17, January 2019
Last week we of the Cameroon Concord News Group published a news item from a source representing Dr Jonathan Levy announcing the creation of a Southern Cameroons War Crime Tribunal. The document detailing the creation of the tribunal noted that several Ambazonian groups have come together to declare the formation of a War Crimes Tribunal – The Southern Cameroons Special Tribunal Coordination Committee (SCSTCC).
The author of the document further pointed out that the initial backers include the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), the Southern Cameroons Defense Force (SOCADEF), the African Peoples Liberation Movement (APLM), the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS) and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. It added that other groups are expected to join soon.
The face behind the mask then profiled Dr. Jonathan Levy observing that he is an international lawyer specializing in human rights and has been appointed Chief Coordinator of the tribunal. “According to Dr. Levy, the special tribunal’s immediate mission is to use existing courts and procedures to investigate and prosecute war crimes.”
The reactions that came from our readers around the globe prompted us to dig deeper into the war crimes tribunal affair. We of the Concord Group can now reveal that the so called war crimes tribunal is a creation by Dr Akwanga who alongside Cho Ayaba has been working to undermine the authority of the Ambazonian Interim Government.
It was easy for us to know that Dr Jonathan Levy works with Redress-a legal establishment that has been helping Dr. Akwanga to recover financial damages arising from the multiple violations he suffered from French Cameroun policing institutions and officers. Consequently, we of the Cameroon Concord News Group believe and fervently too that the Southern Cameroons War Crimes Tribunal initiative is misplaced.
Contrary to what the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Dr Samuel Ikome Sako announced late last year that the IG had created a body to gather and preserve evidence of French Cameroun crimes and will use the evidence to persuade the UN Security Council to make a robust intervention as the crisis unfolds, establishing a war crimes tribunal by Dr Ebenezer Akwanga and his anti IG acolytes is deceptive and without merit.
A senior Southern Cameroons advocate who contacted us immediately after we reported the creation of the so-called Southern Cameroons War Crimes Tribunal said he was very concerned about credible allegations made against Dr Ebenezer Akwanga relating to the arrest of priests and the sealing of a church in Munyenge. Southern Cameroonians should and must be aware that places of warship are protected under international law.
We understand that Redress is a reputable Human Rights organization with a capacity to investigate crimes and assist victims. Why did Dr Akwanga not ask Redress to take up the Southern Cameroons case and push for international intervention by the UN Security Council or the International Criminal Court which it is specialized in doing in many cases?
Creating a tribunal and appointing a Redress official who is already helping him in his personal case, has a conflict of interest, and another attempt to personalize the leadership of the Ambazonia cause by deceiving the people of Southern Cameroons and the world that a mechanism exists outside the United Nations and possibly the International Criminal Court for holding French Cameroun criminals to account. We call on the Ambazonian Interim Government to put a stop to this fallacy immediately and to establish an appropriate mechanism to gather information of the crimes committed by the Biya Francophone regime and submit to the competent structures within the UN and countries with universal jurisdiction over the Geneva Convention crimes and the International Criminal Court.
We of this publication will not let these pathetic attempts by Dr Ebenezer Akwanga to personalize the Southern Cameroons cause, raise false expectations and appropriate money. We know that there are people collecting evidence out there and that the Ambazonian Interim Government has contacted a Swiss based organization CIVITAS which gathers evidence for the purpose of launching universal jurisdiction investigations and prosecutions of persons committing international crimes.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai