The Secrets of an Aborted Decolonisation

The Secrets of an Aborted Decolonisation

The Declassified British Secret Files on the Southern Cameroons

Carlson Anyangwe

A remarkable feature of the collapse of the British Empire is that the British departed from almost every single one of their colonial territories invariably leaving behind a messy situation and an agenda of serious problems that in most cases still haunt those territories to this day. One such territory is the Southern British Cameroons. There, the British Government took the official view that the territory and its people were “expendable”. It opposed, for selfish economic reasons, sovereign statehood for the territory, in clear violation of the UN Charter and the norm of self-determination. It transferred the Southern Cameroons to a new colonial overlord and hurriedly left the territory. The British Government’s bad faith, duplicity, deception, wheeling and dealing, and betrayal of the people of the Southern Cameroons is incredible and defies good sense. Ample evidence of this is provided by the declassified documents in this book.

Among the material are treaties concluded by Britain with Southern Cameroons coastal Kings and Chiefs; and the boundary treaties of the Southern Cameroons, treaties defining the frontiers with Nigeria to the west and the frontier with Cameroun Republic to the east. The book contains documents that attest to the Southern Cameroons as a fully self-governing country, ready for sovereign statehood. These include debates in the Southern Cameroons House of Assembly; and the various Constitutions of the Southern Cameroons. The book also reproduces British declassified documents on the Southern Cameroons covering the three critical years from 1959 to 1961, documents which speak to the inglorious stewardship of Great Britain in the Southern Cameroons.

This book removes lingering doubts in some quarters that the people of the Southern Cameroons were cheated of independence. Its contents are further evidence of their inalienable right and sacred duty to assert their independence. No one who reads this book can possibly be indifferent to the just struggle of the Southern Cameroons for sovereign statehood.

ISBN 9789956578504 | 806 pages | 234 x 156 mm | B/W Illustrations | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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Reviews

“Here is an archival treasure for scholars, politicians, activists and students to feast upon, on the making and unmaking of communities by unequal encounters….”

Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

About the Author

Carlson Anyangwe

Carlson Anyangwe read law in Cameroon, France and Britain. He holds the BA-Law and the LLB from Yaoundé University, the Postgraduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the University of Strasbourg in France, and the LLM and PhD from the University of London, England. Professor of Laws and Research Professor, he teaches international law, criminal law and procedure, human rights law, and researches in those niche areas. He has an impressive number of published books and refereed journal articles to his credit. He is moreover a confirmed law teacher and researcher of long, wide and varied experience spanning some three decades. He has taught in Universities in Cameroon, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia where he served as Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the School of Law, and has done consultancy and human rights education work in Seychelles, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Egypt and Zimbabwe. He is currently Director of the School of Law and Research Champion, Walter Sisulu University, Republic of South Africa. He is a member of the African Commission’s Working Group of Experts on the Death Penalty in Africa, ‘ambassador’ of the State of Arkansas, honorary citizen of Monticello, and USIA International Visitor Fellow.

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