The Bakweri Lands And The Abuse Of A People

Cameroon: The Bakweri Lands And The Abuse Of A People

Louis Egbe Mbua, Monday, 31 January 2011

Indigenous Peoples: Issues & Resources, indigenouspeoplesissues.com

The BLCC (Bakweri Land Claims Committee) Easter Resolutions : passed by the BLCC (The Bakweri Land Claims Committee) Council in Victoria, (Limbe) Friday, 17th April 2009, following an Extraordinary Conference attended by all shades of the the Bakweri People in Cameroon and the Diaspora; meeting held at the BLCC Head quarters, Buea, Cameroon, Tuesday, 14th April 2009: Mola Njoh Litumbe, Secretary General of the BLCC presiding; resolutions adopted in Victoria (Limbe), Cameroon at the Palace of HRM Chief Epupa Ekum of Dikolo, and revised in London, 30 January 2011.

The BLCC (The Bakweri Land Claims Committee) intends to bring a land expropriation dating back more than a century to an abrupt end. This conflict has its origins in 1891 when German imperialists attempted to seize native Bakweri lands. They were routed in a war by the Bakweri army in the same year. The contemporary Cameroon Government, based in Yaoundé, has been attempting the same shameful and underhand colonial tactics to appropriate Bakweri lands as the Germans — as the French did after them – despite the entire of Cameroon being under a League of Nations Mandate and eventually under United Nations Trusteeship — through oppression, intimidation, bribery, corruption and fraud. Nonetheless, the BLCC is determined to thwart protagonists of these oppressive legacies with the least possible delay — this objective must be realised.

It is a basic wisdom; to allow people to decide what they wish to do with their property. However, if a man comes from a far away land, with no apparent notion of the rule of law; or the value of property especially its function in the perpetuation of posterity; and if that man persists in wilful marauding and rampage, greed, and thoughtlessness and arrogance despite having been instructed on the benefits of fair play in this regard, then the BLCC believes that he must be taught how to follow universal and civilised rules of engagement. If this man continues with crude approaches in this very important matter, there is little reason to entertain his folly rather than to teach him a lesson on the vicissitudes of confrontational conflict which he may be unable or unwilling to understand at this point in time. Equally, the BLCC bears no responsibility whatsoever for this ineptitude. Each party must face up to its own responsibilities without the interference of the other in this protracted conflict, until an amicable settlement is reached between the two parties. In this case, therefore, the BLCC believes in the dictum: “each man for himself” as regards the two opposing parties – the BLCC and the Republic of Cameroon.

Accordingly, the BLCC, with an exclusive global mandate to secure Bakweri lands; and in respect of the reclamation of Bakweri private native lands occupied by the CDC (Cameroon Development Corporation) have resolved as follows:

1. No plot, constituting native Bakweri lands, should be put up for sale or transferred without establishment of a legal document for land lease. A uniform template for this legal document will be drawn up. Any non-native who wishes to purchase or receive such land in Fako can apply for such a lease. Acceptance will be subject to intense scrutiny by the BLCC.

2. The Cameroon Development Corporation’s (CDC) lease for Native Bakweri lands has expired, and is therefore no longer valid because the sixty-year period stipulated by the original legal mandate (1st January 1947 – 31st December 2007) has run its full course. The Lease requires that Bakweri natives now take over the Company for the benefit of the indigenes. Any intervening purported extension of the aforementioned Lease on these lands without the knowledge and consent of the natives is, as a result, NULL and VOID in entirety: as, by extension, any prolongation of the said 60-year lease without the consent of the BLCC . As a direct consequence, any transfer of land to any third party as of this date is NULL and VOID; and the CDC (Cameroon Development Corporation) should desist from entering into any land transaction with any other party. Any breach of this legal restraint will be considered a hostile act against the Bakweris and the people of Cameroon; and the BLCC reserves the right to counter such purely naked disregard of native human rights, legal mandate and law with equal contempt. All non-natives who are purported to have bought lands during the original legal mandate of the CDC lease and after 31st December 2007 when the CDC legal mandate expired in these spheres of native influence have done so illegally; and all such transactions are thus rendered NULL and VOID.

3. Those who are currently occupying Bakweri native lands must start paying their rents or risk having their properties seized without warning because their occupation is tantamount to the surrendering of indigenous patrimony. This includes the CDC, The Cameroon Tea Estates at Tole, Del Monte Corporation at Tiko, The Cameroon Armed Forces who forcefully expropriated lands from Bakweri natives at Limbola , Victoria, to build their military barracks so that they may further oppress the natives and extend their land theft, and those who have bought the said native lands from traditional chiefs in Fako or from any other persons. The CDC Lands are private Bakweri property according to the Cameroon land ordinance law which came into force in 1974 in line with legal enactments during the UN Trusteeship of Southern Cameroons that declared the CDC lands to be NATIVE LANDS. These ordinances do not include any provision for sale or transfer of lands to non-natives. Thus, the recent peremptory surrender of CDC occupied lands is in total violation of the said laws; as well as being wholly inconsistent with the Banjul Judgement recommending arbitration.

4. The Ministerial order, Arrete 0000797/2.5/MINUHD200, 03 March 2003, by the then or now Cameroon Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, ADJI Abdoulaye Haman providing for non-natives, including the Anglican and Catholic Churches and foreign governments, to acquire free holds of native lands in Fako is Illegal and a monumental fraud because it contravenes the 1974 land ordinances. The BLCC, therefore, considers this a distraction and a non-issue to our main objectives of securing the Bakweri lands. The BLCC therefore, utterly REJECTS this order. The BLCC are under no obligation whatsoever to comply with fraudulent laws designed to alienate the indigenes from their own land. Consequently, the BLCC has the right to occupy any lands, without due warning, that were acquired under this illegal, undemocratic, authoritarian, fraudulent and expansionist order from misguided and malicious sources.

5. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), sitting in Niamey, Niger, in 2003, passed a Resolution imposing an injunction on the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Mr. Paul Biya, restraining his powers to further alienate the Bakweri natives from their own land. In pursuance of this restraining order, the same ACHPR, with the endorsement of the African Heads of States sitting in Banjul in 2004, ruled that the entire Bakweri Land should be under international sanction and auspices until a settlement is amicably reached between the Cameroon government and the BLCC under the auspices of the African Union Rapporteur. As a result, any land deals entered into by the Cameroon government and any third party after these periods (2003/2004) violate these injunctions and sanction. It follows that any individual who breaks — knowingly –these rulings may be classified as an international CRIMINAL. The BLCC have the exclusive legal mandate to begin international criminal proceedings against these authorities.

6. The BLCC is fully aware and informed of the massive and blatant land racket that has been established by the Biya regime; and perpetrated and enforced by enemies of the Bakweri and the Cameroon people in a pre-meditated and malicious scheme calculated to dispossess the natives of their own territorial heritage so as to be replace them with non-indigenes from far away ethnic groups. This, too, the BLCC considers as being CRIMINAL in that it represents a gross contravention of international human rights as stipulated by the United Nations Charter on Human Rights.

7. The BLCC reserves the right to institute CRIMINAL proceedings against agents of land fraud and human oppression in this context. The BLCC is also aware of the unbridled and seemingly unrepentant corruption of government officials who have been drawn, willingly, into the dragnet of land crimes; abusing the power vested on them by the Cameroon people, so as to expropriate lands from the oppressed natives in clear violation of the aforementioned injunctions and sanctions.

8. The BLCC is in the process of seeking legal proceedings to halt the wanton, CRIMINAL and illegal distribution of lands by the Cameroon government and its ceding of lands to Bakweri Traditional Chiefs without due consultation with the natives (BLCC). The BLCC will be seeking financial damages and back rents owed to the natives by the Cameroon Development Corporation from 1st January 1947 to date, 31 January 2011; and for the shameful land theft by the Cameroon government which has a notorious record of grotesque fraud, incompetence and unbridled bribery; and which shamelessly advances blatant lies to the international community in connection to the Bakweri lands. The BLCC is shocked to note that Mbonge, in the Meme division; and Tombel in the Kupe-Mwanenguba division, both in Cameroon, which are entirely hemmed by plantations — cultivated by the Cameroon Development Corporation and the Pamol Corporation – despite having the same Lease as the Bakweri lands have been left intact while the Cameroon government has been distributing native Bakweri lands. Having considered this matter carefully, the BLCC has arrived at the definitive conclusion that this represents a concerted conspiracy and crime solely designed to drive the indigenous Bakweri from their own home so that people of alien origin will possess the land.

9. The BLCC is conscious of the fundamental natural law: that man is made from the earth as decreed by God in Heaven, Creator of all things on earth and in Heaven; and that we eat, live, are born and die on earth; and that the BLCC commits all its work to God, The God of Justice, Companionship, Compassion, and Peace and the Giver of land and life. This Land was given to the Bakweri people by God; and not by the Cameroon Government or by any other agency — human, celestial or spiritual. The BLCC is, therefore, committed to pray to God and fast so that the BLCC organisation should not be infiltrated by corrupt humans and celestial spirits bent on destroying the good work of God and the BLCC. While we may be a minority ethnic group in Cameroon, Africa and the World but we have the Lord before us to fight against agents of destruction, injustice and oppression.

10. The BLCC is, therefore, serving a WARNING to the Biya regime:

(i) To abide to the CDC Land Lease, the UN Trusteeship agreement, the League of Nations Mandate of the British Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration on native land laws as applied to the CDC Lands, The United Republic of Cameroon ordinance law of 1974, the Niamey injunction 2003, and the 2004 Banjul ruling on sanctions on Bakweri land; and

(ii) To engage in an amicable arbitration of the Bakweri land dispute in the presence of the AU Special Rapporter with the BLCC as ruled by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;

OR

(iii) Face an international opprobrium as a pariah state and other criminal charges.

(iv) THE CAMEROON GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN WARNED.

Louis Egbe Mbua, Ph.D., President BLCC Europe.

CC: The Chairman of the African Union

The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama

The President of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The United Nations Organisation Secretary General

The President of the Republic of Cameroon

Dr. Vincent Cable, MP for Twickenham, Greater London, England, UK

The President of the Fako Chiefs Conference

Fako Traditional Chiefs

Amnesty International

President of Fako UK

President of Fako America

The Chairman of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), Bota, Victoria (Limbe), Cameroon

The General Manager, Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), Bota, Victoria (Limbe), Cameroon


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