2.) U.N. Resolution 1514(XV)
3.) U.N. Resolution 1282 (X111)
4.) U.N. Resolution 1352 (XIV)
5.) U.N. Resolution 1608 (XV)
The relevant parts of these resolutions are as such;
i.) U.N. Resolution 76(a) and (b) states;
“The basic objective of the trusteeship system, in accordance with the purposes of the United Nations laid down in article 1 of the present Charter, shall be:
a.) to further international peace and security
b.) to promote the political, economic and social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate in the particular circumstance”
ii.) U.N. Resolution 1514 (XV): Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (United Nations General Assembly [UNGA]) UN Doc A/RES/1514(XV).
Article 1 through 5 of this resolution states as such;
The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is important to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.
1.) All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2.) Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness, should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.
3.) All armed actions or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence, and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.
4.) Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories, or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the people of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or color, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.
5.) Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
iii.) U.N. Resolution 1282 (X111) ………
Recalling that a visiting mission of the Trusteeship Council is now in the said territories, in pursuance of Council Resolutions 1907 (XXII), of July 28, 1958 and 1924 (S-IX) of 7 November 1958, adopted by the Council at its twenty-second session and ninth special session, respectively.
1.) Notes the declarations of the Government of France that the Cameroons under French administration is to achieve independence on 1st January 1960, thus fulfilling the Objectives of the Trusteeship system.
2.) Notes the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland that the Cameroon under United Kingdom administration is expected to achieve in 1960, the objectives set forth in the Article 76 b of the Charter of the United Nations.
iv.) U.N. Resolution 1352 (XIV): Note U.N. resolution 1352 (XIV) becomes the foundation for U.N. Resolution 1608(XV).
v.) U.N. Resolution 1608 (XV): UN General Assembly, Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples: resolution / adopted by the General Assembly, 14 January 2013, A/RES/67/134
Article 4.) Decides that the plebiscites having been taken separately with differing results, the trusteeship agreement of 13 December 1946 concerning the Cameroons under United Kingdom administration, shall be terminated in accordance with Article 76 b of the Charter of the United Nations and in agreement with the Administering authority, in the following manner:
a. With respect to the Northern Cameroons, on 1 June 1961, upon joining the Federation of Nigeria as a separate province of the Northern region of Nigeria.
b. With respect to the Southern Cameroons on 1st October 1961, upon joining the Republic of Cameroon.
Article 5.) Invites the Administering Authority, the Government of the Southern Cameroons, to initiate urgent discussions, with a view to finalizing before October 1, 1961, the arrangements by which the agreed and declared policies of the parties will be implemented. 994th plenary meeting, 21st April 1961.
The failure of the mandate to decolonize the Southern Cameroons and the illegal occupation of the Southern Cameroons has led to genocide in the Southern Cameroons with over 8000 inhabitants brutally murdered, and still ongoing. This is a violation of the United Nations Convention of Genocide, Article 2.
U.N. Convention of Genocide, Article 2
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
All nations and trust territories under colonial rule got their independence from U.N. Resolution 1514(XV), meeting the conditions set forth in U.N. Article 76(a) and (b). The duty of Britain was to decolonize the Southern Cameroons, not according to Britain’s wishes, nor Britain’s interest, but according to the self-determination wishes of the peoples of this trust territory. U.N. Resolution 1608(XV) went against the spirit and letter of U.N. resolution 1514 (XV) and Article 76(a) and (b). As the declassified cables of discussions by Parliamentarians now attest, they protested that what Britain was doing was wrong, unlawful, and an abdication of its duty which sowed the seeds of future conflict by a charade of giving independence to the Southern Cameroons on the condition of joining French Cameroon. Britain thus did not meet is duty over the Southern Cameroons Trust Territory.
Additionally, Britain botched resolution 1608(XV), article 5 which called on Britain (the Administering Authority) to initiate urgent discussions, with the view of finalizing before October 1, 1961, the arrangements by which the agreed and declared policies of the parties will be implemented as mandated in the 994th U.N. plenary meeting of April 21st, 1961.
The failure of Britain in meeting its duty as the Administering Authority over the Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons translated into;
i.) No treaty of Union between French Cameroon and Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons)
ii.) The British Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons also known as Ambazonia was never decolonized, but instead, it was illegally occupied by French Cameroon.
iii.) Any participation by Ambazonians in the structures within French Cameroon since October 1st , 1961 have been coercive and part of this illegal occupation, given that Ahidjo, French Cameroon’s president sent in occupation forces on October 1st, 1961, immediately after the British pulled out, and without a Treaty of Union between French Cameroon and Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia)
iv.) All current discussions, negotiations or attempts at such must seek to end the current bloodshed and armed conflict through (a.) The Withdrawal of the Occupier from the Southern Cameroons, and
(b.) the decolonization of the Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), consistent with the U.N. Articles and resolutions. There will be no lasting peace if this conflict is not resolved through the stated U.N. resolutions and articles.
Valentine A. Gana JD, is an Ambazonian Jurist