It is now a documented fact that at the Second Paris Forum on Peace, 11-13 November 2019, Paul Biya, with his own mouth, made a startling confession on the root causes of the ongoing war, which in normal circumstances should rally the entire world against him. He admitted, despite previous strenuous denials of himself and his own government, that there are two Cameroons, that French Cameroon annexed and has been trying to assimilate British Southern Cameroons but has failed and finally that the annexation would continue but he would give Southern Cameroons a special status!
These admissions, as some have said, have finally fully aligned Paul Biya with the root causes of the war. All along, the arguments of his surrogates, supporters, his government and advocates, both at home and abroad, have been that there is only one and indivisible Cameroon which the Ambazonians are trying to divide. Some of them, especially in the Western world, have even refused to call the problem by its name; to call the British Southern Cameroons by its name and have insisted on referring to the British Southern Cameroons only as the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon! But to their amazement, consternation and shame, Paul Biya, the declarer of the war, has used his own mouth to contradict them. Would they continue to cry more than the bereaved? Would they continue to argue for the accused who has openly admitted his guilt? Would those who support Paul Biya and his colonial regime continue to do so in disregard of his own confessions?
Paul Biya’s confession is weighty! In that confession contains admission of his flagrant violation of the fundamental principle on which all territorial boundaries in the world are based: the principle of intangibility of frontiers inherited at independence, to which there is no derogation! His own country, Republique du Cameroun, has joined the other African countries to ratify the African Union Constitutive Act, which consecrates this principle in Article 4(b). Cameroon has also joined other African countries to re-iterate her unconditional attachment to this principle and the fact that only by a strict respect of boundaries inherited at independence can peace be secured for Africa. Now, through his confession, he admits that he is in violation of his treaty obligations and all these declarations. In other words, he is a promoter of conflicts and war in Africa! All the atrocities he is committing, the burning of villages and hospitals, the rapes, the devastation of the economy and the murders of the handicapped have all been in pursuit of a senseless assimilation policy!
Paul Biya made his confession, but continues his war against Ambazonia as before; he has made his confession, but his soldiers or rather terrorists will just continue killing as before; he has made his confession but surely the African Union will remain mute as before; he has made his confession but the Western powers who live in denial of the root causes will just continue to beat about the bush as before; his hypnotised countrymen will just continue their babbling as before; his surrogates will just continue in their denials as before! All may just go on as if he never made the confession!
What then is the value of his confession to the struggle for the independence of the British Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia? If only Ambazonians see this confession or take comfort in it when it moves no one else, it will not move the struggle forward.
We must therefore ask ourselves how to make this confession work for the struggle. We are in a world in which international law is only for the weak and defenseless. The strong and the able live in perpetual violations and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The world is ruled by propaganda, by lies and by deceit!
If Paul Biya’s confession is to help this struggle for sovereign independence, Ambazonians must seek another forum in which it will serve as exhibit and proof of their case. We must not rely solely on using his confession to convince politicians who, from the very outset, have refused to be rational and have never believed in any justice, truth and the rule of law. The International Court of Justice may be the only place in which Biya’s confession would have its full value in the liberation struggle. This calls for renewed efforts to secure a country that would table this case before that institution.
In a rational world, we should be expecting that after Biya’s confession, the international community would come out strongly in a united front to do everything to stop the war; to withdraw all support from Biya; to impose more sanctions until he complies with international law. But alas, the French are already on the ground assisting the genocide and perpetuating the annexation.
The challenge is that of Ambazonians to figure out how best to use this startling confession to push forward their total liberation from Republique du Cameroun’s annexation. Should we consider that Mr Biya was suffering from selective memory loss and the Paris Forum helped him revive his memory and call on him to end the war now that he has finally remembered the facts of the case and admitted his guilt? We must not miss this great opportunity.