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Cameroon, The Conflict in Ambazonia Worsens. Interview with Vice President Abongwa

If you talk about Africa, there are many, many stories to tell. One that has not had a happy ending yet is the story about Ambazonia, a southwestern state in what is now Cameroon that, as we all know, has been governed by President Paul Biya for decades. The situation in Ambazonia, also known as Amba Land, with Buea as the capital city, is one of the saddest in contemporary history. Murders, arrests, torture, threats and mysterious disappearances for fighting for justice and independence denied to the Ambazonians (natives of anglophone Cameroon), and oppressed by President Biya’s French-speaking government.

Ambazonia has its own borders, a flag, a national anthem, a constitution, a website, a television channel (ABC Amba Television), and a president named Samuel Ikome Sako (in government for the past two years after the kidnapping in Nigeria of his predecessor, Sisiku AyukTabe Julius, by the Cameroon government and his extradition to Cameroon where he is presently in prison at Yaoundé). In 1962, at the end of the colonial regime, the population of British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) was not allowed to choose independence and was only allowed the choice to be annexed to Cameroon or Nigeria; a violation of their rights to self-determination that created a socio-political disruption between the government and the population that continues today. In order to get a closer look and further details on the situation, we decided to interview Dr. Abongwa Hariscine Keng, Vice President of the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, a self-declared autonomous state by the population of the Former British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) on October 1 2017, in order to demand the restoration of their independence.

1) Vice President Abongwa, good morning and thank you for speaking with us. Not many people are familiar with Ambazonia and its story. Would you be so kind to give us a short summary?

It’s difficult to summarize the current situation and the state of war in Ambazonia. If your readers could dedicate some of their time, they would understand the reasons for the uprising in Ambazonia and the genocide that is taking place right now. I’ll try to explain what led the people of Ambazonia to demand recognition of their political and historical identity following the failed decolonization under the auspices of the United Nations in 1961.

The name Ambazonia comes from the Bay of Ambas, that opens towards the Gulf of Guinea that is situated to the northeast of the Atlantic Ocean. Ambazonia, officially the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, also known as Southern Cameroons, is a state in Central Africa that has recently self-declared itself an autonomous state (1 October 2017) and is waiting for the UN to recognize its national sovereignty.

Ambazonia borders with the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the west and north, with the Republic of Cameroon to the east, and with the Gulf of Guinea to the south. It has a surface area of 42,710 km2 (larger than the surface area of 30 UN Member States and equal to ¼ of the surface area of Italy). The population counts over 5 million people and English is the official language. The land is rich in natural resources (petrol, minerals, timber, etc.) that make up more than 60% of all of Cameroon’s GDP, including the French-speaking territory.

Prior to 1954, the UN considered Southern Cameroons (alias Ambazonia) geographically distinct and mandated its temporary trusteeship to the Great Britain as prescribed for in article 76 d of the Charter of the United Nations, while waiting for self-determination. Between 1954 and 1961, and pending the application of the fore-mention UN clause, Southern Cameroons was politically organized as a parliamentary democracy, therefore it had its own government with a Parliament, a Judiciary and a Senate.

In view of independence, on 11 February 1961, the UN called for a Plebiscite where the following two questions were posed to the indigenes of Southern Cameroons: a) Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent Federation of Nigeria? b) Do you wish to achieve independence by joining the independent Republic of Cameroon? This is to show that, apparently, there was no political will of making Ambazonia an independent state. The reasons for imposing Ambazonia to associate with one of the two independent states were substantially due to the purported scarce economic viability of Ambazonia and the risk of colonization by other bigger and stronger states.

Therefore, Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) was not allowed to vote for a third option: continue being an autonomous state as it had been for 7 years, despite the fact that it was already classified by the UN as a Class B trust territory, meaning it had reached socio-political maturity to be recognized as an independent state. Therefore, the citizens who could vote for the Plebiscite were forced to choose between Cameroon and Nigeria and the choice fell on La Republique du Cameroun (the Republic of Cameroon) that gained independence from France on 1 January, 1960.

In order to validate the Plebiscite, on 21 April 1961, sixty-four countries approved UN Resolution 1608 (XV) that gave independence to British Southern Cameroons alias Ambazonia, under the trusteeship of the United Nations, starting 1 October 1961.

Great Britain, as a trustee of the UN protectorate Ambazonia, was delegated by the UN to define the terms of the union and to mediate the signing of the union treaty between the two states, Ambazonia (British Southern Cameroons) and the Republic of Cameroon.

To date, the union treaty has never been validated by the United Nations, in accordance with Article 102 (1) of UN Resolution 1608 (XV), because no union treaty was ever signed between the two states. In fact, the Foumbam conference held on 17-21 July 1961 as mandated by the UN, where representatives of the Republic of Cameroon, Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) and Great Britain were supposed to meet to sign a union treaty and develop a plan for the declaration of independence that was to be announced on 1 October 1962, was inconclusive due to the absence of the trustee delegated by the UN, Great Britain.

Therefore, on 1 September 1961, a very short time later, the new independent neighboring state, the Republic of Cameroon (also a former UN Class B trust territory), presented a bill in their Parliament proposing the occupation of Ambazonia, thereby violating the United Nations trusteeship provisions on Southern Cameroons. In fact, La Republique du Cameroun sent its troops to Southern Cameroons on 30 September 1961 and began the illegal process of annexation and occupation of Ambazonia.

Since 1 October 1961 (the date that had been set to announce the independence of Ambazonia) to the present date, the illegal co-habitation with the Republic of Cameroon, which was supposed to be a federation between two states with equal status, has been characterized by clear acts of marginalization, social injustice and an attempt to assimilate the people of Ambazonia.

In November 2016, teachers and lawyers held peaceful protests against the attempt by the Cameroonian government to assimilate the Anglo-Saxon education system and the common law legal system of Ambazonia. This became the straw that broke the camel’s back because it consolidated the resolve of the people of Ambazonia to oppose the attempt to completely erase the cardinal values of their political and cultural identity through the government of Cameroon’s manipulative attempt to complete the assimilation of Ambazonian citizens.

Today, after about 4 years, contrary to the underestimated figures given by international humanitarian institutions and organizations, the real situation of the humanitarian crisis in Ambazonia is progressively deteriorating with about 15,000 deaths, 500,000 refugees scattered in various countries, especially Nigeria, 5,000 detainees, 2 million internally displaced persons, 400 burned villages and 800,000 children deprived of the right to education.

Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council, a cooperation partner of the UNHCR) and former special adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syriaan Egeland, presented a TEDx Talk in September 2019 in which he confirmed that, based on a survey that used four criteria to evaluate the humanitarian crisis in the areas of conflict and disaster around the world (number of displaced people deriving from crises, political will to solve crises, international media attention, financial aid for relief), Cameroon ranked first out of the 10 countries with THE MOST NEGLECTED HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN THE WORLD.

In conclusion, I’d say that the situation in Ambazonia transitioned from a peaceful protests to a violent conflict after the President of Cameroon declared war on the 30th of November 21017 against the people of Ambazonia and that failure to address the root causes of this war is the basis of the ongoing genocide in Ambazonia. Inappropriate response by the French-speaking government of Cameroon to protest against Social injustice has led to an armed conflict and the killing of Ambazonians by the Cameroon military, that is illegally occupying Ambazonia. These killings have radicalized the population and transformed what had begun as a internal peaceful protest into the current international crisis with the request from the indigenes of Ambazonia to review the failed decolonization process and restore their independence.

I will like to invite readers that are interested in the current genocide in Ambazonia, that is unknown to the world, to visit the website and visit the website to view verified information in the “Cameroon: Database of Atrocities” that is compiled by researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada.

2) You live in Parma, Italy. Do you find it difficult to contact your family or friends? Let me clarify. Has French-speaking Cameroon censured foreign communication?

Yes. Generally speaking, the intention of the government of Cameroon to conceal the entity of the conflict and the atrocities inflicted on the people of Ambazonia, in addition to their intention to thwart our attempts to raise global awareness and the legitimacy of our request, can be verified by the numerous acts of censorship, be they evident or suspect, orchestrated by the government of Cameroon.

There have been times when I could not communicate with my friends or family due to the Internet lockdown in Ambazonia orchestrated by the government of Cameroon.

We must also consider the intention to hinder information about Ambazonia from French-speaking Cameroon citizens. For example the root cause of the conflict in Ambazonia has not been discussed in the Cameroonian Parliament for the past four years, despite the fact that it has been the topic of discussion in different parliaments (Germany, UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, EU, etc.) and even at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In the past four years, the government of Cameroon has spent on average 500,000 dollars annually on lobby firms in Washington (Clout Public Affairs, Mercury Public Affairs, Glover Park Group, Squire Patton Boggs) to discredit the validity and legitimacy of our fight, to falsify the information on the social injustice in favor of the Cameroonian government, to attempt to manipulatively tag us as terrorists and to hinder our access to state and international diplomatic institutions.

We also have evidence to the effect that, some journalists, who report the real facts about the violations of human rights by the Cameroonian government, have been either killed, incarcerated or forced to leave the country.

Last but not least, there are clear testimonies that the government of Cameroon has denied access to Ambazonia to international humanitarian organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Red Cross.

Lately, we have noticed a strange and frequent trend on Facebook and other social media platforms where most of our fellow countrymen who advocate against social injustice and who are denouncing the genocide, are being blocked.

However, if you asked this question, I deduce that you too have had problems gathering adequate information concerning the current socio-political situation in Ambazonia. Therefore, I see it as a premeditated and sponsored censorship mechanism deliberately adopted by the government of Cameroon to keep the world in the dark about the genocide in Ambazonia.

In fact, there is little awareness about the genocide in Ambazonia in Italy but, unfortunately for Italians, I think that the Italian government’s silence on this premediated and sponsored censorship by the government of Cameroon will only, slowly but surely, bring about deadly consequences on the Italian economy.

I assure you that the reluctance, be it intentional or not, by the Italian and other governments to take an interest and to intervene concretely in the resolution of this conflict shows a lack of foresight on the part of Italian politicians because the Italian population will surely find themselves paying for the consequences in the near future. Why am I saying this? Because, due to the refusal or reluctance or lack of interest to intervene in the root cause of the problem, Italy is indirectly fostering and preserving huge economic interests that are unfortunately not for Italians, but for the government of Cameroon and France.

I want to bring to your attention the fact that, even though Ambazonia has a population of 20% and covers a surface area of 18% that of Cameroon, it has natural resources that, to date, generates over 60% of the GDP of the two states put together. Through French hegemony, in 14 countries in Central Africa (including Ambazonia), the scandalous contractual ties, called “accords des coopération”
(cooperation agreements) between these countries and France, are in fact agreements dictated by neo-colonialism. As per these agreements, not only does France print and apply its seigniorage and control over the currency in these countries (the CFA – Central African Franc), but France also receives up to 60% of the national reserves of these 14 countries in the Bank of Paris, hence exploiting and milking hundreds of millions of dollars a year from Africa. In fact, it is estimated that the neo-colonial French system drains around 500 billion dollars from Africa every year.

Obviously, at this point, you will probably ask me how censorship on the Ambazonia insurgency represents a ticking time bomb that will bring the Italian economy down at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Simply think about the vicious cycle: French hegemony, destitution in Ambazonia, the exponential increase in Journeys of Hope, emigration towards “greener pastures”, increase in landings in Lampedusa and the consequent crowding of refugee camps. None of this happens in Nice, France, because the French police sends immigrants back to Italy. France, due to the hegemony it has over these African countries, will remain the only beneficiary at the expense of Italy that, as a signatory of the Geneva Convention of 1951 (the primary responsibility of all states is to respect and protect the rights of refugees), has the legal obligation to collaborate with the UNHCR to protect refugees on Italian territory and treat them according to international standards.

3) Why is there so much hostility against the citizens of Ambazonia?

Because since the République du Cameroun (LRC) doesn’t have any historical, legal or constitutional proof to justify its occupation of Ambazonia, it opted for the violent military suppression of the citizens of Ambazonia in the hopes of terrorizing the Ambazonians into submission;

Because LRC cannot survive without the resources from Ambazonia that generates over 60% of the GDP and the government of Cameroon wants to deceive the world and have it pass as Cameroon’s GDP (that is, LRC plus Ambazonia);

Because silence and the lack of intervention by international humanitarian institutions, like the UN, indirectly protect countries like France even though they are aware of both the situation of genocide in Ambazonia and the fact that LRC depends on the natural resources of Ambazonia to pay off its “eternal” colonial debt with France. The silence of the international community therefore allows the economic interests of Cameroon and France to prevail over humanity.

The government of Cameroon has the wicked intent to pass off and classify acts of self-defense tied to our resistance against the occupation as acts of terrorism. The aim of this manipulation from the government of Cameroon is clearly to turn the world against us. I insist in repeating that we are defending ourselves for our inalienable right to self-determination within the internationally recognized borders of the Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia); so I’d say that the terrorists are those who have invaded and occupied our land.

I would therefore like to state that the voluntary refusal or the unwillingness of the international humanitarian institutions to recognize the root cause of the Ambazonia insurgency and the condoning of the genocide in Ambazonia with impunity in the twenty-first century, is not only criminal, but it also presumes the existence of a premeditated mechanism by the government of Cameroon and its allies to pay for the silence of the international and national humanitarian institutions.

4) What is Ambazonia asking for? What would bring peace or a dialogue to end the horrific blood bath that has been going on for years?

Social justice is at the base of our fight for independence and the liberation of Ambazonia. I would like to communicate our determination to resist until the international humanitarian institutions will consider the absolute necessity to address the root cause of this senseless war declared by President Paul Biya of Cameroon against Ambazonia on the 30th of November 2017, as a definite solution to restoring peace to Ambazonia.

The root cause lie in the failed decolonization process of the British Southern Cameroons, known today as the Federal Republic of Ambazonia or simply Ambazonia. The legitimacy of our quest for the restoration of independence was voted by the citizens of Southern Cameroons in the Plebiscite on 11 February 1961, and approved in UN Resolution 1608 (XV) by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 April 1961.

Therefore, the Ambazonia liberation struggle is about our resolve to fight for our rights as a people: the inalienable right to self-determination, the right to freedom of speech and association, and the right to education. It is a battle for the legitimate ownership of our territory and its resources. It is a battle to defend the internationally recognized territory in compliance with article 4b of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, to defend the right to manage our resources and to defend the right to govern our land.

The Ambazonia liberation struggle is a battle against the social injustices conceived of in the systematic premeditated process of invasion, occupation, annihilation, marginalization, annexation, assimilation and subjugation of the people of Ambazonia.

It is a battle against the risk of extinction of our origin.

Considering the absence so far of concrete interventions by the competent international institutions, we have resolved to evoke our right to self-defense in order to resist and say “no” to the genocide and the serious ongoing human rights violations.

We are therefore asking for recognition of the root cause of this war, namely the failure to decolonize Ambazonia, as a problem of international jurisdiction and therefore to find a definite solution by means of a negotiation process with a neutral mediator.

Currently, the only platform approved by the UN, the UNSC, the AU, the EU, the Commonwealth, the USA, Russia, Canada, the UK, Germany, etc. to negotiate the conflict between Cameroon and Ambazonia is termed the Swiss led Talks. The Swiss talks, is mediated by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a diplomatic organization delegated by the Swiss government to mediate the conflict between Ambazonia and LRC.

We hope and count on a constant increasing international political pressure from international humanitarian institutions and UN Member States, aimed at bringing LRC, the perpetrator of the genocide in Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), to the negotiation table, where we can ask for the recognition of the legitimacy of our request for decolonization and restoration of the independence and statehood of British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia). This is the only valid option that could guarantee a the timely end of the blood bath.

5) As Vice President, how do you work for your people from abroad?

In order to lead a revolution from
abroad, it is necessary to have a structured and well-organized system, the appropriate spirit of determination and awareness, and be willing to sacrifice temporal, material and economic resources.

We operate as an interim government in exile.

In order to better understand how we work and handle the coordination of the revolution in loco, you need to have a minimum understanding of the level of mobilization and how our community is structured at the global level.

First of all, the aspirations of the people of Ambazonia are divided between Unionists (remain with LRC), Federalists (form a federation with LRC) and Separatists (separation from the bogus and illegal union with LRC through the restoration of Ambazonian independence). In the past four years, there have been many significant events including national demonstrations in Ambazonia (the national protest on 22 September 2017, and the march to commemorate independence on 1 October 2017), the Ambazonia Strategic Stakeholders Conference (ASSC Berlin 2019) and the online Anglophone General Conference Survey for Anglophone Cameroonians (Ambazonians) organized by religious bodies, that allowed us to affirm that, to date, over 90% of the people of Ambazonia wants COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE.

Among the independentists (restorationists) there are various movements that are all united by the aim of restoring the independence of Ambazonia and, despite some internal disagreements, specifically on differences in approach and strategies, all these entities work towards achieving the independence of Ambazonia. One of these movements is the Interim Government that represents the undisputed majority and I’d say that over 90% of the independentists (restorationists) support and align under the Interim Government of Ambazonia (aka the People’s Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia).

From the beginning of the Ambazonian uprising, we have chronologically used three types of mobilizations of our community in the diaspora (in exile).

The first was to group ourselves under pre-existing lobby groups founded in Ambazonia, to fight against marginalization and social injustice.

Alongside this grouping, we formed and regrouped ourselves as citizens of Ambazonia who reside in various countries around the world. In Italy, for example, about three years ago we formed the Association of Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) in Italy (SCAI) through which we can mobilize to better internationalize our plight by raising awareness of the Ambazonian insurgency among Italian citizens and through diplomatic outreaches with humanitarian institutions and the Italian government.

In the last two years, our revolution has evolved in the way we mobilize Human Resources abroad. It has gone from a mobilization based on lobby groups, to a mobilization based on country of residence, and now to a community based mobilization that reflects the structuring of our communities back home in Ambazonia. I’d like to point out that Ambazonia is structurally divided into 61 Local Government Areas (LGAs), that in turn are grouped into 13 Counties. In the past two years, we began a program of mobilization of our community in exile. We are now continuously regrouping Ambazonian citizens resident abroad based on their LGA of origin and putting them in contact with citizens back home in Ambazonia from the same LGA.

The creation of this mirror representation of LGAs abroad with those back home in Ambazonia, has permitted us to institute a strong communication channel that harmonizes and synchronizes the revolutionary ideology of independence between citizens who are residents abroad and those back home in Ambazonia.

In the context of this community based mobilization model, the respect for the hierarchical stratification of the three spheres of governance within our interim government (Local, County and Federal Government) represents the foundation upon which we have been able to create a network for the management and coordination of our revolutionary affairs.

Community based structuring, effective communication channels and respect of hierarchy have greatly reduced the physical distance between Ambazonians abroad and those back home, and has facilitated the management and coordination of our liberation struggle from abroad.

It is also worth stating that the evolution in technology has accelerated the speed of communication and the range of the dissemination of information. It has provided us with various digital mediums that have facilitated the coordination of our global community and the possibility of raising awareness throughout the world about the uprising in Ambazonia.

Having a family and being a doctor, it is however with great sacrifice that I successfully handle the coordination of the community, considering that I also have to fulfil family and professional obligations. However the commitment is almost spontaneous when you have a strong patriotic sense of responsibility and believe firmly in the plight and freedom of your own people.

6) How are your fellow countrymen in Ambazonia dealing with the health emergency that has struck the entire world?

First of all, I’d like to state with all honesty and declare to the whole world that the greatest risk of dearh in Ambazonia in this precise moment is not represented by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic but by the occupation of our land by the army of the Republic of Cameroon that perpetrating the genocide of our people with impunity. In fact, the call for a global ceasefire announced in March 2020 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, urging all parties engaged in armed conflicts to put down their weapons to allow people in conflict areas to respond to the Coronavirus spread and survive its consequences, was ignored by the Interim Government of Ambazonia because this same institution, the UN, has stood by and watched the genocide in Ambazonia unfold for four years without intervening concretely, while the government of Cameroon is using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to obtain more funds from international donors to purchase more weapons and continue the genocide in Ambazonia.

Unfortunately, from mid-September 2020, as per global epidemiological reports released by the WHO, we are assisting a progressive increase in global incidences and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 infection. The November 2020 reports state that the cumulative global number of confirmed cases and the number of cumulative deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (December 2019) are respectively: 57 million confirmed cases and 1.3 million deaths. It is worth noting that the African continent covers an extremely low percentage, both in the cumulative number of confirmed cases (2%, 1.3 million cases) and in the cumulative number of deaths (2%, 32,000 deaths), since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, the number of deaths since the beginning of the uprising in Ambazonia is around 15,000, which is about half of the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in all of Africa (32,000 deaths). These figures say it all and give the world a better idea of the real emergency situation in Ambazonia, and the fact that the ordinary citizen of Ambazonia sees the situation of war in Ambazonia as a much greater threat to their lives than contracting COVID-19 infection.

It is also worth noting that the government of Cameroon, that declared war on Ambazonia, did not answer to the UN Secretary General’s call for a ceasefire and that Cameroon reported more COVID cases and more deaths than most Central African countries: almost 20,000 confirmed cases and 415 deaths as of 10 September according to the WHO. Cameroon has not made provisions for enough COVID-19 diagnostic kits and has been unable to guarantee adequate compliance for preventative measures to respond to the spread of COVID-19. Comparing the data reported by on-site health workers, we have concluded that the WHO was given false and/or inflated numbers of new cases so that the government of Cameroon could benefit from financial aid from international institutions. In fact, this year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved two disbursements for a total of 382 million dollars (226 million dollars in May and 156 million dollars in October) to address the negative economic trade impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fall in the real GDP growth, the World Bank approved a 97-million-dollar disbursement to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and for educational reforms in Cameroon, in addition to the 40 million dollars of solidarity funds raised by the citizens of Cameroon for COVID rescue aid with the aim of improving public healthcare structures, have been poorly managed and misappropriated by the government of Cameroon.

It’s clear that the government of Cameroon is taking advantage of taxpayers’ funds from all over the world with the excuse of addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to draw global attention to the fact that financing Cameroon with the pretext of assisting her to respond to the economic impact or to foster education or to support the upgrade of healthcare infrastructures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is equal to sponsoring the ongoing genocide in Ambazonia.

Considering the level of response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon, it is clear that taxpayers’ money has been for the most part used by the government of Cameroon to perpetrate, with impunity, the genocide of the people in Ambazonia.

7) In conclusion, could you express a personal observation to the Ambazonians, the President of Cameroon and the international community?

To my brothers and sisters from Ambazonia scattered all over the globe, and to the rest of the world, I would like to say that the right to self-determination is inalienable and that this right is true and valid for Ambazonians just as it was, it is and shall be to every other people in the world.

Many people have fought, often successfully, for their freedom and for the sovereignty of their country. Yes! I repeat: fought! Because freedom comes at a price, and we are ready to fight for it.

Today, there is Gambia that separated from the Senegambia Confederation in 1989, Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1991, South Sudan from Sudan in 2012 and East Timor from Indonesia in 2002, so to will be Ambazonia, contrary to the false myth of a united and indivisible Cameroon, will restore its independence by separating from the Republic of Cameroon.

Ruanda overcame genocide in 1994 and it is now an economically flourishing country, so too will Ambazonia overcome the genocide perpetrated on its citizens by the Republic of Cameroon’s army.

South Africa fought and overcame racial discrimination notwithstanding internal betrayal and political interference from Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, therefore Ambazonia too will also manage any internal betrayals and overcome them.

We Ambozanians must therefore be ready, now more than ever, to resist the invaders of our land and to resist all international conspiracies against the legitimacy of our quest for sovereignty because only we Ambazonians can determine our destiny.

We must be ready, like never before, to sacrifice our time and our economic resources to finance our resistance and consolidate our determination to fight for our freedom until the last man standing. At this point, it is a duty to honor the devotion and patriotic sacrifice of the fighters back home, the Ambazonia Restoration Forces (ARF), and to appreciate the resolve of the Ambazonian community abroad, that have responded with determination and devotion to the Amba WAR Draft (AWARD) initiative that was created and launched by our President, Dr Samuel Ikome Sako, so as to sponsor the freedom fighters back home, the ARF. I would like to express my enormous gratitude to the Ambazonia Restoration Forces led by President Sako, who represent over 90% of the freedom fighters in Ambazonia, for their courage, skills, determination and sense of patriotic belonging which they have displayed in fighting for the freedom of our people.

In addressing President Paul Biya and his allies, I would like to point out that for the past four years, the government of Cameroon, in its denial, has hilariously changed its position: from its refusal to recognize the existence of a problem, to the violent repression of peaceful protests, to elaborating fictitious solutions such as the creation of a bilingualism committee and offering Ambazonia a special status as a solution to a problem which they had initially refused acknowledging. Denial by the government of Cameroon to recognize the problem, is currently the cause of the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and of the thousands of Ambazonian lives that have being lost.

In the same four years, the ineffectiveness of the government of Cameroon to address the problem has entrenched and consolidated the determination of the Ambazonian population to pursue the achievement of their inalienable right to self-determination.

Therefore, the only right thing to do is to recognize the root cause of the Ambazonia insurgency; recognize that it is not an internal problem but an international one and meet us in Switzerland for a peaceful negotiation that will address the rooted causes of the problem and define the terms of separation from the fraudulent, illegal union of the two states.

As for my thoughts to the international community, including the Italian government, I extend the appeal of the Ambazonian population to the citizens of the world to help us in raising awareness and knowledge about the genocide taking place in Ambazonia, so as to put adequate international political pressure on the competent international institutions and Member States of the United Nations, for prompt and concrete action such as to send UN peace-keeping forces to Ambazonia as soon as possible to end the killing of innocent civilians that are constantly being caught in crossfire, and create a safe environment for our children, that haven’t been going to school for four years, and help them regain their right to education.

I would also like to extend the request of the Ambazonian people to the citizens of the world and to the UN Member States to put political pressure on the United Nations to address the uprising in Ambazonia concretely through the internationally approved mediation platform, the Swiss Talks, where the government of Cameroon and ACT (Ambazonia Coalition Team) can define the terms for a peaceful separation between Cameroon and Ambazonia. ACT is a coalition that includes the Interim Government of Ambazonia and seven pro-separatist movements delegated by the people of Ambazonia to negotiate the restoration of independence to the Former British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia) under the auspices of the SWISS TALKS, an internationally endorsed platform (UN, UNSC, EU, AU, Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia) that is mediated by the Swiss government. The Swiss government, represented by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), offered to mediate between the government of the Republic of Cameroon and the negotiation team of the Former British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), ACT.

Finally, I extend an appeal to the citizens of the world for humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of our citizens, who are victims of the vicious humanitarian crisis resulting from the war declared on our population. Finally, please, I would like to seize this opportunity to implore, on behalf of the people of Ambazonia, all citizens and philanthropic organizations in the world to access and make a donation for humanitarian aid at “Assistance to Refugees” so that together we can help the victims of the genocide in Ambazonia at least for basic needs and healthcare services.

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