Friday, 29 September 2017

The Unprecedented September 22 Southern Cameroons Protests at Home and Abroad….Why it succeeded.

Chairman, Sisiku AyukTabe in Red Tie Leading protest in New York
It has never occurred in the history of the Southern Cameroons liberation struggle since 1961, for thousands of locals in Southern Cameroons to defy a ban on all public manifestations and take to the streets in the territory and abroad to express their discontent with the way they are being governed by the Cameroon Yaoundé regime. 

In the past years, the government will broke up demonstrations and arrest the leaders in order to dissuade anyone clamouring for his or her rights. But this time security forces were simply taken aback. The crowd in some areas was estimated at some 30 to 80.000 demonstrators. 

Thousands Demonstrate Against Injustice, marginalisation
Be it in remote locations like Ikiliwindi  in the South West ,Santa in the North West, right up to the village of the Prime Minister, Oku, the protesting angry population wielded placards demanding self-determination, hoisting the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia blue and white flag in some areas.

Takumbengs in Holland
Violence erupted in towns like in Buea where property was destroyed when security forces attempted to squash the demonstrations. 

In Holland, Switzerland, UK and elsewhere in the diaspora, there were protests at United Nations head offices in the different countries on the sidelines of the United Nations 72nd General Assembly. 

CPDM Regime Supporters in New York
The biggest of the protests took place in New York, where Cameroon’s President Paul Biya was taking part in the UN meeting. 

Supporters of the ruling CPDM party of President Paul Biya organised parallel protests which were seemingly overshadowed by the one organised by Southern Cameroonians. 

In South Africa considered as a stronghold of the restoration agenda, one of the front line  movements demanding the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons, the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium, United Front, SCACUF, organized a similar demonstration at the UN office in Pretoria.

Southern Cameroonians at UN Office in Pretoria, South Africa
The country coordinator for SCACUF SA, Roland Chebefuh expressed sincere gratitude to the man crowd that participated in the demonstration and persuaded all Ambazonians to exercise more resilience as the time has finally come for them to regain their rights as southern Cameroonians and Ambazonians. He announced the establishment of a tournament named Free Southern Cameroons that took place from 24th to the 25th of September 2017 in Johannesburg. 

He said the essence was to show solidarity to all those who have lost their lives in the course of the struggle.  Eight solidarity teams from different countries took part. Chebefuh called on every Southern Cameroonian all over south Africa to prepare en masse for the final restoration of the Ambazonian Independence on the 1st of October 2017.  

Wenceslaus, with fist up, Denouncing the Biya Regime
Thereafter, social activist and media personality, Wenceslaus Kingum Wunjah popularly known as Petit Libota who had mobilised Southern Cameroonians from all works of life residing in South Africa to storm the United Nations Head Office in Pretoria, mounted the rostrum.

He added his voice to the English speaking Cameroonians calling for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons/Republic of Ambazonia.

Addressing a mammoth crowd of placard wielding protesters, Wenceslaus denounced the killings, abduction, torture and illegal arrest of Southern Cameroonians by those he termed La Republic du Cameroon soldiers and security forces. He described the president as tyrant who is deaf to the cries of the people and also condemned the use of live ammunition by the forces on armless protesters and civilians. 

Protests at UN office in Pretoria 
The 22 September protest saw the participation of Southern Cameroonian women who came out as Takumbengs –the name given to traditional Southern Cameroonian women who are believed to have the powers to curse oppressors and denounce rights violations.

One of the female activists, Celyne Ambeck Tebid, a graduates from the University of Buea and also the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, denounced the autocratic leadership of President Paul Biya which to her, has failed to provide opportunities to the Ambazonian youth simply because they do not come from the French speaking part of Cameroon. 

Mrs Tebid and other Takumbengs, Protesting
Ambeck Tebid  who led the Takembengs was accompanied by other front-line activists ladies like Ms Victorine Nndum Nangewei. Nangewei said the women would hence make their voice heard more than before and called on the Cameroon government to release their brothers and husbands arrested since October 2016.

The different speakers at the protests in Pretoria like Lambe Chrystantus Che, further urged youths to remain steadfast and safe and know that the current struggle is for their future. He spoke about nonviolence and advised the youths to seek refuge at the nearest Fon’s or Chief’s palace in case of attack by the forces of law and order.

Leading the Protests in Pretoria
The government of Cameroon considers Southern Cameroonians in South Africa as those mostly standing firm to demand for justice for the minority and does not hesitate to arrest them each time they reach Cameroon.  

Johannesburg based Southern Cameroonian photo Journalist, Hans Achomba spent 8 months in jail and was only released on August 30 2017 after a presidential clemency. His crime was that he is resident in South Africa which put up a stiff resistance against government emissaries sent there to discuss the Southern Cameroons problems in July 2017. 

Women Led the protest at home and abroad
Majority of them cannot reportedly set foot on Cameroonian soil for fear of arrest and there are also fears that the regime could still track them even in South Africa. Others have been repatriated to the US upon arrival at the Douala airport. 

Political analysts are attributing the success of the 22 unprecedented peaceful protest demonstrations to the fact that women were mobilized and led the protests. At least more than four persons were reportedly killed.

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