Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Did you know? AMBAZONIA

It all began with the name Ambazonia or Ambazania which refers to two separate entities. One pertains to a pressure group struggling for the total restoration of the statehood of the territory formerly known as the British Southern Cameroons.
Ambazonia or Ambazania is also the name given to the
Southern Cameroons by organisations that struggle for the dissolution of the 1961 union of the Southern Cameroons with Cameroun.
The name used was first used in 1984 by the Ambazonia Rstoration Council (ARC) to inject a sense of distinctive sovereign identity, and since then by the other emancipationist entities and organisations advocating the "restoration" of independence for this territory.
The Republic of Ambazonia was declared by the
Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) as an independent state on 31 December 1999. This declaration has not been recognised by other countries or by the United Nations (UN). The area remains under the control of the Republic of Cameroon. Southern Cameroonians in exile formed the Ambazonia Liberation Party (ALIP) in July 2004.
In 2005 the Southern Cameroons/Republic of Ambazonia became a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO). On 31 August 2006 the independence of the Republic of Ambazania, to include the disputed territory of Bakassi was formally proclaimed by the Southern Cameroons Peoples Organisation (SCAPO).
It has a land size of 43,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 6 million people according to the Cameroon state census (the census has long been subject to political manipulation; the number is likely closer to 8 million. It is thus slightly larger than the Netherlands, ranked the 131st largest country and has about as many inhabitants as Paraguay, the world's 93rd largest country in terms of population. (In other terms, Ambazonia is more populous than at least 60 UN and 18 African Union (AU) Member States, and is larger in area than at least 30 UN and 12 AU Member States.) If independent, Ambazonia would share maritime boundaries with Nigeria, the Republic of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
As noted, the name Ambazonia was first used in 1984 by Fon Gorji-Dinka (leader of the Ambazonia pressure group), when the parliament and government of the Republic of Cameroon changed the name of the country from the "United Republic of Cameroon" to back to the pre-reunification name of the French Cameroun, the "Republic of Cameroun". In the view of some, particularly in the English Cameroon, this meant a dissolution of the 1961 union. It was in this light that beginning in 1984, Ambazonia, was declared to represent a timely intervention of the people of Southern Cameroons to return the statehood of the former British Southern Cameroons territory.
Ambazonia saw this not as the fait accompli of a one Cameroon state, but as an opportunity to engage both states into a 'constitutional review' of their post-1984 relations. Ambazonia believed that by "operation of the law", there should be an equal participation by the two states that made up the now extinct federation, in a new vision for their countries (Republic of Cameroon and the Southern Cameroons) relation with each other. In the document, dubbed the "new Social Order", the Ambazonia's proposal of CACIN, {the Cameroon- Ambazonia Confederacy of Independent Nations} was summarily rejected by the Republic of Cameroon. Instead, the Leader of ARC (the Ambazonia Restoration Council), Fon Gorji-Dinka, was arrested and tried for treason for claiming the continuing existence of the sovereignty of the 'Southern Cameroons' in the Republic of Ambazonia.
It is reported that in 1992, Fon Gorji-Dinka, on behalf of the state of Republic of Ambazonia filed suit against the Republic of Cameroon and President Paul Biya on the main charge of the Republic of Cameroon's illegal and forcible occupation since the 1984 dissolution of the United Republic of Cameroon and the declaration of the Republic of Ambazonia. This suit was registered with the Bamenda High Court in the North west region of Cameroon as case number HCB28/92.
Conflicting reports exist relating to the outcome of this case. However, the plaintiff, Fon Gorji-Dinka maintains that the Bamenda High Court reached a decision according to which the court among other things held that "(b) President Biya is [also] guilty of treason for furthering and completing the treason of Ahidjo by bringing about the secession of the first defendant (East Cameroon) from the United Republic of Cameroon on February 4, 1984, restituting its name "The Republic of Cameroon" which had been extinct since January 10, 1961. (c) That the break-away Republic of Cameroon continues, illegaly and forcibly occupy the territory of the first plaintiff, which means the first defendant is guilty of an international offence of agression and annexation, (d) The report made the Restoration of the statehood of the first plaintiff the starting point of restoration of legality". Followers of the Ambazonia pressure group led by Fon Gorji-Dinka assert that this decision was published in a Cameroon newspaper,'Le Messager': Vol. II No. 04 of February 10, 1993. Other accounts hold that the case was never heard hence a decision was never reached.
In a 2005 judgment of the United Nations Human Rights ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and political Rights) Tribunal Communication 1134/2002, the United Nations Human Rights Tribunal ruled in favor of compensation for Fon Gorji-Dinka for human rights abuses to his person and for assurances of the enjoyment of his civil and political rights.


References
1.
Ambazonia Political Party Formed. The Post Online
2. The Proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of Ambazania
3.
See "Peace and conflict Monitor" A Tale of Nationalism and Dissidence, by Marcel Fomotar of the UN University of Peace.
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