Buea(National Times)-Retired Chief Justice Ayah Paul Abine turned advocate has indirectly condemned the recent comments of politician cum activists for Change in Cameroon Edith Kah Walla that Anglophone separatists were wrong to take up arms against the government.
In a piece on his social media page dated 22 April, Ayah Paul recollects how the military ‘pushed’ the separatists to self-defence.
In her statement, Kah Walla argued that the decision by the militias “to take up arms has created a situation in the North West and South West regions which is catastrophic and untenable for the population.” Though she did not take sides with the Biya regime, she added that the separatists have misled and lied to the population since Day1.
Read herein Ayah’s thoughts on the whole saga. “It is a celebrated fact that Cameroun is often the world leader in the negative: corruption; state terrorism (violence); extra-judicial killings; inertia; distortion of history; and you name the rest!
And so did it come to pass that events in English Cameroon of only just yesterday are already being narrated today in new-fangled utterances. Naturally, we who didn’t go too far in scholarship can only raise queries for persons of great erudition to direct us. Yet does it seem that the law allows us to express ourselves in ignorance and/or dullness.
Banking on that, we do recollect, however vaguely, that the Anglophones marched on September 22, 2017, with ‘olive’ branches without anyone bearing the most rudimentary weapon but for one or two very elderly women with walking sticks – the third legs for support in the third age. We did watch on television how it all went peacefully all through.
On their way home in the evening, however, were the peaceful marchers attacked unprovoked, with fatalities resulting. We hold a report by the Catholic bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province to the effect that some of the said unarmed peaceful marchers were massacred by bullets fired from helicopter gunships.
Within days was Buea under military invasion/occupation in anticipation of the further peaceful marches projected for October 1, 2017. The military did not even wait for the appointed date to start abductions couched in the euphemism ‘mass arrests’. Undeterred, the people still came out on October 1, 2017, but in the same peaceful manner without any weapons. This was now followed by open massacres, including breaking into houses and abducting the occupants or some of them. Shooting to kill on sight became arrogant, aggressive and systematic…
Aggressively and violently pushed against the wall, some persons began to fight back. We would not require anyone to argue for or against the principle of self-defence. All we can and do assert is that violence was consistently from one side up to this point in time: and the belligerent party is absolutely evident”
The politician furthers that “Operations on the field were soon transformed into the systematic killing of Anglophones, especially the young, and the burning down of Anglophone villages. One of the first villages in the long line was Kembong about the month of December, 2017, followed by Kwakwa… The situation went from the fry pan to the fire when, on his return from Abidjan, (was it?), the President of the Republic ‘declared war’, reading through some piece of paper right at the airport!
Therefore are we the dull; we the ignorant; we the half-educated ever at sea when the clever, the erudite and the descendants of King Solomon use the phrase take up arms with reference to the very unarmed peaceful marchers!!!
Who took up arms in the first place? Do ‘olive’ branches – ‘peace plants’ – meet the definition of arms? We were taught at our low level of scholarship about self-defence and the proportionality that does ground it.
Could someone explain these things to us in extra-mural terminology; in all honesty, disinterestedly, and in objectivity in order to dispel our doubts, please?” Ayah beckoned