January 5, 2020 will mark the two-year anniversary of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of Sisiku AyukTabe Julius, known for his nonviolent leadership of the movement for the rights of the people of Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons), and 9 of his senior aides. They remain imprisoned in Cameroon despite a March 2019 Nigerian court ruling that they should be immediately released. .
Eight human rights defenders and leaders of the Cameroon Association for the Defense of Students’ Rights in Cameroon (Association pour la Défense des Droits des Etudiants au Cameroun - ADDEC) continue to languish in jail following their arrest in May 2019. A military court later charged them with with rebellion, complicity in subversion, failure to report, using a false title, and dissemination of false news.
Below is the Front Line Defenders statement on the case from June 2019:
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD], has introduced a bill into the US Senate which addresses the conflict between Ambazonia and Cameroon. In our opinion, this bill has the strongest potential of passing and becoming law. It has many positive aspects, including a clear call to the government of Cameroon to “release human rights defenders, civil society activists, political prisoners, journalists, trade unionists, teachers, faith leaders and any other citizens who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial or charge;...”
Imprisoned leaders have ended a hunger strike after 10 days, having achieved most of the demands set forth. Imprisoned leaders maintain that all brothers who have been whisked away to other jails must be immediately returned, and that all illegally detained Ambazonian prisoners must be released. Solidarity is needed from the international community to attend to the urgent health needs and prevent further injury of the prisoners.
On 22 July 2019, the French neocolonial regime in Cameroon pre-meditatively and viciously attacked prisoners of conscience who are being illegally held at the Kondengui Maximum Security Prison, killing four and injuring several others. The attack followed the initiation of a coordinated protest by prisoners to highlight the needs of schoolchildren in the war-torn region.
Rep. Karen Bass, the chair of the Black Congressional Caucus in the United States, has introduced a bill into the US House of Representatives which addresses the conflict between Ambazonia and Cameroon. In our opinion, this bill has the strongest potential of passing and becoming law as any bill introduced so far. It has many positive aspects, including a clear call to the government of Cameroon to “release human rights defenders, civil society activists, political prisoners, journalists, trade unionists, teachers, and any other citizens who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial or charge.” APOCS applauds this language, and unites with Karen Bass to achieve this goal. However, the bill also has some serious shortcomings and outright misrepresentations of the Ambazonian struggle. Therefore, we are calling on all US-based Ambazonians and allies to call on your Congressional Representative to FIX AND PASS H.RES. 358!!!
52 years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave perhaps his most famous speech ever, declaring his opposition to the Vietnam War and the system of militarism from which it emanated. In explaining why he had to take this stance, King talked about his experience interacting with young Black men arming themselves in self defense in the inner cities of the United States. He explained:
The Ambazonian Prisoners of Conscience Support Network (APOCS Net) stands with Maurice Kamto and the 203 other French-speaking Camerounians who were unjustly arrested on January 26, 2019, during peaceful protests against the broken democracy in La République du Cameroun.
These individuals were targeted for their political involvement with the Mouvement pour la Renaissance du Cameroun (MRC), which translates to the Cameroun Renaissance Movement.
Starting last Saturday, the wives of the ‘Nera 10” launched a series of decentralized global actions to the mark the 1-year anniversary of their husbands’ illegal kidnapping from the Nera Hotel in Nigeria. They are calling for the immediate release of their husbands and of all Ambazonian prisoners of conscience being held by the Cameroon regime. The activists’ next court date is January 10, 2019. #Justice4NERA10
In the past year, certain prominent NGOs have been peddling the impression that the violence taking place right now in Ambazonia is a conflict between two sparing parties. Invoking the value of political neutrality, they rush to always address what "both sides" are doing in "equal measure."
This is equivalent to narrating the David and Goliath fight as a "fair match".