I’d like to draw attention to the plight of political prisoners in Cameroon (Cameroon split as anglophones call for creation of ‘Ambazonia’, 3 January). I am in touch with some of those enduring horrible conditions in the notorious, severely overcrowded prison of Kondengui, many of whom have been there for over a year.
|UK Must Take Lead On Injustice in Cameroon|
Since decolonisation there have been two plebiscites: the first when the ex-British Southern Cameroons were offered only the choice of joining La République du Cameroun in a federation or of becoming part of Nigeria, then a second vote 10 years later when they were asked if they would like to become part of a unitary state (thus losing the federated status and their star on the flag), and were apparently offered the choice of oui or yes (ie no choice).
France, Britain and the UN must bear some responsibility for this unfortunate marriage which has failed so disastrously. Promises of fair and equal treatment have not been kept and Cameroon is a state that is bilingual only in name. Any activity seen as threatening the power of Paul Biya is punished with detention (usually without trial) and brutal treatment, as witnessed by the numbers of Southern Cameroonians who come to claim asylum here and are accepted as clients by Freedom from Torture.
It is high time that the Southern Cameroonians, who have been recognised as a people by the UN, were rescued from injustice, social and economic marginalisation, persecution and the misappropriation of their resources and at long last given a voice.