Moving open letter of the wife of Sissiku Ayuk Tabe to Chantal Biya

Lilian Ayuk describes the inhuman conditions in which civilians live




The deterioration of the security situation in the English-speaking area in the grip of the armed conflict between Cameroon’s defense forces and the secessionists of Ambazonia is becoming increasingly worrying. And to draw the attention of the First Lady of Cameroon to this situation, the wife of the ‘self-proclaimed president’ of Ambazonia, Lilian Ayuk sent an open letter to her.

In this open letter, Lilian Ayuk describes the inhuman conditions in which civilians live.

Below is the entirety of Lilian Ayuk’s open letter

Mrs. Chantal Biya The First Lady of the Republic of Cameroon The Palace of Unity Yaoundé, Cameroon Central Africa November 13, 2018



A Call for Compassion: An Open Letter to Mrs. Chantal Biya

It is with the greatest concern and the greatest respect for the future of the women, children and inhabitants of southern Cameroon (Ambazonia) that I salute you in this unusual correspondence. It is my hope and certainly my confidence that this letter finds you in better health.

I still remember the exciting and happy day of April 23, 1994, the year you married and became the First Lady of the Republic of Cameroon. I celebrated this day for two reasons. That the first woman was a woman who was younger and that the Chantal Biya Foundation was created the same year, you expressed your will to attend the suffering of the vulnerable, disadvantaged, sick and weak in Cameroon. I knew that as a woman and a mother, the sanctity of life and the burning desire to protect it were important to you, and this has been demonstrated by your philanthropic and humanitarian efforts over the years. With your humanitarian references, I doubt that you protect the best interests of the Cameroonian people as first lady.

However, I am writing to you today forced into exile and no longer in Cameroon, nearly twenty-four years later, with a heavy heart. My heart is heavy because of the desperate and horrible situation of southern Cameroon.



The conflict in southern Cameroon has had terrible consequences on the vulnerable community and the stench of death and desolation has invaded villages and cities. The depravity and senseless contempt of human life by the Cameroonian government’s security forces is alarming. We are witnessing scenes recalling the civil war in Ethiopia in the 1980s, with dead bodies lying on the side of our roads, charred bodies of old and vulnerable, burned alive in their homes and whole villages cremated from the surface of the earth. Earth.

The security forces are carrying out extrajudicial killings of the population, the lives of our young men are no longer assured today that tomorrow and our young women are raped with reckless brutality by the security forces of the Cameroonian government. The trauma and scars of death on the desolate eyes of our children who are savagely beaten by security forces with their parents have a painful impact characterized by nightmares among these young minds. Most of the indigenous population has been forced into the open, animal-exposed forest. Nursing mothers and women under their care are left without using dead vegetation for their basic hygiene needs. It’s a terrible sight to see.



Cash crops such as cocoa, coffee and palm kernels have been abandoned on farms because farmers have been forced to flee or are too afraid to hold their hand tools such as cutlasses to go to the farm. in itself is a death. Sentence of the security forces. Nearly 300,000 displaced people and about 100,000 refugees live in squalid conditions in neighboring Nigeria, thousands have been killed and buried in mass graves, and thousands have been arrested, abducted and taken to dangerous dungeons in Cameroon. The economy of southern Cameroon, which has been systematically abandoned over the past 57 years, has been completely eviscerated and devastated by conflict,

My heart is bleeding for children and orphaned and widowed women, my heart is bleeding on the dark clouds that are spinning over Southern Cameroon, My heart is bleeding for the painful and horrible burns of old people full obliteration of whole communities and cultures . I cry for the mothers and wives of the young soldiers whose lives are also ruined by this insane war. At the beginning of this crisis, it was allowed to remain silent, it was allowed to remain indifferent, but this is no longer allowed given what we know now. It is no longer permissible as the mother of the nation who understands the pain of childbirth to remain indifferent to the distress of the inhabitants of southern Cameroon.



It is a travesty that the pain and suffering of the mothers and young women who have respected you, who have sung, praised and celebrated your death, have been abandoned and treated with such disdain. How do you sleep at night as a mother knowing that young children have been deprived of education because of the security situation for two years, how do you wake up each morning without knowing what can happen to your loved ones in the south of Cameroon and how can you stay silent for so long with the refugee crisis in southern Cameroon? What happened to humanity in you? Cry my beloved country!

How do you sleep at night as a mother knowing that young children have been deprived of education because of the security situation for two years, how do you wake up each morning without knowing what can happen to your loved ones in the south of Cameroon and how can you stay silent for so long with the refugee crisis in southern Cameroon? What happened to humanity in you? Cry my beloved country! How do you sleep at night as a mother knowing that young children have been deprived of education because of the security situation for two years, how do you wake up each morning without knowing what can happen to your loved ones in the south of Cameroon and how can you stay silent for so long with the refugee crisis in southern Cameroon? What happened to humanity in you? Cry my beloved country!



As the wife of Sissiku Julius Ayuk-Tabe (leader of Southern Cameroon), I understand the political implications of this crisis. However, there are times when humanity and the government come together for a common purpose. In this case, the goal is the protection of humanity; the innocent and defenseless men, women and children of southern Cameroon. They are unable to speak or defend themselves.

They live in terror because they never know when they hear the sound of guns in their village, whether it is their turn to be killed or taken away in the early morning darkness. Imagine the terror that overwhelms them when they hear the deafening cries of a sister, aunt, cousin, playmate, or brutally raped mother. They know then that they are the following. It looks like an execution queue where men wait to be taken for execution. They hear the murderous sound of the firing squad as they line up and wait for their turn. Torture, taunts and torments are unimaginable, and you could hear grown men crying.



I realize that I can be criticized and accused of writing you this letter. I have no other reason to write this letter, except for you to rally the mothers of Cameroon and to put pressure on your husband and the Cameroonian government for an inclusive dialogue and a negotiated solution to this. crisis and the immediate liberation of our country. The leaders, including my husband. The deafening silence on your part is no longer acceptable. The lives of 8 million South Cameroonians and the fate of their leaders in prison are in your hands. The first lady gave the example to other women.

It’s not too late for you to send the message. That the mothers of Cameroon will no longer tolerate this war. The women of southern Cameroon will applaud you and women around the world will celebrate you. The children, mothers and fathers of life in southern Cameroon also count, and the silence that prevails in the face of these murders is collusion. I look forward to working with you to find comprehensive and negotiated solutions to this crisis.



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Respectfully, Lilian Ayuk-Tabe