The Francophone Beti-Ewondo trial of Ambazonia leaders and the Swiss Connection 0

President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his top aides have been notified with a decision of the President of the Court of Appeal in the Centre Region of French Cameroun dismissing the NERA 10 Recusal against Magistrate Lt Colonel Misse Njone Jacques Baudouin. Interestingly, the French Cameroun court also ordered the Southern Cameroons leaders to pay Colonel Misse Njone a symbolic franc as damages for Moral Prejudice suffered.

Cameroon Intelligence Report chief political correspondent covering the trial noted that when the Ambazonian leaders filed this Recusal which is a very serious application challenging a Magistrate for being bias, they had a very serious problem notifying the concerned Respondent by Bailiff because all the Bailiffs contacted declined service for security reasons. Our intelligence services in Yaoundé hinted that all French Cameroun Bailiffs have been threatened with either detention or being messed up by undercover security operatives. Some were economically victimized by Magistrates refusing to endorse their bills for payment.

As if this was not enough impediment to justice and fundamental right to fair hearing protected by both international legal instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and even the Preamble of the French Cameroun Constitution as read with Article 65; … The Applicants/Petitioners were never notified with the Statement of Defense of the Respondent Magistrate nor even given opportunity to attend court or given a hearing as would be the practice in any regular or normal Anglo-Saxon judicial system. The Petitioners were only notified with a decision or judgment of the Court of Appeals which in Cameroun sits in first and last resort in matters of Recusals. This should be the more reason why the court ought to have notified the Petitioners with the statement of Defense of the Respondent so that they may have opportunity to bring further evidence arguments to backup their allegations against the Magistrate.

Nowhere in the world is known to us where someone brings an action to court of this magnitude or importance and it is heard without him seeing the defense challenging his allegations” an adviser to the Ambazonia Vice President Dabney Yerima noted.  “One would expect pleadings and further pleadings to be exchanged and oral arguments of the parties taken before the court decides … especially in a situation like this one where the court sits in first and last resort meaning that there is no appeal against its decisions” the Yerima aide further pointed out.

This tells the story of the nature of the judiciary in French Cameroun and justifies why Ambazonians think they must go back home, restore their autonomy and enforce the truly adversarial judicial system Southern Cameroonians had known before the ill-fated & illegal unification of 1961.

Correspondingly, it was premature for any Ambazonian organization or grouping to go into any form of discussion or dialogue with any Swiss mediator without certain preliminary issues and conditions being settled. It is evidently clear that the so-called Swiss mediator is the mediator of the adversary.

It is shameful and disgraceful for Southern Cameroons groups to go for any form of negotiation while the war ensues and their people are still being killed, villages torched and many more arrested and incarcerated.

To be sure any talks whatsoever must be preceded by a Declaration of Ceasefire by the party who declared the war, release of all detainees Incarcerated as a result of the war and a demilitarization of the Ambazonia territory.

These are confidence building measures which ought to be agreed upon and the process of implementation of all decision clearly put in place with the Ambazonia Interim Government and with the consent of Vice President Dabney Yerima.

Given the severe breach of trust between the parties to the conflict, we of the Cameroon Concord News Group would have expected the so called Ambazonian negotiators in Switzerland to insist on the presence of a strong intermediary nation like the USA who has the capability to ensure the implementation of all decisions brokered by the talks.

In the absence of the above, we of Cameroon Concord News Group see clearly that the Swiss are merely helping French Cameroun to use its numerical and political strength against Ambazonia thereby taking us back to where we began in 1961.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai