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Bastille Day, the last of the 2nd millennium. Bastille Day is recognized by all the people of the world as a great milestone in the story of human beings, when a suffering people broke the bonds of a system that presumed the divine right to oppress them. Yes, we human beings always use the pretext of some kind of external and objective authority to oppress, abuse and exploit others. Sometimes it is divine authority; other times it is scientific rationalism; at still other times it is the civilizing mission and imperative of a superior culture to show the light to an inferior culture and at other times it is the so called national self interest. The French nation is a great people that has contributed seminal ideas about the rights and the freedom of human beings. Ideas that had their origin in France are sprinkled like diamonds all over the fabric of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thank you, France! Humanity will be for ever grateful. May you long enjoy the freedom that you have so hard fought and won! Your history is great and your present is glorious as you enter the third millennium. But, there remains one blemish which we cannot possibly allow to persist into the new era. If it were a minor defect that only affects the body national, we would just ignore it and even adorn it in tribute. No, this defect is infectious and is the cause of much suffering for many peoples who are not French. Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité Liberty, brotherhood and equality. These are the cries that brought the Bastille down, that fostered the French Revolution, that created the various French Republics of free people. They still adorn your coins for your people to be reminded everyday. It is a good rallying cry; a good thing to believe in, to live for and even to die for. Most rational people would agree, (and the French are eminently rational people), that Liberté, Fraternité and Egalité like vitamins and oxygen are good things not only for French people, but for all people. So, why is it that at the cusp of the third millennium, France or agents acting in the name of France are still denying other peoples of their human right and access to Liberty, Fraternity and Equality? Southern Cameroons The authors of this letter are Southern Cameroonians. I am an exile, a stateless person in the United States of America. My country women and men enjoy a third class colonial status as a result of policies that emanate from France or agents of France. Southern Cameroons is a country that was tricked into colonialism. We will quote the words of Pierre Mesmer, one time governor of French Cameroun and later Prime Minister of France in his book titled Les Blancs s’en Vont: Récits de décolonisation :
“...En Exécution du réferendum, une conférence constitutionelle réunit les gouvernements à Foumban, en pays bamoun familier aux deux délègations, le 17 juillet. Le president Ahidjo, en position de force, presenta un projet de constitution faussement fédèrale soigneusement préparé par ses juristes français. Ngu Foncha n’avait aucun contreprojet. En position de faiblesse puisque la population qu’il représentait ne depassait pas le quart de celle du Cameroun français et moins encore en termes économiques, il accepta sans discuter ce qui était, sauf en apparence, une annexion. La nouvelle Constitution entra en viguer le 1er octobre 1961. Une plaisanterie circulait alors à Douala et à Yaoundé: Le Cameroun réunifie est un pays bilingue francophone”. Dear Representatives of the French People, you know that we the children of the victims of this deception could never accept this. You knew even then, in 1961 that this little piece of leger de main would not stand forever. It would be the same as asking the people of ancient Gaul to accept perpetual rule by the Romans. It would be the same as placidly accepting the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940’s. The true will of a people must be fulfilled, inspite of a forceful occupation. A deceptive or fraudulent agreement, like slavery that makes another less free in perpetuity, is not acceptable under any circumstances. There are some who have wondered about the wisdom of communicating with France about this, since France is the author of our unfreedom. We wish that France will do the right thing and call off its troops and proxies from Southern Cameroons. We wish to remind you that many non-French people and including many from other parts of Europe, America and Africa died to ensure that the right thing was done for the precious freedom of France by removing the Nazis only 55 years ago. As Southern Cameroonians, our experience of the last four decades informs us that France as a nation behaves as if those good words, liberty, equality and brotherhood (don’t forget sisterhood) are only good for France and for French people. Southern Cameroonians and other Africans, their lives, their land, their property, their history, their humanity, their freedom may be used at will for the profit and the pleasure of France. However, we wish to keep this simple and talk only of Southern Cameroons. A Demonstration We, the Southern Cameroons National Council in North America, are hereby announcing that a demonstration will be holding infront of the Embassy of France in the city of Washington DC, United States of America, on Bastille Day, July 14, 2000. As you celebrate Bastille Day, we ask you to lift a Bastille, largely of your making from the people of Southern Cameroons. Sincerely, Emil I. Mondoa, M.D.
Southern Cameroons National Council - North America