National Times (New York) – Anglophones have seen their fair share of human rights abuses and injustices.
Young girls have been beaten and maimed by military forces. Peaceful protesters were plastered with bullets or batons, while even innocent parents deep into interior villages have seen all forms of police and military brutality.
In all of these, no one has ever been held accountability. Of course military and para-military forces indulge in violence against unarmed civilians because they know there is no political will to end the brutality. It is as if some soldiers have seen top government officials celebrating after reports of brutality.
It doesn’t end with police brutality. Under the current regime, the legal process was and is still a mockery of a true judicial system. The Common Law system was almost overridden by French judges and norms. There was no Anglophone section in the Supreme Court, and Anglophones in French speaking regions hardly have a fair hearing. To them it is a Kafkaesque nightmare.
The concept of fair hearing was unicorn to most Anglophones. It is something they all desired and deeply loved, but knew they would never have under the regime. Because it didn’t exist in the CPDM led government’s world.
Then we took to the streets to fight against the oppression of organized violence from the state, or state connected institutions. Like the French and American Revolutions, we stood up for the rights of the individual against the oppressor.
Our lawyers refused to participate in the fake legal and judicial processes created by the CPDM led government. They asked for a fair hearing at all levels of the legal engine.
So how what does the incident in Guzang mean to this struggle. First, it is a clear case of organized violence against individual life. The victim was coerced to live her burial rite. That was not only barbaric it was a deep blow to what this struggle meant for many of us.
Moreover, was she given a fair hearing, isn’t that why the lawyers protested, were arrested and dumped in jail?
All efforts to deny that the some Ambaboys were behind this incident is ridiculous. Tapang Ivo came out warning them not to publish such videos before retracting his statement. An analysis of the tone of the aggressors and human rights abusers shows that they were using the video to send a warning to those they call black legs.
The right to a fair hearing and justice is not just a fundamental human rights, it is a right that many Anglophones cherish and believe everyone has. We should also believe that everyone has an obligation to respect those rights. Rights and responsibilities are two faces of the same coins, you can’t accept one without accepting the other.
We should reflect on the bigger picture. Today we may all be united against French Cameroon. What if we win this struggle and return to same human condition where organized violence becomes the norm? We saw that in Zimbabwe, in Cameroon under Ahidjo and now Biya, and we are still seeing that in Nigeria and other neighboring states.
We cannot make Paul Biya and French Cameroon the yardstick of what is right and wrong. We need to find it among ourselves what is right and wrong. What we stand for and draw a red line. Wherever those principles are trampled upon, we need to stand to defend them, regardless of who commits them.