UNITED NATIONS
PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
Seventh Session - New York, 21 April-2 May 2008


Thank you Madam Chair,

Our organization, Ecospirituality Foundation, is primarily aimed at the defense of Indigenous Peoples traditional knowledge and sacred lands.
We deliver a joint-appeal on behalf of Indigenous Communities subject to violations of Indigenous Peoples spiritual rights. An emblamatic case that we want to bring to the attention of this assembly is that of the Bassa People of Cameroon. Through the official mandate of its spokesperson, Samuel Brice TJOMB, we raise the appeal of the 12 tribes of the mountain Ngog-Lituba so that the Bassa People can be helped to defend its maximum sacred land and freely exercise its spiritual and cultural rights.
The Bassa People denounce the desecrations of their natural and spiritual sanctuary that is the sacred mountain NGOG-LITUBA, perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church, whose ambition is to turn into its real estate this sacred place of pilgrimage, cradle of the twelve Bassa tribes, by virtue of its monopoly in Cameroon, a laic country. This explains the setting up since over a decade ago of a cross and a statue of the Virgin Mary atop the mountain.
They demand also the return to Cameroon of the mystical vestiges and the traditional heritage of the Bassa people kept away in European museums since the colonization of Cameroon by Germany, France, and Great Britain.

In name of the Bassa People we make this appeal with the purpose of:

  • Appealing to the United Nations for the necessity of ceasing awareness of the will belonging to the native Peoples of Ngog-Lituba in virtue of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to freely exercise and enjoy the spiritual and cultural benefits of our sacred mountain;
  • Denouncing, condemning and putting an end to the profanation of the Bassa People sacred land, carried out by Christian religions, with specific reference to the Roman Catholic Church of Cameroon;
  • Reclaiming and requesting, free of conditions, the entire assignment of the mountain to the Bassa, Mpoo and Bati Peoples, through employment of the international mechanisms of protection and registration in the World Register of Human Patrimony;
  • Requesting the establishment and implementation of a mechanism for the identification, recovery and conservation of the spiritual properties common for the Mbock and other native Peoples of Cameroon, properties that have been confiscated by the colonization and kept in European museums as simple ornaments.
  • To the Native African of Bassa Peoples, Ngog-Lituba is the only hope of cultural survival for this people, who far too long have been victims of efforts aimed at extinguishing their ecospiritual flame.

    Thank you, Madam Chair.

    
    
    Giancarlo Barbadoro

    Representative:
    Apache Survival Coalition, Arizona
    Wiran Aboriginal Corporation, Australia
    Menhirs Libres, Brittany
    Bassa Peoples, Cameroon
    United Confederation of Tažno People
    Ensemble Allons dans la Paix, Benin