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British Cameroons Independence Mismanaged

British Cameroons Independence Mismanaged

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The territory known up to 1961 as British Cameroons lies to the East of Nigeria and covers a surface area greater than at least 20 independent states that are members of the United Nations. It boasts a population currently estimated at between 5 to 6 million inhabitants. It was first administered by Britain under the Mandate system of the League of Nations, but on 13 December 1946 it became a UN Trust Territory with Great Britain as administering Trustee. To the east of British Cameroons was another UN Trust Territory known as French Cameroun, both territories having been previously part of German Kamerun over which Germany renounced all territorial claims at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The territory known up to 1961 as British Cameroons lies to the East of Nigeria and covers a surface area greater than at least 20 independent states that are members of the United Nations. It boasts a population currently estimated at between 5 to 6 million inhabitants. It was first administered by Britain under the Mandate system of the League of Nations, but on 13 December 1946 it became a UN Trust Territory with Great Britain as administering Trustee. To the east of British Cameroons was another UN Trust Territory known as French Cameroun, both territories having been previously part of German Kamerun over which Germany renounced all territorial claims at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

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Published by: Track and Trace Committee on Jul 14, 2007
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Title:The Uncompleted Decoloniza..Date: July 13, 2007 6:45 PMCategory:Tags:
The Uncompleted De-colonization Process
of the former Trust Territory of 
British Cameroons 
By
Mola
Njoh Litumbe
 
Senior Citizen, Politician & Opinion Leader 
The territory known up to 1961 as British Cameroons lies to the East of Nigeria and covers asurface area greater than at least 20 independent states that are members of the United Nations. It boasts a population currently estimated at between 5 to 6 million inhabitants. It was firstadministered by Britain under the Mandate system of the League of Nations, but on 13December 1946 it became a UN Trust Territory with Great Britain as administering Trustee. Tothe east of British Cameroons was another UN Trust Territory known as French Cameroun, both territories having been previously part of German Kamerun over which Germanyrenounced all territorial claims at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.2. Great Britain and France respectively were designated trustees of these two territories thatwere excised from German Kamerun. The UN defined the territorial boundaries of each, over which it executed separate but identical Trust Agreements, pursuant to Art. 76b of the UNCharter. The Trust territory of French Cameroun attained independence on 1 January, 1960. Art.76 of the UN Charter states, inter alia:
“Art. 76. The basic objective of the [Trusteeship] system, in accordance with the Purposes of the United Nations laid down in Art. 1 of the present Charter, shall be:b. to promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories,and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as maybe provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement;”
3. In furtherance of the above objective, the United Nations executed a Trust Agreement withBritain in December 1946 in which the Trust Territory was clearly defined in Art.1, and theobjective of the Trust stipulated in Art. 3., thus:
 Art.1 The Territory to which this Agreement applies comprises that part of the Cameroons lying to the west of theboundary defined by the Franco-British Declaration of 10 July 1919, and more exactly defined in the Declarationmade by the Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria and the Governor of the Cameroons under Frenchmandate which was confirmed by the exchange of Notes between His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and 
 
the French Government on 9 January 1931. This line may, however, be slightly modified by mutual agreement between His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of the French Republic where an examination of the localities shows that it is desirable in the interests of the inhabitants.”“Art. 3 The Administering Authority undertakes to administer the Territory in such a manner as to achieve the basicobjectives of the international trusteeship system laid down in Art 76 of the United Nations Charter. The Administering Authority further undertakes to collaborate fully with the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Council in the discharge of all their functions as defined in Art 87 of the United Nations Charter, and to facilitate any periodic visits to the Territory which they may deem necessary, at times to be agreed upon with the Administering Authority.”
4. In order to provide further guidance in the application of the above Articles, at the 160th  plenary meeting on 18 November 1948, by Resolution 224 (III), the UN General Assemblyresolved, inter alia:
“Noting that the Trusteeship Agreements for some of these territories authorize the Administering Authority concernedto constitute the Territory into a customs, fiscal or administrative union or federation with adjacent territories under itssovereignty or control and to establish common services between the Trust Territory and such adjacent territories, wheresuch measures are not inconsistent with the basic objectives of the Trusteeship System and with the terms of theTrusteeship Agreement, …..“Recalling that the General Assembly approved these Agreements upon the assurance of the Administering Powers thatthey do not consider the terms of the relevant articles in the Trusteeship Agreements as giving powers to theAdministering Authority to establish any form of political association between the Trust Territories respectivelyadministered by them and adjacent territories which would involve annexation of the Trust Territories in any sense or would have the effect of extinguishing their status as Trust Territories, ….“Recommends accordingly that the Trusteeship Council should:(c) Request whenever appropriate, an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice as to whether such unionsare within the scope of and compatible with, the stipulations of the Charter and terms of the Trusteeship Agreements asapproved by the General Assembly; ………”
5. Furthermore U.N. Resolution 1514 of 12 December 1960 had this to say in part:
“#5 Immediate steps shall be taken in trust territories, non-self governing territories or all other territories which havenot yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories without any conditions or reservations in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire without any distinction as to race, creed or colour,in order to enable them enjoy complete independence and freedom.”“#6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country isincompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
6. It must be pointed out that the Articles of the UN Charter constitute, as it were, theConstitution of the United Nations. That being the case, they take precedence over anyresolutions that are not in conformity therewith. This is what Art. 102 of the Charter states inrelation to agreements of members of the UN which are not registered at the UN Secretariat:
“(1) Every Treaty and every international agreement entered into by any member of the United Nations after the presentCharter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the secretariat and published by it.”(2) No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.”
 
 
7. The following salient facts emerge from the foregoing:(a) The United Nations signed an Agreement in 1946 designating Britain as Trustee over aclearly defined territory (country) known as British Cameroons, to administer it progressivelytowards the attainment of self-government or independence, pursuant to Art. 76b of the UNCharter.(
The French did just this for the territory of French Cameroun, the adjacent UN Trust territory,which was granted independence on 1 Jan 1960
).(b) While Britain was allowed to administer the UN territory of British Cameroons as part of itsadjacent colony of Nigeria, and could divide the trust territory administratively to that end, theannexation of the trust territory in any sense to neighbouring Nigeria, or any attempt toextinguish the status of the trust territory, was prohibited.(c) Independence was to be granted without any conditions or reservations to the inhabitants of the trust territory.(d) Where doubts arose as to whether or not a union of the trust territory to a neigbouring statewas compatible with the UN Charter and the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement, theTrusteeship Council was to seize the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on thematter.(e) Any international agreement which a member of the UN wishes to rely on, that has not beenregistered at the UN secretariat, cannot be cited before any organ of the United Nations. 
(NB.
 
 Both Nigeria and La Republique du Cameroun were already members of the UN in 1960,before the territory or country of British Cameroons was dismembered in 1961 and portions ceded to Nigeria or La Republique du Cameroun, without executing union treaties which were to be filed at the UN secretariat, thus contravening UN Art. 102, pars. (1) and (2). This omission is fatal, asthe so-called unions are invalid, as they cannot be cited before any organ
of the UN).
The concept of
Independence by Joining
 
8. Apart altogether from the foregoing, the concept of “independence by joining” is acontradiction in terms. A country is either independent or sovereign or it is not. If it is to become independent subject first to complying with certain pre-conditions, then purely as amatter of common sense, it is not yet independent. It has first to be independent, before deciding

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