Union of the Peoples of Cameroon

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The Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (French: Union des Populations du Cameroun) is a political party in Cameroon.

UPC was founded on April 10 1948, at a meeting in the bar Chez Sierra in Bassa. 12 men assisted the founding meeting, out of them Charles Assalé, Léonard Bouli, Guillaume Bagal. The majoirity of the participants were trade unionists. In many ways UPC was a continuation of the Cameroonian Rally (RACAM).

On April 11 a Provisional Bureau was established. Bouli was elected general secretary, Bagal joint general secretary, Emmanuel Yap the treasurer and J-R Biboum the joint treasurer. The following day the statues of UPC was deposited at the Mayor's office in Douala at 10.50 am. The group was, however, not legally registered. On April 13 UPC issues its first public declaration of intent, the 'Appeal to the Cameroonians'.

On May 6 another meeting was held, this time at the residence of Guillaume Bagal in Douala. The statues and the 'Appeal to the Cameroonians' were revised. A new Provisional Bureau was constituted, with the following composition:

  • General Secretary: Étienne Libaï
  • Joint General Secretary: Léonard Bouli
  • Joint Secretary: Guillaume Bagal
  • General Treasurer: Emmanuel Yap
  • Joint Treasurer: Jacques Biboum
  • Members: Nkoudou Raphaël, Owona Ernest-Marie

On May 14 the revised statues were handed over to the Mayor's office in Douala. On June 9 the authorities allowed the registration of UPC, following pressures from the African Democratic Rally (RDA) and the French Communist Party (PCF).

On June 17 the Provisional Bureau decided that UPC would call itself the 'Cameroonian section of RDA'. The same meeting decided that the first public function of UPC would be held on June 22 in Douala. The meeting of June 22 was held in the Salles de Fêtes d'Akwa. Around 500 people took part in the meeting. Libaï and Bouli addressed the function. Participators included Ruben Um Nyobé, Charles Assalé, as well as traditional chiefs such as Ekwalla Essakra and Lobé-Bell.

In November Ruben Um Nyobé takes charge of the organization as its general secretary following a vote at a meeting of the Provisional Bureau. Before the meeting of the enlarged Provisional Bureau Léopold Moumé-Etia had been mentioned as another possible candidate for the position, but he declined nomination on personal grounds.

At the second congress of RDA, celebrated in Treichville, Côte d'Ivoire, January 1-5 1949, the membership of UPC in RDA is confirmed. Um Nyobé is elected vice-president of RDA.

On April 10 1950 the enlarged Leading Committee holds a meeting in Dschang. During the course of the meeting a decision is taken to regard the function as the first congress of UPC. The congress last until April 13. A new Leading Committee is elected:

  • President: Chief Mathias Djiomessi
  • General Secretary: Ruben Um Nyobé
  • Vice-presidents: Guillaume Bagal, Phillipe Essama Essi, Félix Moumié, Samuel Noumouwe
  • Treasurer: Emmanuel Yap

After the congress Charles Assalé leaves the movement and is incorporated into the procolonial fold.

UPC initiated an active press work. The main publication of the party was La Voix du Cameroun. Other publications were Lumière, Étoile and Vérité.

[edit] See also

Union of the Peoples of Cameroon

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