The All Anglophone Conference 2 (AAC II)
The members of the “Anglophone Standing Committee,” set up by the All Anglophone Conference in Buea in 1993, to negotiate constitutional reforms with the Biya government, were caught off-guard when the government arbitrarily suspended the said talks. The Committee members hurried back to base to render account to their people at another conference dubbed “All Anglophone Conference – II” that held at the northwestern provincial capital of Bamenda. The following is the proclamation that was issued from that meeting.
THE BAMENDA PROCLAMATION
The Second All Anglophone Conference
Issued By The All Anglophone Conference Meeting In Second Session At Bamenda From 29th April To 1st May 1994
The All Anglophone Conference held its second session in the North West Provincial capital of Bamenda from 29th April to 2nd May 1994 to consider the implications for Anglophone Cameroon of the Biya government’s arbitrary suspension for nearly one year of the constitutional reform process initiated in November 1992, to evaluate the execution by the Anglophone Standing Committee of the mandate it received from the All Anglophone Conference meeting in its first session at Buea in April 1993, and to examine other issues concerning the people and the territory of Anglophone Cameroon.
With regard to the implications for Anglophone Cameroon of the lack of progress in the constitutional reform process which the Biya government has abandoned since June 1993,
The All Anglophone Conference Recalled:
- that it held its first session at Buea in April 1993 for the purpose, inter-alia, “of preparing Anglophone participation in the National Debate on Constitutional Reform” which the Biya government had undertaken to organise in May 1993;
- that, accordingly, it formally declared the preparedness of Anglophones to participate in Constitutional Talks;
- that, to this end, it:
(i) created a Committee for the final drafting of the All Anglophone constitutional proposals in accordance with the general guidelines which it adopted at Buea;
(ii) directed that the Anglophone Delegation at the constitutional talks should conduct negotiations in close observance of the terms of the Anglophone Draft Constitution tabled at the talks and should, in any case, be bound by that Draft’s proposal regarding the return of Cameroon to the federal form of government.
The All Anglophone Conference further recalled that, since its first session at Buea in April 1993:
- its Standing Committee officially submitted Anglophone constitutional proposals in the form of a draft Federal Constitution to the Government in May 1993 and released the said Draft for general public discussion in July 1993;
- its Standing Committee published an official French translation of the Draft Federal Constitution in July 1993 in order to make the Anglophone proposals accessible and more easily comprehensible to Francophone government officials and to the Francophone generally;
- its officials have striven to educate, in French, Francophone government officials and the Francophone public in general on the content, spirit and purpose of the Anglophone Constitutional Proposals, notably through the appearance of its Spokesman on the television programme “Actualité Hebdo” in May 1993 and as guest of the “Club de la Presse” in December 1993;
- it has addressed several memoranda and resolutions to the government on the subject of constitutional reform and, in December 1993, addressed a formal request for audience to the President of the Republic in the hope that a meeting between the Head of State and officials of the AAC would provide the latter the opportunity to obtain from the former the government’s official reaction to the Anglophone constitutional proposals;
- it has, knowing the influence that the French Government appears to have on the Biya government to engage in dialogue with the All Anglophone Conference concerning reform.
The All Anglophone Conference noted with deep regret:
- That, one year since the Anglophone constitutional proposals were officially submitted, the All Anglophone Conference in 1993 is hereby dissolved and replaced by an Anglophone Council.
- The Anglophone Council shall take over and perform all talks, responsibilities and duties and exercise all powers previously assigned to the defunct Standing Committee by the First All Anglophone Conference.
- Without prejudice to the provisions of the paragraph (2) of this Proclamation, the Anglophone Council shall seek and secure Constitutional Talks between Anglophone Cameroon and Francophone Cameroun on the basis of the Draft Federal Constitution which was submitted by Anglophone Standing Committee in May 1993, as subsequently amended by the Standing Committee.
- In its negotiations with Francophone Cameroun, the Anglophone delegation at the Constitutional Talks shall not accept any arrangement which does not envisage the restoration of an Anglophone Federated state within a Federal Republic of Cameroon in the recognition of the bicultural nature of Cameroon and under which citizens shall be protected as envisaged in the draft Federal Constitution against such violations and abuse as were catalogues in the Buea Declaration.
- The All Anglophone Conference hereby reiterates the resolution taken at its first session in April 1993 that:
(a) There shall be a single and indivisible Anglophone Delegation at any future Constitutional Talks;
(b) That the members of the Anglophone Delegation to the Constitutional Talks shall be those who, at the opportune moment, and in the spirit of the conference shall have been mandated as such by the Standing Committee (now Anglophone Council) appointed at the conference;
(c ) That Anglophone Cameroon shall not be bound by any under takings given or commitments made at the Constitutional Talks by any Anglophone not mandated to attend the talks as a member of the Anglophone Delegation.
- Should the government either persist in its refusal to engage in meaningful Constitutional Talks or fail to engage in such talks within a reasonable time, the Anglophone Council shall so inform the Anglophone People by all suitable means. It shall, thereupon, proclaim the revival of the Independence and Sovereignty of the Anglophone territory of the Southern Cameroons and take all measures necessary to secure, defend and preserve the Independence, Sovereignty and Integrity of the said Territory.
- Following the Proclamation of the Revival of the Independence and Sovereignty of Southern Cameroons as provided for hereabove, the Anglophone Council shall, without having to convene another session of the All Anglophone Conference, transform itself into the Southern Cameroons Constituent Assembly for the purpose of drafting, debating and adopting a Constitution for the Independent and Sovereign State of Southern Cameroons.
- For the purposes of paragraph (7) above, the Anglophone Council shall enlarge itself to such other organs or individuals as shall appear expedient, beneficial or necessary and in the interest of Southern Cameroons.
- In the event of the situation contemplated at paragraph (7) above, the Independent and Sovereign Southern Cameroons and the Independent and Sovereign Republique du Cameroun shall negotiate their peaceful separation on the basis of the Buea Peace Initiative and on such other terms as shall be mutually beneficial.
We make this proclamation in the name of the Almighty God for whose protection of Anglophone Cameroon we pray.
For the pursuit of the goals set out in this proclamation, we once again pledge to each other our lives, well-being, property, careers and freedom.
God Bless Anglophone Cameroon!
God Bless Cameroon.
Done at Bamenda this First Day of May in the year of Our Lord, One Thousand, Nine hundred and Ninety-four.
For and on behalf of the Second All Anglophone Conference,
Sam Ekontang Elad
Chairman of the All Anglophone Conference
ACC II SUPPLEMENT
The All Anglophone Conference
Second Session Resolutions Bamenda, April 29 — May 1, 1994
THE PEOPLE OF ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON meeting in the second session of the All Anglophone Conference held in the North West provincial capital of BAMENDA from 29 April to 1 May, 1994, to consider the implication for Anglophone Cameroon of the Biya government’s arbitrary suspension for nearly one year of the constitutional reform process initiated in November 1992, to evaluate the execution by the Anglophone Standing Committee of the mandate it received from the All Anglophone Conference meeting in its first session at Buea in April 1993, and to examine other issues concerning the People and Territory of Anglophone Cameroon.
CONSIDERING the work accomplished by this Conference both in plenary sessions and in committee;
TAKING COGNIZANCE of proposals, views, opinions and recommendations contained in the various reports, speeches, addresses and statements of officials of the Anglophone Standing Committee and in several position papers submitted by participants at this Conference;
MINDFUL of the reports and recommendations of the various committees, notably the Resolution Committee, the Structures Committee, the Fons and Chiefs Committee and the General Affairs Committee;
On The Constitutional Reform Process
- FORMULATE the position of the Anglophone Cameroon regarding constitutional reform in a solemn statement to be called “THE BAMENDA PROCLAMATION” and which shall form an integral part of the Resolutions of this Conference
On The Anglophone Standing Committee’s Execution Of Its Mandate And On The Organs Of The ACC
- HEREBY CONGRATULATE the Anglophone Standing Committee for the efficient and courageous execution of the mandate which it received from the first session of the All Anglophone Conference in 1993 despite the very difficult financial, material and human resource conditions in which it had to work and the constant harassment to which it was subjected throughout the year by the authorities of La République du Cameroun and their Anglophone collaborators.
- FORMALLY AND SOLEMNLY ADOPT the Draft Federal Constitution submitted in 1993 by the Anglophone Standing Committee as the basic Anglophone constitutional proposals to which the Anglophone Delegation to any constitutional talks shall strictly adhere in its negotiations with any other party or parties to such talks.
- DISSOLVE the Anglophone Standing Committee with effect from the date of the first meeting of the Anglophone Council created at this Conference.
- CREATE an ANGLOPHONE COUNCIL of fifty-five (55) elected members (of whom 25 shall represent the North West Province, 25 shall represent the South West Province and 5 shall represent Anglophones of the so-called Eleventh Province) with power to co-opt other members as it shall consider necessary in the pursuit of its objectives, and such that at the least ten per cent (10%) of the members shall be women, provided that its total membership shall not at any one time exceed seventy (70).
- WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the provisions of paragraph 6–9 inclusive of THE BAMENDA PROCLAMATION, DEVOLVE upon the Anglophone Council all tasks, responsibilities and duties hitherto assigned to, and all power hitherto exercisable by, the defunct Anglophone Standing Committee and all other tasks, responsibilities, duties and power necessary for the effective attainment of the objective of a distinct and autonomous Federated State of Anglophone Cameroon in a bicultural Federal Republic of Cameroon.
- GRANT the Anglophone Council power to lay down internal rules, regulations and procedures to guide it in the conduct of its business, including those governing disciplinary action against its members.
- CREATE an Anglophone Advisory Committee of thirty-three (33) members (of whom 15 shall represent the North West Province, 15 shall represent the South West Province and 3 shall represent Anglophones of the so-called Eleventh Province) to be designated by the Anglophone Council from among Anglophone Traditional Rulers, Elder Statesmen, Senior Citizens, Leading Politicians and Religious Authorities sympathetic to the struggle to free the Anglophone People and their Territory from Francophone domination and subjugation whose duty shall be to advise the Anglophone Council on all matters referred to it by the Council.
- GRANT the Anglophone Advisory Committee power to lay down internal rules, regulations and procedures to guide it in the conduct of its business, including those governing disciplinary action against its members.
- APPROVE the creation of Anglophone Liaison Committee in every Division, Sub-Division, Town and Village of Anglophone Cameroon or elsewhere in Cameroon or abroad, and empower the Anglophone Council to define their composition at the various levels, their role, their internal functioning and their links with the Council.
On Other Matters
- Grassroots Support
- NOTE WITH SATISFACTION the tremendous progress achieved in the course of the past one year in awakening Anglophone consciousness throughout the country and in all socio-economic classes.
- CALL UPON the Anglophone Council to take all the measures necessary to maintain grassroots awareness of the Anglophone problem and of the AAC objectives, methods and procedures for resolving it.
- WHILE THANKING the entire Anglophone population for the contribution they have so far made to the struggle, call upon every Anglophone man, woman and youth to continue to support the cause actively and through all the means available.
- The Confrontation of troops of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria and those of La République du Cameroun in the Anglophone Cameroon territory of the Bakassi Peninsula
- APPROVE and endorse the official statement previously issued by the Anglophone Standing Committee concerning the presence of Nigerian and La République du Cameroun troops in the Bakassi Peninsula.
- The Notion of the Eleventh Province
- DECLARE that the notion of the Eleventh Province is inconsistent with the restoration of the autonomy of Anglophone Cameroon and the governance of society within a distinct entity of Anglophone Cameroon and Affirm the necessity of all Anglophones to behave, act and be treated as sons and daughters of provinces comprised within the territory of Anglophone Cameroon.
- RECOGNISE the social necessity, pending the effective restoration of the autonomy of Anglophone Cameroon, to acknowledge the phenomenon of the “Eleventh Province” in the period of transition to regain Anglophone statehood and to reckon with this phenomenon in the prosecution of the struggle for the emancipation of Anglophones.
- The GCE Examinations Board and the University of Buea Endowment Fund
- CONGRATULATE the Anglophone People of Cameroon for their victory in the flight to create a separate Board for the GCE and other Anglophone secondary education examinations and call upon the newly appointed officials of the Board to administer it in a manner consistent with the aspirations of the Anglophone people in the field of secondary education.
- RECALLING the call of the All Anglophone Conference in Buea for the creation of a University of Buea Endowment Fund, note with pleasure and satisfaction that the Fund is now a reality and once more call on all Anglophone Cameroonians to contribute to the Fund.
- Voice Of Thanks
- THANK the Fons and People of Bamenda in particular and the North West Province in general, and especially the elderly women of “Takembeng”, the youths of Bamenda and the leaders of the Churches in Bamenda for their hospitality and for their moral, material and physical support and commitment without which the Conference might not have proceeded to such as successful conclusion.
Done at Bamenda, this 1st day of May 1994.
For and on behalf of Conference participants,
Sam EKONTANG ELAD
(Chairman of the Conference)