Jan 24, 2007

Abkhazia: Reaction of Solidarity

In response to recent events in Southern Cameroons, Maxim Gunjia, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Abkhazia, has issued a statement of solidarity.

Bellow is a letter authored by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Abkhazia, Maxim Gunjia, addressed to Mr. Paul Biya, President of Cameroon:

Your Excellency,

I apply to Your kind attention in order to address the issue of recent arrest of the members of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) that took place in Bamenda, Southern Cameroons on the 20th of January 2007. At that day some 300 civilians and journalists gathered for a press conference which was intended to inform people from the Southern Cameroons of recent efforts to bring international attention to the deteriorating human rights conditions in the region.

According to information that we received people were loaded into armed security vehicles and transported away. At present the condition and location of a number of senior members of the SCNC remains unknown. SCNC Vice Chairperson Mr. Nfor Ngala Nfor who is good a friend of mine and who I respect a lot and who I know as peaceful person devoted to promotion of human rights, was arrested, beaten, and taken to an undisclosed location.

Additionally, the following SCNC Members remain in detention, under what are described as deplorable conditions:

Mbinglo H. Humphrey (65), Chairman, N. Zone Stephen Kongso (45), Bui County Chairman Henry Lamnyam (35), Secr., Donga Mantung County Achu Njie David (56), Org. Secretary, Mezam County Mongo Stephen (43), Activist, Bamenda LGA Che Ngwa Lucas (59), Activist Ms. Mbi Ann Rita (60), Activist, Kumba LGA Augustine Elimtum (33), Activist Clement Atanga (60), Activist Dr. Tantoh Simon (65), Nat'l Information Desk Mami Mbiwan Anna (75), Adviser, Kumba LGA Lawrence Nyuydze (35), Activist, Bamenda LGA Augustine Shintum, Activist, Kumba LGA

Considering the aforementioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia condemns the persecution and arbitrary arrest of those working peacefully to promote the human rights and betterment of their people. The Ministry is also particularly distressed by the concerted efforts to persecute members of the SCNC exercising their right to freedom of expression and association.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia therefore urges the Authorities of the Republic of Cameroon to take immediate steps to release with all due haste all detained members of the SCNC who were arrested during an entirely peaceful and lawful assembly of the Southern Cameroons community.

During all its movement for independence Abkhazia was repeatedly oppressed and rights of the people of Abkhazia were violated. The oppressor never wins and finally those who seek freedom will possess it. There is an urgent need for wise decision from Your side to avoid any actions that may bring to open armed confrontation between those who fight for freedom and those for territorial integrity. The prospect of peaceful coexistence is far above than prospect of bloody conflict.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia affirms to You the assurance of its highest appreciation, and hopes You will give due consideration to the requests contained in this communication


Maxim Gunjia
Vice- Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Abkhazia