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Cameroon: African Bar says UN-organised referendum could end Anglophone crisis

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The African Bar Association has hinted that the best and most transparent way to put an end to the escalating Anglophone crisis rocking the North West and South West regions of Cameroon is through a referendum supervised by the United Nations.

In a correspondence addressed to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on January 10, 2020, the President of the African Bar Association, Hannibal Uwaifo notes that the silence of International Bodies like the United Nations, the Common Wealth, and countries like Great Britain on the socio-political situation in Cameroon have led to more violence.

“Trenches have been dug and the Government of Cameroon has been encouraged to kill and imprison more as the United Nations, the Common Wealth of Nations and great countries like Great Britain which handed Southern Cameroon to Francophone Cameroon have refused to speak decisively…” Part of letter reads.

Disclosing that the conflict in Cameroon which according to the African Bar has no end in sight cannot be settled by guns, Hannibal Uwaifo on behalf of the Executive Councils of the African Bar Association, proposed a referendum for Southern Cameroonians to decide on their fate.

“Given all these considerations, the African Bar Association is of the strong opinion that, rather than third party suggesting solutions for a problem which they are not suffering, the best and most transparent and democratic solution would be a UN-organised referendum in the British Southern Cameroons…”

“For its people to pronounce themselves on whether they wish to continue to live under Cameroon; to form some kind of association with Cameroon, documented by treaty, or to govern themselves within their own internationally defined territory…” He wrote.

To the UN-organised referendum, the African Bar proposed a second option of going before the International Court of Justice in case the parties involved are not comfortable with the referendum.

“If however any of the major powers is not comfortable with a UN-organised referendum, the next best solution would be to refer the matter to the ICJ for an opinion on whether the territory of the Southern Cameroons belongs to the Republic of Cameroon or the people of the British Southern Cameroons…” He further wrote in the letter.

He however noted that the referendum is by far quicker and less subject to any external distortion than going to the ICJ.


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