Southern Cameroons: Pro-Independence Leader Roars from Jail, Vows Only Internationally Mediated Settlement Will Bring Peace

The man who led on uprising carrying a coffin in Bamenda, Southern Cameroons, on November 21, 2016, Mancho Bibixy, presently serving a 14-year jail term slammed by a Cameroon military court in the capital, Yaounde on charges of insurrection and terrorism has in press interview reiterated his resolve that only a negotiated settlement will see the end of the ongoing genocidal war. To him, the jail time he is serving is the price to pay for the eventual freedom of his people, and that he has no regrets whatsoever. He granted this incisive interview recently to a French tabloid, Emergence from the Kondengui maximum security prison. The reporters first wanted to know how Mr. Mancho feels serving what he considers an unjust prison term. 


I feel like any other Southern Cameroons detainees illegally held in several prisons by Cameroon. My flesh feels pain, torture, and suffering but my mind remains closed.


You initiated the coffin revolution which resulted in your arrest. Do you have any regrets?


have no regrets. There were more than five attempts to arrest me before I was finally kidnapped and transferred to a foreign country, I knew I would be arrested or killed, and I was ready to pay the price of our freedom.


Millions of Southern Cameroonians flood the streets on September 22, 2017, to protest what they term colonial rule from French Cameroon, supporting calls for 'absolute' independence


Do you feel united with those who sow terror in the North West/South West so much so that the reports of international NGOs criticize them?


The Coffin Revolution as they say in English was peaceful, the government declared war on us, and war comes with whatever you talk about, it is the responsibility of the State of Cameroon to stop the war and all terror will cease. our people are terrorized by the Cameroonian government and its sponsored militia and we have enough evidence on this.


For you, what is your assessment of the Anglophone crisis?


The crisis has intensified to the gates of the international community, it is no longer a domestic affair of Cameroon, Cameroon has lost the moral authority to resolve the crisis, the international community must intervene now.


Why not join the government's call by also calling on the secessionists to lay down their arms?


My people are not secessionists. Let me correct this first, we are not asking for any portion of Cameroonian territory. The idea to drop the guns came from a party involved in the conflict. It was not a negotiated decision. Again, the plan failed. This plan is used by government officials to steal money from the state. I have pictures of a former inmate who left the prison and who was brandished as a veteran and who was given the name of a general. Many like him, appeared at the National Dialogue. Our people are defending themselves against a foreign occupational army executing genocide on our people. It will be foolish to tell them to lower their arms and open their chests to receive bullets. We will give up only after a negotiated peace settlement.


How can we solve this crisis in your opinion?


This armed conflict stems from certain blunders committed during the decolonization of the British Southern Cameroons, which gave the then independent Republic of Cameroon room to march with its army into our territory and annex us. To resolve this genocidal war, we must go back to the roots, sitting on a table with a neutral mediator.


Mancho Bibixy remains defiant, despite occasional moments of stress and discouragement that sometimes lead to conflicting thoughts


were negotiations between the government and the English-speaking prisoners. You set several preconditions. Since the government is not responding favorably, how do we proceed? 


The government of Cameroon is not looking for a solution to this genocidal war, it is looking for victory. Since December 2016, it is pretending to look for solutions, it is only a way to buy time.


You are one of those who asked for forgiveness from Cameroon after your imprisonment. How do you feel that you stayed in jail?


Let me correct you, I made some suggestions to bring the Cameroonian government back to its senses, maybe that is what you call an apology. I did not commit any crime.


Your final word


I can confidently say that all tactics by French Cameroon to keep us in slavery have failed.  They now know the resilience of the people of the Southern Cameroons. They are also aware that a war is not won on the battlefield, but on a negotiation table.