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    "The National Dialogue was a non-event" - Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, speaks out !

    Interviewed by our colleagues from Jeune Afrique, the president of the virtual Republic of Ambazonia; Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, incarcerated in the main prison of Kondengui, spoke about the major national dialogue and his relationship with the members of the MRC Political Party.

    This is the full interview Sisiku Ayuk Tabe granted to Jeune Afrique Magazine:

    Has President Biya made a move in the right direction by releasing dozens of opponents?

    We are very happy that they have been released. The imprisonment of opponents and the suppression of political expression are incompatible with democracy and the rule of law. We hope they will fight to make the Republic of Cameroon a more just and humane society.

    Is it true that negotiations are under way for your release?

    We have not been informed of such an approach.

    You were arrested in Nigeria in January 2018 under circumstances that remain very mysterious ...

    We have not been arrested, but abducted, in violation of our rights as refugees and asylum seekers. On the 5th of January, we were in the gardens of Hotel Nera, Abuja, when a commando arrived. We were held in the premises of the Defense Intelligence Agency for twenty days, without any charges being brought against us, without the possibility of seeing our families or even a lawyer. Then, on January 25th, we were taken to Yaoundé, handcuffed and blindfolded on board a military cargo plane and detained incommunicado for nearly nine months. Before being prosecuted for activities related to terrorism, secession and revolution, among others.

    Why reject the dialogue wanted by Paul Biya when he aimed to create the conditions for a return to peace?

    This dialogue brought together only members of the CPD [in power] and a few other Cameroonians. For us, it is a non-event. The conflict with the Republic of Cameroon is international and can not be resolved by national dialogue. The liberation of 333 of our compatriots is not exceptional, since nothing justified their incarceration. More than 3,000 people are still detained. To liberate them, to say what has become of those who have disappeared, is the least that Paul Biya can do!

    And this special status for English-speaking regions, is not that a step forward?

    President Biya does not have the power to decide on the future of "Ambazonia". The Republic of Cameroon and the Southern Cameroons are two former territories under trusteeship and under UN administration. One can not claim to grant the other a special status, any more than independence.

    Is the fact that representatives of Ambazonia took part in the dialogue not a disavowal?

    Let it be clear: no Ambazonian or any representative of Ambazonia attended. This so-called dialogue was only a great interview of Paul Biya with himself.

    During the proclamation of "independence" of Ambazonia in October 2017, many believed in a joke. What do you answer them?

    Anyone who believes today that Ambazonia is a chimera lives in another world. United Nations Resolutions 1514 and 1608, history and international law underpin our determination to fight against the annexation of our homeland. Some describe us as terrorists, others as secessionists. For still others, we are only rats and dogs. Whatever, our fighters, the Amba Boys, are our heroes.

    Do the Ambazonians benefit from external support, as in their time, Biafra secessionists in Nigeria?

    No. We are masters of our revolution and our destiny.

    Given the violence, the deaths and the state of the North West and Southwest, do not you say you should not have gone that far?

    We are only reappropriating our independence. I refer you to UN resolution 1608, which granted it to us. It is the Cameroonian soldiers who are guilty of acts of barbarism in Ambazonia. About 20,000 people were killed [according to International Crisis Group, in June, 1850 people had been killed since the beginning of the conflict], dozens of villages burned, more than 120 000 people seek refuge in Nigeria and elsewhere ... Paul Biya and his army will one day to answer for their crimes.

    The Ambazonian fighters have also committed abuses ...

    We do not exonerate them, but we also know that government militias commit atrocities and try to attribute them to us. Only an independent fact-finding mission can establish the facts and, so far, Yaoundé has rejected all requests from humanitarian organizations.

    Are you ready to negotiate to end the war?

    We have never been opposed to it. But these negotiations must be conducted by an independent, impartial and credible structure, take place in neutral territory and address the root causes of the conflict. There should be a mechanism to ensure the implementation of the results. The United Nations has the opportunity and the duty to put an end to this conflict. We also regret that, during his recent visit to Cameroon, his general secretary, Antonio Guterres, did not consider it necessary to go to Ambazonia.

    Is not the simplest an inclusive debate on the form of the state and the constitution?

    Once again, the resolutions of the UN, which granted its independence to Southern Cameroons, having at no time abolished its international borders, the modifications of the Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon do not concern us.

    And if no negotiations opened?

    What can happen worse than what is happening now in Ambazonia? Our credo is simple: total independence or resistance forever.

    Respected Anglophone personalities, such as Cardinal Christian Tumi , nevertheless argue for the uniqueness of Cameroon ...

    Throughout the continent, religious leaders have championed change. South African Bishop Desmond Tutu is a living example. Cardinal Tumi is free of his opinions. It's up to him to see if he wants to inscribe his name in History.

    Upon his release from prison, Albert Dzongang, an adviser to Maurice Kamto, spoke of a certain convergence of views between the MRC and you. Is there one?

    Albert Dzongang was one of the victims of the Cameroonian government. Like us, he was locked up in Kondengui Prison. We have interacted as co-detainees, but we do not share any political fraternity, because we do not meddle with Cameroonian politics.


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