From April 2-3, 1993, we, the English-speaking Cameroonians, from all walks of life, flocked to Buea, the historic capital of British Southern Cameroons, to openly and loudly express our frustration over what many of us saw then, and still consider today, to be the second-class status to which our compatriots from east of the Mungo have reduced us. This has culminated in a senseless civil war, prosecuted against our people by an insensitive leadership based in Yaounde. Lest we forget, this historic document, fruits of a historic event, is worth re-visiting.
THE ALL ANGLOPHONE CONFERENCE: THE BUEA DECLARATION (APRIL 2-3, 1993).
THE PEOPLE OF ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON held a historic All Anglophone Conference at Buea on 2nd and 3rd April, 1993, for the purpose of adopting a common Anglophone stand on constitutional reform and of examining several others matters related to the welfare of themselves, their posterity, their territory and their country, Cameroon.
We publish in this pamphlet, for the information of the general public, the Resolutions that were adopted, and the Declaration that was issued, by the conference at the end of its deliberations. A comprehensive volume of proceedings of the first-ever All Anglophone Conference is also available.
Each of the historic documents published herein is self-explanatory and calls for no further comment. While the issues which they raise may appear to be of interest specifically to Anglophones, the answers which they propose should serve as a source of inspiration to Cameroonians of other cultures and regions, who would want to see some of their specific problems resolved within the framework of a new constitution. We invite them to join hands with us so that, together, we may lay the foundation for a truly united Cameroon in which everyone feels, veritably, a Cameroonian.
THE ANGLOPHONE STANDING COMMITTEE
WE, THE PEOPLE OF ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON, meeting at the Mount Mary Maternity Centre, Buea, in an All Anglophone Conference from 2nd to 3rd April, 1993, for the purpose of preparing Anglophone participation in the forthcoming National Debate on Constitutional reform and of examining a variety of other issues relating to the welfare of ourselves, our posterity, our territory and our country as a whole,
CONSIDERING the invitations issued by the Anglophone members of the Constitutional Drafting Committee set up in November 1991 at the Yaounde Tripartite Meeting by which this All Anglophone Conference was convened;
CONSIDERING the general debate in plenary session and in committee during the two days of this conference;
CONSIDERING the numerous position papers that were submitted at this Conference, the substance of which was fully studied in committee;
- SALUTE Mr. Sam EKONTANG ELAD, Dr. Simon MUNZU, Dr. Carlson ANYANGWE and Mr. Benjamin ITOE, the Convenors of this unprecedented and historic Conference, and congratulate them for their selfless and patriotic initiative in bringing all Anglophones together;
- NOTE with satisfaction the massive attendance at the Conference, the effective representation of all Divisions of Anglophone Cameroon and of all socio-professional categories, the eager and enthusiastic participation of all attendants and the orderly and cordial conduct of the proceedings;
- DECLARE the preparedness of Anglophone to participate in the forthcoming Constitutional Talks with their Francophone brothers and, to this end, resolve;-
- a) That there shall be a single and indivisible Anglophone Delegation at the forthcoming 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 this conference, shall have been mandated as such by the Standing Committee appointed at this conference;
- c) That Anglophone Cameroon shall not be bound by any undertakings given at the forthcoming Constitutional Talks by any Anglophone not mandated to attend the conference as a member of the Anglophone Delegation;
- d) That the Anglophone Delegation at the Constitutional Talks shall conduct negotiations in close observance of the terms of the Anglophone Draft Constitution tabled at the Talks and that it shall, in any case, be bound by that Draft’s proposal regarding the return of Cameroon to the Federal form of Government.
- CALL on the United Nations and on her Britannic Majesty’s Government to attend the forth coming Constitutional Talks pursuant to paragraph 5 and 6 of United Nations Resolution A/C4/L685 abrogating the British trusteeship over Cameroon.
- CALL on the Cameroon Government to invite delegations of other countries, which wish to do so, to attend the forthcoming Constitutional Talks as observers and moderators.
- CREATE a committee for the final drafting of the Anglophone Constitutional proposals in accordance with the constitutional guidelines adopted at this Conference.
- CREATE AN ANGLOPHONE STANDING COMMITTEE of 65 members whose tasks shall be:
- a) To determine practical modalities for re-establishing the Institutions of ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON;
- b) To follow up the implementation of the decisions of this conference;
- c) To work out details of the inter-relationship between the main components of ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON;
- d) To propose the ways and means of preserving the historical and cultural unity as well as the territorial integrity of ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON
- e) To permanently ensure the non-domination of one section of Anglophone Cameroon by the other;
- f) To take all other measures necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Standing Committee, including the modification and/or the expansion of its membership.
- ON THE EXAMINATION BOARD
- a) VEHEMENTLY condemn the breach of faith by the Government of Cameroon in its feet-dragging over this very important question;
- b) CALL on Government to immediately sign the necessary instrument for the creation of the Board;
- c) SALUTE the industrious and patriotic Anglophone Cameroonians who, at short notice, and braving all hurdles, produced the famous Report on the G.C.E. Examinations;
- d) CALL on Anglophones to create a Trust Fund to raise finances for the immediate take-off of the Board.
- ON THE ANGLO-SAXON UNIVERSITY OF BUEA:
- a) CALL on Government to respect the purely Anglo-Saxon nature and the autonomy of the University of Buea:
- b) REQUEST Government to provide all the material means necessary for the immediate and effective take-off of this University;
- c) CALL on Anglophone Cameroonians to create a University of Buea Endowment Fund to ensure that the proper functioning of this baby University of Buea is assured at all times.
- ON TECHNICAL EDUCATION:
- CONDEMN 32 years of neglect of this aspect of our education by successive Francophone Governments.
- CALL a halt to the Frenchification of Technical Education and Examinations in Anglophone Cameroon.
- CALL on the Teachers Association of Cameroon and the ANGLOPHONE STANDING COMMITTEE to take all measures necessary to reverse this trend and to correct the situation.
- ON CAMEROON’S ENTRY INTO THE COMMONWEALTH:
CALL on the Government of Cameroon to end its foot-dragging over this matter by satisfying all conditions necessary for Cameroon’s admission into the Commonwealth.
- CHARGE the Standing Committee with the duty of organising throughout Cameroon, and in Anglophone Cameroon in particular, a campaign of information and explanation concerning the results of this Conference.
- DEPLORE the total absences from this All Anglophone Conference, without apology, of the Prime Minister and other Anglophone members of government, and wonder whether, in the light of this behavior, they can expect to be regarded as serving the interests of Anglophones at national level.
- DEPLORE the actions taken under the guidance of Francophone authorities both in Yaounde and within the South West Province to impede and deny the holding of this All Anglophone Conference on the ideal premises of an Anglo-Saxon University located in Anglophone territory and, ostensibly, managed by Anglophones.
- EXPRESS Our heartfelt gratitude to the authorities and management of the Mount Mary Maternity Centre for graciously placing their premises at the disposal of this Conference when all Government Institutions and premises in Buea were denied us for the purpose of holding the Conference.
- EXPRESS our thanks to the General Organising Committee for their wonderful achievement in the material organisation of the Conference at short notice and under difficult conditions and CONGRATULATE them for this achievement.
- CONGRATULATE all Anglophones on the success of this Conference which breaks the myth of a NORTH WEST/SOUTH WEST dichotomy and sends to all those who would want to divide Anglophones, so as better to rule them, a clear message that they shall not succeed
- FINALLY, THANK the Population, Chiefs and Elders of Buea in particular and the South West Province in general, for their hospitality during this Conference.
Done at BUEA, this 3rd Day of April, 1993
Francis K.WACHE Sam EKONTANG ELAD
(Rapporteur) (Chairman of the Conference)
For the participants of The ALL Anglophone Conference