CORRECTION NEEDED: The Significance of the October 1, 2017, Ambazonia Independence Proclamation

This month, Ambazonians celebrate the proclamation of the restoration of our independence on October 1, 2017, as well as the four year anniversary of the mass nonviolent lawyer-led uprising in October 2016 which sparked the people’s will toward this. Given the importance of these anniversaries for the Ambazonian people, APOCS would like to comment on the significance of the October 1, 2017 proclamation.

Contrary to the dominant narrative that “armed separatists” issued the declaration of independence, the Proclamation was in fact issued by a broad consortium of civil society organizations called the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front (SCACUF). Members of SCACUF included the common law bar association, the parent-teachers union, the transporters union (made up of moped and taxi drivers), farmers unions, women’s organizations, and many other organizations and individual civil society leaders.

The Proclamation not only listed the grievances of the Ambazonia people but it also laid a solid legal argument for Ambazonia’s independence based on the 2010 binding judgement by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the right of Kosovo to declare its independence from Serbia. Not only did this decision state that “international law contained no prohibition of declarations of independence,” but it also accepted the UN’s argument that independence can be based on prolonged failed efforts to resolve differences in opinion on “governmental and administrative functions, cultural heritage and religious sites, economic issues, and community rights,” as evidence in their decision (United Nations docs. S/2006/361, S/2006/707 and S/2006/906, As detailed in the Ambazonian Proclamation of the Restoration of Independence, the situation we face is categorically identical to the situation faced by the Kosovo people, and our situation is much more extreme and we have endured it for much longer. Those who rush to discredit the Amabazonian cause by referring to it as an action by “armed separatists” should study these details.

"CORRECTION NEEDED" is an occasional media critique column produced by Ambazonia Prisoners of Conscience Support Network.