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The Cameroons Reunification Revisited


THE JOHN NGU FONCHA DECLARATION - DECEMBER 1994

In December 1994, John Ngu and of the conduct of public voted in favour of unification if it
Foncha, the "architect" of the affairs in general. Patriots in had not been for the assurances
unification of Cameroon, spoke both British and French given that the resulting union
Cameroons saw the necessity would take the form of a
at length about the outcome of for unification of our country. federation.. .
the unification between the However, they could not deny
British and French Cameroons. the fact that forty years of our The Honourable S. T. Muna
This was just before he walked separate experiences had left and I have often been accused
out of Biya's Constitutional an impact which we could not of having allowed this situation
neglect. It was recognized on [i.e. 'annexation of Southern
Consultative Commission both sides that for unification to Cameroons'] to come about.
which had refused to include a be meaningful and a source of History will reveal that these
discussion of constitutional satisfaction to us all, it had to accusations are largely
protections of Anglophone proceed on the basis of a unjustified. They fail to
minority rights on its agenda. federal union in which the acknowledge the several
specific character of each endeavours that we made at
Here are excerpts of what component of the union would various stages of the evolution
turned out to be Foncha's last be safeguard and protected... . of post-unification Cameroon to
major public declaration on the dissuade those who
Cameroon unification Foncha Mr. Ahidjo publicly monopolized and held the full
experiment: stated to the people of southern reigns of political, financial,
Cameroons during successive judicial, military and police
visits to that territory in 1960 and powers in our country from
There is no one here in this 1961 that unification would not acting autocratically in breach of
hall today who can claim not to mean annexation, that its promises that they had given us
know how much I struggled on modalities would be negotiated and our people, and which had
the eve of independence of our between representatives of served as the foundation of the
country in favour of the Southern Cameroons and those union of our two territories.
reunification of our fatherland. of La Republique du Cameroun
For more than forty years, our and that to render unification At this point in time I do not
country was divided into three viable and useful; a flexible and feel the necessity--nor, I
different parts and governed federal form of the state which suppose, does the Honourable
simultaneously by two different he qualified as unique and S. T. Muna-- to defend myself
European powers. Everyone diverse, was envisaged... against these accusations,
knows the fundamental I can state here and now that unjust though they are. What is
character and differences that the People of southern important is that the Good Lord
exist between the British and Cameroons would never have who, in his infinite wisdom
French systems of government

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The Cameroons Reunification Revisited


THE JOHN NGU FONCHA DECLARATION OF DECEMBER 15, 1994

determines the affairs of each Southern Cameroons People's the unitary constitution of 1972
man and of each people, has Conference-SCPC) carefully which was imposed upon them
preserved me long enough to studied, responsibly formulated, in a nationwide referendum.
have the opportunity of pleading and respectfully submitted to
before the Cameroon Nation for government, substantial Bearing this in mind, I had
the correction of the wrongs constitutional proposals. These hoped that the present
which have been done, over the proposals are aimed at ensuring constitutional reform process
past three decades and more, a better governance of the entire would provide the people of
against an unsuspecting and united Cameroon, while also Southern Cameroons the
trusting people that I, acting in putting an end to the opportunity, for the first time
good faith and as a annexation, subjugation and since independence of our
Cameroonian patriot, led into domination of one of our two respective territories and the
what I was assured would be a territories by the other, thus reunification of our fatherland, to
union of equal partners, but restoring the spirit and intent of contribute effectively to the
which has since turned out to be the union of 1961... elaboration and adoption of a
an arrangement for the truly Cameroonian constitution
annexation, subjugation and In any event, in the proposals which responds to their
domination of one of the prtners that have been submitted before aspirations as well...
by the other... us, I do not see any provisions
at all which go in the direction of I feel distressed that the
I responded to the invitation making even a token attempt to constitutional proposals put
of the President of the Republic respond to the grievances of the before this committee do not
to attend this Committee in the Southern Cameroonian offer the opportunity for us, as a
confident expectation that the People... nation, to address our minds to,
deliberations of the Committee and resolve, the genuine and
would offer us the opportunity to Mr. Chairman, legitimate grievances of the
correct the wrongs which I have Southern Cameroonian people
referred above. For nearly two In the final analysis, the in particular and the
years, the people of Southern people of Southern Cameroons Cameroonian people in general.
Cameroons whom I led into the never participated in the
union with La Republique du elaboration and adoption of the I feel all the more distressed
Cameroun have, supposed federal constitution of that this should be happening
through the All 1961 which was adopted by the under the chairmanship of a son
Anglophone National Assembly of La of Southern Cameroons whom, I
Conference- Republique du Cameroun on believe, is as sensitive as any
AAC (now September 1, 1961, that is to one of us to the injustices which
the say, one month before the birth his People and their Territory
of the federal Republic of have suffered in more than three
Cameroon. These same people decades. Today, he has been
never participated in drawing up designated to preside over the

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The Cameroons Reunification Revisited


THE JOHN NGU FONCHA DECLARATION OF DECEMBER 15, 1994

completion of the process of a more appropriate forum for a


annexation of that People and Mr. Prime Minister, broad-based debate on the
that Territory. constitution, I have no other
I would like, through you to option now than to withdraw at
For this, he shall tomorrow express my gratitude to the this point from the deliberations
stand accused by his People, as President of the Republic for of the present consultative
I stand accused today. However, having invited me to this Committee.
whereas in 1961 the bitter Committee. I assure him of my
experiences of Southern readiness at all times to Thank you for your kind
Cameroons lay in the future that collaborate with him and with attention.
we could not predict, in 1994 we your government to provide a
have behind us thirty-three suitable constitution for our dear,
years worth of these complex and diversified country HON. DR. JOHN NGU FONCHA
experiences, with the prospect which I have contributed ARCHITECT OF THE UNIFICATION
of more to come unless however modestly, to build. OF CAMEROON
something is done now. In the
EX VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
light of these experiences, we In the light of this foregoing,
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF
have no reason in 1994 to and pending the creation by
CAMEROON
repeat the mistakes of 1961. government of

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