2023 Southern Cameroons People's Conference (SCPC) Resolutions
WE, the people of the former United Nations Trust Territory of the British Southern Cameroons (referred here as the Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia), met in Toronto, Canada from October 5th to October 8th, 2023.
NOTING that the SCPC was convened and attended by Southern Cameroonians some physically and some virtually;
COGNISANT of the 1913 Anglo-German Treaty which defined the international boundary between Nigeria and Kamerun;
WHEREAS the Anglo-French Treaty of 1919 defined and delimited the international boundary between the British Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun, a boundary subsequently confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922 when the two territories were separately placed under the Mandates System;
WHEREAS the territorial demarcation between British Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun was further confirmed by the Anglo-French Treaty of January 9, 1931;
WHEREAS the British connection with the territory that became the British Southern Cameroons goes back from 1833 to 1887 and then from 1914 to 1961;
WHEREAS the period of the British administration of the Southern Cameroons under International tutelage bequeathed the Southern Cameroons with an Anglo-Saxon culture, value systems, the English language, educational, legal, administrative, political, governance and institutional systems;
WHEREAS on October 1, 1960, the British Southern Cameroons was separated from Nigeria and endowed with a Westminster-type constitution, the Southern Cameroons Constitution Order in Council, and by 1961 had attained full self-government status, except in matters of defence and foreign affairs that remained under Britain as provided in the Southern Cameroons Constitution Order in Council of 1960;
WHEREAS a United Nations mandated plebiscite was held in the Southern Cameroons on February 11, 1961;
WHEREAS the limited choice at the plebiscite was achieving Independence either by joining (Federating) the Independent La Republique du Cameroun or the Independent Federation of Nigeria;
WHEREAS, the people of the Southern Cameroons voted to achieve Independence by Federating with the Independent La Republique du Cameroun, a concept denoted in the United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514(XV) of 14th December 1960 as a free Association, and that the decision was endorsed by United Nations General Assembly resolution 1608(XV) of 21st April 1961;
WHEREAS, La Republique du Cameroun abrogated the spirit and letter of the supposed federation as epitomized by the flagrant constitutional breaches of 1972, 1984 and continuing to date.
WHEREAS, reacting to this crystallized illegality and inhumanity, Southern Cameroonians rose up in a collective upsurge and asserted their right to self-determination in a Restoration Statement at the Secretariat of the United Nations in 2017;
REAFFIRMING our faith in the strength of our unity and in our ability to realize our goal of self-determination, human and material development, and progress in all fields of human endeavour;
DETERMINED to create for ourselves a democratic society that would ensure the Rule of Law, respect for human rights and freedoms, and the dignity of all men and women in all communities large and small;
RECALLING our long-suffering existence under La Republique du Cameroun, including systematic violence in the form of arbitrary arrests, torture, rape, massacre, spoliation, and attempt at assimilating us to the French Culture;
FURTHER RECALLING the ongoing atrocities, and egregious crimes being perpetrated in the Southern Cameroons by the Government of La Republique du Cameroun forces of occupation, which crimes have resulted in internally displacing hundreds of thousands of people, and causing refugee flow of tens of thousands of people;
SOLEMNLY pledging our commitment to ensure the realization of the aspirations of the people of the Former British Southern Cameroons and to intensify our cooperation and efforts to achieve self- determination and a better life for all our people;
RECOGNIZING the role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, humanitarian response and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, as per the Security Council resolution (S/RES/1325) of 31 October 2000 and its supporting resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS);
NOTING that there are two dimensions of the root causes of the ongoing armed conflict, to wit:
The failure of the United Nations to come through with its Charter obligations wherein the Southern Cameroons was supposed to accede to independence on her own, instead of ‘joining’ another independent Nation, and
The resultant manifestation of bad faith by LRC in not only abrogating the spirit of the federation of two equal in status states but also in LRC’s genuine attempt to assimilate and obliterate the character of Southern Cameroons.
NOTED countless deaths, over 114,000 (according to UN OCHA as of August 2023) internally displaced Southern Cameroonians with limited humanitarian assistance in other parts of La Republique du Cameroun and took stock of over 88,000 (according to UNHCR as of July 2023) forced to flee their homes, now refugees in Nigeria, Ghana, and other parts of the world;
ASSEMBLED in Toronto, Canada, for the Southern Cameroons People’s Conference (SCPC), where Southern Cameroonians met to reset, reinvigorate and refocus the momentum of the struggle to reaffirm our right to self-determination.
NOW THEREFORE, WE
CONDEMN strongly the arbitrary arrests, extortions, illegal detention, torture, extra-judicial killings, and imprisonment of over 3000 Southern Cameroonians, including the Nera 10 and a host of others for expressing their universally enshrined rights to self-determination and the urgent need to release them unconditionally;
DENOUNCE the La Republique du Cameroun culture of impunity and censorship that have bred violence and inhumane treatment of Southern Cameroonians;
REAFFIRM the rights of the peoples of Southern Cameroons to self- defense;
ADOPTED and RESOLVED as follows:
1. On Collaboration within the Liberation War (Struggle)
Acknowledging both the call and desire from all Southern Cameroonians to evolve the optimal structure for the Struggle,
a.To establish a Southern Cameroons People’s Secretariat (SCPS) to work together to coordinate all the activities pertaining to the prosecution of the Southern Cameroons Liberation War (Struggle); b.That the establishment of the SCPS will be done in collaboration with on-the-ground stakeholders in Southern Cameroons;
c.That the Secretariat’s activities would include Coordination/Collaboration, Humanitarian, Scenario Planning, Diplomacy, Education, Human Rights and Judiciary, Inclusive Negotiations, Communications, and Financing the Struggle;
d.That the Secretariat’s role will include the definition and implementation of the Vision, the Mission and the day-to-day Management of the Struggle;
e.That there will be three SCPS Spokespersons covering Africa, the Americas and Europe/Asia.
2. On Humanitarian Response
Recognizing the uncoordinated nature of humanitarian works by dozens of groups across Southern Cameroons
We resolve to;
a. Work to establish a Centralized Humanitarian Hub, Framework and Web Portal to more efficiently coordinate humanitarian efforts for the affected Southern Cameroonians;
b. Facilitate access for humanitarian workers and assistance to victims of the armed conflict and call on aid workers to respect international humanitarian law, especially in armed conflicts;
c. Safeguard the rights and dignity of all Southern Cameroonians, especially women and children.
3. On Scenario Planning.
Recognizing the changing nature of geopolitics across CEMAC, ECOWAS and Africa in general.
We resolve to;
Work proactively on several likely scenarios that may emerge in the short to medium term, and how the Southern Cameroons Secretariat would react to the circumstances that arise.
4. On Diplomacy.
Mindful of the importance of diplomacy in our quest for self- determination,
a. To establish a Diplomatic Central Committee within the SCPS to coordinate all diplomatic efforts across the world;
b. That the SCPC will establish a consolidated and singular diplomatic channel to engage the international community, working with Southern Cameroonians across the relevant countries and regions.
5. On Human Rights Protection and the Judiciary.
Mindful of the consistent and persistent violations of the fundamental Human Rights of Southern Cameroonians,
a. To continue to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all illegally detained Southern Cameroonians;
b. To continue to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all Southern Cameroonians arrested and detained in foreign jurisdictions;
c. To continue to demand the immediate stop of arbitrary arrests and trials of Southern Cameroonians in Military Tribunals;
d. To identify, document and report all the Human Rights abuses and violations, killings, atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by the Republic of Cameroon in the Southern Cameroons since the beginning of the conflict in 2016.
6. On Education.
Recognizing that we have approximately 25% (data on file) school attendance today in Southern Cameroons, with much worse attendance rates especially in rural areas.
We resolve to;
a. To work to increase school attendance and literacy rates where possible through, inter alia, enhanced promotion of the rights of children to education;
b. To promote and encourage vocational training of non-schoolers, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees.
7. On Inclusive Negotiations
Understanding that our common goal and approaches should be synchronized for the purpose of effectively engaging in any future negotiations to ensure justice for our people,
a. To establish an inclusive negotiation architecture, using a third-party nation mediator model;
b. To explore and enhance avenues to build a team for internal and external negotiations;
c. To ensure the Secretariat builds and/or has access to negotiating capacity, capability and expert consultancy to support negotiations, and recognizing the importance of collective engagement in matters of negotiations founded on trust;
d. Create space to build from our different strategies to engage in external negotiations as one entity, representing the people of the Southern Cameroons and their ultimate interest.
8. On Communications.
We resolve to:
a.Establish an Inclusive Communications Framework and Platforms with a clear and broad Editorial Policy to accurately Inform, Educate and Entertain.
9. On Financing and Resource Mobilization
The SCPS shall establish a centralized financial structure to mobilize funds to finance the Struggle.
We thank each and every Southern Cameroonian who in one way or the other has contributed to the outcome of this document. We also thank the international stakeholders, including governments and international organizations for their support. We welcome their continuous engagement to achieve justice and a mediated settlement of the armed conflict.
DONE IN TORONTO, CANADA ON OCTOBER 8th, 2023.
Independent Delegates/Southern Cameroonians not affiliated to groups
Ambazonia International Policy Commission (AIPC)
Ambazonia Prisoners of Conscience (APOCs)
Ambazonia Prisoners of War (APOWs)
Bafut 7 Kata Ambazonia
Bui Unity Warriors
Coalition of Women Peacebuilding Networks Diaspora Ambazonia Community (DAC) Global Takumbeng
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Manyu Defense Council
Marine Forces of Bambalang PATRIOTS
Qwifors of Mezam
Red Dragons of Lebialem
South Africa Ambazonia Community (SAAC)
Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Activists Front (SCAAF)
Southern Cameroons Association Germany (SCA)
Southern Cameroons Civil Society Consortium (SCACSC aka The Consortium)
Southern Cameroons Community in Minnesota
Southern Cameroons Congress of the People (SCCOP)
Southern Cameroons Development Union Switzerland (SCDU) Southern Cameroons European Women (SCEW)
Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC)
Southern Cameroons People’s Organization (SCAPO)
Southern Cameroons Relief Organization Canada (SCRO)
Southern Cameroons Women’s League (SCAWOL)
T-SISC (The Struggle for the Independence of Southern Cameroons) Terminators of Ambazonia (TTA)
The Interim Government - (IG CARE)
West Cameroon Association (WCA)
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THE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS PEOPLE'S CONFERENCE (SCPC)
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