We reject the covertly racist efforts by some to characterize our resistance as just another "senselessly violent" African crisis, and ignore our long history of nonviolent struggle.
The armed resistance to the Cameroon regime that has emerged in the past year did not just come out of no-where as yet another example of African groups just not being able to "get along" with each other.
Ambazonia has been under military occupation by the French neo-colonial regime in Cameroon since an ill-fated UN plebiscite on a confederacy between the two countries in 1961. And there has been a popular nonviolent resistance against the second class status of Ambazonians under this occupation for this whole time. This movement — which has that has seen multiple waves of protests, especially led by teachers and students — has for decades used the well-known slogan "THE FORCE OF ARGUMENT, NOT THE ARGUMENT OF FORCE."
Despite this principled nonviolent approach, the Cameroon regime has used lethal force against these protesters for decades. Reports of the victims of that violence can be found in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices from the US State Department and other similar documents. For a portrayal of this violence the previous wave of protests, please see:
In the fall of 2016, protests erupted across the territory once more, this time in response to a strike by legal workers called to defend the Ambazonian common law–based judicial system. The fall 2016 protest was pivotal in several ways including the extent of the Cameroon regime's use of lethal force on nonviolent protesters. In one case the regime used helicopter gunships to fire live ammunition in the crowd killing at least 100 peaceful protesters. That was followed by the cutting off internet to prevent reports to the outside world of ongoing atrocities.
In direct response to these atrocities, for the first time in the history of our struggle, some fractions have chosen in the last year to defend their communities with force.
Here is a sampling of some of the Ambazonians who have been murdered by the Cameroon regime for their participation in nonviolent resistance during the occupation:
- 1962, MP Zachary Abendong & Marcus Temdia are assassinated by military.
- Dec 1966, 236 Bakossi men, women and children.
- Dec 30,1977, former PM Ngom Jua is assassinated.
- May 26,1990, 6 shot dead in Bamenda.
- Oct 7, 1991, 3 killed by grenade in Bamenda.
- June 6, 1992, 6 killed in Ndu.
- June 1992, Justice Forbin killed.
- Mar 1993, 2 killed in Bamenda.
- Mar 1997, 7 protesters killed in Mezam.
- Mar 29, 1997, 2 tortured to death in Kondengui.
- Oct 2001, 10 killed at peaceful protest.
- Oct 2002, 1 killed in Ndop.
- May 12, 2005, 1 burnt alive by a police in Kumba.
- April 27, 2005, 4 students shot dead at peaceful protests in the University of Buea by Cameroon military.
- Nov 29, 2006, 2 students shot dead at peaceful protests in the University of Buea by Cameroon military
- Nov 22, 2016, 3 shot dead at peaceful protest in Bamenda.
- Dec 9, 2016, 1 shot dead in Kumba.
- June 7, 2017, Mamfe parish priest murdered by state security.
- Feb10, 2017, 2 shot dead by Military.
- Apr 29, 2017, 1 beaten to dead by regime Forces.
- Oct 1, 2017, 100 peaceful protesters shot dead.
The tendency of NGOs to narrate the events of the last year without reference to this long history of resistance and the structural politics driving it is not an example of "political neutrality," but rather it is a mobilization of the racist "narrative" of irrationally conflict-prone Africans. Though people driving this narrative may not be aware of it, they are participating in an old and powerful justification for the continued oppression of the African continent.