29, July 2018
His Excellency Mr António Guterres
One United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
ABDUCTION, ILLEGAL DETENTION AND DEPORTATION OF MY HUSBAND (JULIUS AYUK TABE) AND 46 OTHER CAMEROONIAN ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES BY THE AUTHORITIES OF CAMEROON AND NIGERIA.
Dear Mr Secretary-General,
From the opening moments of your tenure, you were determined to make the promotion of human dignity the core of your work, and pledged to help alleviate the sufferings of the most vulnerable people on earth, especially those forcefully displaced from their homes and communities. At your direction, the UN has adopted a “new approach” that recognizes the institution’s past failures and calls for a “victim-centered strategy rooted in transparency, accountability and justice.”You have spoken movingly of the plight of victims and described how their accounts will haunt you forever. On 26 June 2018, marking the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, you stated that “torture in any form is absolutely unacceptable and can never be justified,”in all circumstances including periods of emergencies, political unrest and even war. This is inspiring and comforting, and gives me and families of victims worldwide some hope.
However,my husband Mr Julius Ayuk Tabe(leader of the people of the Southern Cameroons)and scores of other prominent Southern Cameroonian exiles living in Nigeria, who were abducted in Abuja on 5 January 2018, unlawfully deported to Cameroon and detained incommunicado for six months, are still languishing in illegal detention in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Prior to their abductions, many of them were working in Nigeria as university professors, engineers, businessmen and legal practitioners. Others were refugees who recently fled Cameroon Government-sponsored violence and incipient genocide in the Southern Cameroons.These abductions and extraditions were in flagrant violation of the United Nations Declarations of Human Rights, and the apparent continued silence of the United Nations on this issue calls into question the seriousness with which the United Nations takes its commitment to protect the fundamental rights of peoples everywhere.
Mr Secretary General, I plead with you to use your good offices to compel the government of Cameroon to release my husband and all other Southern Cameroonians being held illegally in detention centers in Cameroon, and for that government to end the genocide it is carrying out in the Southern Cameroons. My husband and fellow detained Southern Cameroonian leaders have suffered untold hardship, torture, cruelty, inhumane and degrading treatment in detention. Mr Secretary General, at the time of writing this Appeal, the Government of Cameroon announced that it had commenced the process of final interrogation of these detainees, after which they will be arraigned before the Military Tribunal in Yaoundé. If your office continues to be silent, the outcome of the trial by the Military Tribunal in Cameroon is predicted to parallel the unlawful hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and his 9 Ogoni compatriots in Nigeria in 1995 after a similar trial by that nation’s Military Tribunal.
The inaction of the United Nations to compel the Government of Cameroon to respect its commitments under relevant international agreements and conventions it has ratified will send the wrong message to nations of the world that fundamental international regulatory instruments can be violated and eroded with impunity and without penalty. The weeks of street protests around the globe (including in front of the UN Headquarters in New York) led by the peace-loving people of the Southern Cameroons, which greeting the sad news of my husband’s illegal abduction and detention in Nigeria, bear testament to the weight of the responsibility Mr Ayuk Tabe bears as leader of the people of the Southern Cameroons. My husband and his lieutenants in the Southern Cameroons revolution are freedom fighters and men of peace, who are seeking to free our people from the determined clutches of the villainous vampiric political mess that is Cameroon. My husband and his colleagues are striving to restore dignity to the people of the Southern Cameroons by restoring their fundamental rights and freedoms as human beings.
I thank you for your time and hopefully look forward to your response.
Lilian Ayuk Tabe