Citizenship for People of Cameroonian Origin Taken During The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Citizenship for People of Cameroonian Origin Taken During The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

November 13, 2022
Signatures: 332Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters






WHEREAS The Dum Diversas Papal Bull issued on June 18, 1452, was the declaration of war that initiated the illegal trafficking of African people documented in at least 36,000 voyages listed in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

WHEREAS  it is estimated that 1.5 million people of Tikar, Hausa, Fulani, Bamileke, Masa, Mafa, Kotoko, Ewondo and other ethnic groups of Cameroonian origin were taken from Cameroon and enslaved in the Americas and, as a result, there are millions of their descendants in North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean;

AWARE that United States v The Libelants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad - 1841 makes clear that

“it is admitted that the African . . . owe no allegiance to (any Nations laws) their rights are to be determined by the law which is of universal obligation - the law of nature. . . a former domicile is not abandoned by residence in another if that residence be not voluntarily chosen. Those who are in exile, or in prison, as they are never presumed to have abandoned all hope of return, retain their former domicile. That these victims of fraud and piracy - husbands torn from their wives and families - children from their parents and kindred - neither intended to abandon the land or their nativity, nor had lost all hope of recovering it, sufficiently appears from the facts on this record.”

FURTHER AWARE that the 1949 Geneva Convention: Article 4 (1) defines prisoners of war and Article 5 states, “the present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.” 

REGRETTING that the Tikar, Hausa, Fulani, Bamileke, Masa, Mafa, Kotoko, Ewondo and other ethnic groups of Cameroonian origin descendent of those prisoners of war are still yet to be repatriated to their ancestral homelands in Cameroon;

NOW COMES the Lineage Restoration Movement that was founded to organize and centralize the growing number of people, numbering almost one million, that have taken the African Ancestry maternal and paternal DNA tests and discovered that they are descendent from prisoners of the Dum Diversas War who were trafficked to and enslaved in the Americas; stating the following:

1. The Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon “affirm(s)” its “attachment to the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of United Nations and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and all duly ratified international conventions relating thereto, . . .”

2. People of Cameroonian origin taken during the Dum Diversas War, and their descendants, may be classified as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention (ratified by Cameroon on September 16, 1963) and therefore have an immediate, unqualified Right to Return (repatriation) to the territory of their origin in the Republic of Cameroon. This is consistent with various human rights laws and principles, especially articles 13 and 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Article 3(q) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union that “Invite(s) and encourage the full participation of Africans in the Diaspora in the building of the African Union in its capacity as an important part of our Continent."

3. The Declaration of the 3rd World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban South Africa 2001 acknowledged that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity due to the abhorrent barbarism, the magnitude, the organised nature especially in the negation of the essence of the victims and further acknowledge that they are a crime against humanity which should always have been so and the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination towards Africans and people of African descent.

4. There are no statutes of limitation on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

5. Thus, according to natural law and international law, and specifically the Geneva Convention, the descendants of Tikar, Hausa, Fulani, Bamileke, Masa, Mafa, Kotoko, Ewondo and other ethnic groups taken from families living in territories now belonging to Cameroon have the right to return and citizenship to their ancestral homeland. 

6. According to the Law No. 1968-LF-3 of the 11th June 1968 to set up the Cameroon Nationality Code, Section 3: “Provisions regarding nationality contained in international treaties or agreements duly ratified and published shall have effect in Cameroon even though contrary to the provisions of Cameroon internal legislation.”

7. The Republic of Cameroon therefore has a spiritual, historical, moral and especially, a LEGAL obligation to draft and pass appropriate legislation that will remedy and satisfy the Right to Return (repatriation) of the people of Cameroonian origin who remain as prisoners of war in the Americas and Caribbean.

THEREFORE, We, the undersigned, descendants of the Tikar, Hausa, Fulani, Bamileke, Masa, Mafa, Kotoko, Ewondo and other ethnic groups of Cameroonian origin, as well as members and supporters of the Lineage Restoration Movement, citizens of Cameroon and people of goodwill around the world that support reparatory justice for the victims of the Dum Diversas War, the trans-Atlantic trafficking of prisoners of war, and their enslavement in the Americas and Caribbean:

CALL on the Republic of Cameroon to create a special immigration status for the above class of prisoners of war of Cameroonian origin desiring to return to their ancestral homeland in Camerioon;

CALL on the Republic of Cameroon to draft and approve legislation that will expedite the granting of citizenship and recognize the dual nationality of the special class of immigrants; and

URGE the Republic of Cameroon to designate 2023 as the start of the Decade of Return Initiative in Cameroon implementing the new Right to Return Citizenship program.



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Signatures: 332Next Goal: 500
Support now