Feb 28, 2005

UNPO on Illegal Detention of Southern Cameroons Leaders

The Hague, 28 February 2005-

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) I take this opportunity to bring the following to your attention.

On 23 February 2005, the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), Member of UNPO, announced that local authorities in the southern region of Southern Cameroons have arrested Chief Ayamba Ette Otun (Chairman of the SCNC), Mr. Nfor Ngala Nfor (Vice Chairman of the SCNC) and Mr. Sylvester Taku (Chairman Southern Zone) as well as their driver Mr. Ndam Amadu.

The four were taken into custody in the prison of Menji without legal charges and will stay under arrest for at least fifteen days renewable for preventive investigations. According to International Criminal Law standards a custody term this long is unjustifiable, especially considering the non-violent commitment of the SCNC.

This case is therefore undoubtedly an elementary violation of human rights and a manifest case of arbitrary detention, which deserves the attention of all human rights bodies starting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union (within the framework of the Cameroon-EU cooperation established under the ACP-EU). All necessary measures and diplomatic steps should be taken to consent the arrested to return safely to their homes and families.

Considering the record of human rights violations in Southern Cameroons and the current critical situation, I formally ask you to acknowledge the arrests and assist in acquiring information kept by judicial authorities of Cameroon in order to facilitate fair and legal investigations.

Due consideration by your office to the requests contained in this letter will be highly appreciated.


Marino Busdachin
UNPO General Secretary