West Cameroon (21 Jan 2017 ) -- A recent release warning some media organs in Cameroon and threatening them with either suspension or outright bans was read Thursday on the state broadcaster, CRTV. The National Communication Council accuses the media outlets in the release of publishing and broadcasting seditious articles that glorify Federalism and or Secession ideologies, thus threatening peace and national unity. Trusted sources et the Ministry of Communication (MINCOM ) and the National Communication Council (NCC) revealed to the Consortium that the release had been prepared by two state politicians ; the Minister in Charge of Special Duties et the Presidency of the Republic , Atanga Paul Nji, and a Senior Official at the Ministry of Communication, Felix Zogo.
The dubious release was taken to the NCC to be rubber stamped.
The NCC boss, Peter Essoka, was threatened to sign it, our sources hinted. The NCC boss reportedly resisted signing the document, "citing procedural violations and the need for a session to be held to examine the issues raised to no avail."
Cameroun imposed control on key internet providers MTN and Orange, through its state-run internet service provider, CAMTEL, citing dubious "security concerns." A recorded phone conversation with MTN South Africa Bureau confirmed that the 34-year regime ordered MTN to stop the supply of its internet services to millions of citizens in West Cameroon. A highly Confidential Mail NO. 006/DG issued by the CAMTEL Boss, David Nkotto Emane, on the 18th of January, 2017 to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and leaked out to the Consortium by a reliable source at Minister Libom Likeng Minette's cabinet, explains that MTN and Orange were coerced to deprive the West Cameroon from its access to internet services in a bid to inflict untold sufferings to the citizens.
The Consortium has also been reliably informed that the regime would block WhatsApp nationwide next week because citizens from West Cameroon cross over to neighbouring Bafoussam and Douala which are border towns closest to Bamenda and Tiko respectively, to upload pictures on World Wide Web that report gross violations of human rights, all forms of torture and the use of brute force on civilians, mostly women and children.
Journalists are reporting that the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bak, had previously, personally called a few of them working with the private press by telephone and threatened them to stop the coverage of the Anglophone problem or he would ask their bosses to them. A few days later, two audience-pulling TV journalists working for LTM, a Douala-based TV Channel, were sacked without prior notice.
Call for Condemnation
The United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression ; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers".
Several international instruments including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, ratified by Cameroon forbid such repressive acts against the free speech. It is unacceptable that while other countries in Africa have leaped from autocracies to democracies, Cameroon is left behind despite its millions of citizens who are willing to push forth universal rights and freedoms through dialogue, understanding, and integration of all parties.
Violating basic rights is condemnable and punishable. Citizens must not keep living in fear and tyranny in the 21st cent,. President Paul Biya must stop the ever-increasing violations of the rights of the own people of Cameroon. We .11 on the international community of goodwill to immediately puncture a brewing genocide nursed by President Paul Biya and his supporters of bad faith. The people need dialogue and not deadlock. We remain convinced that current affront on the credible press in Cameroon falls within the realms of what one-time US President Thomas Jefferson said: "No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first objective should, therefore, be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions."
Security forces have arrested Ayah Paul Abine from his residence in Yaounde.He was arrested by 6 armed men from SED. They had no arrest warrant.
Ayah was not permitted to make any calls nor answer any.
It almost got violent as Ayah Paul Abine stated to them what the law provides. The armed men prevented anyone from making nor taking calls.
They got into Ayah's privacy with no restraint. Even Ayah's wife wasn't permitted to change clothes as the men in question accompanied her even into her privacy.
No one can tell what Biya's men are up to, but as Ayah left the house he told his administrator to say this to you all: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES TILL THE END!!!
Paul Abine Ayah was a member of the National Assembly of Cameroon and a member of the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement. Until recently, he joined the Opposition Party called the Peoples Action Party (PAP). In August 2007 he was elected as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Cameroon. He is a deputy for Manyu in the Southwest Province.
He graduated from the Cameroon National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) in Yaoundé in 1976 and went on to become the vice-president of the Court of Appeal in Buea, Southwest Province, until becoming member of the National Assembly of Cameroon in 2002.
On Friday 20th January 2016, the interim leaders of the consortium warned any groupings having meeting with the government to call off the strike. As announced over CRTV, some remnants of the teachers union leaders had a meeting in Bamenda.
However, senior journalist Franklin Sone Bayen said the Union leaders who attended the meeting said they cannot resume school while their colleagues are arrested.
They also supposedly refused 100 million bribed to call off the strike and some reportedly offered themselves to be arrested.
“WE CAN’T CALL OFF STRIKE WHILE GOV’T IS HUNTING DOWN OUR COLLEAGUES “, TEACHER UNIONISTS TELL GOV’T IN BAMENDA TODAY
Apparently taking advantage of the absence of hardline teachers’ union leaders (CATTU’s Wilfred Tassang and SYNES-UB’s Dr James Abangma both in hiding) and Barrister Agbor Balla Nkongho and Dr Neba Fontem both in detention, the government tried to persuade and armtwist remnants of the resistant block to sign a statement calling for schools resumption next Monday, thinking they were dealing with a diminished group.
Word had circulated in Bamenda that the remaining leaders had received a total sum of 100 million francs as bribe to append their signatures. True or false, the leaders refused to sign. they said a school boycott decision signed by six union leaders cannot be called off by four of them still walking free.
The teachers’ union leaders who thus defied the government today are those of TAC, Catholic, Baptist and Presbyterian teachers.
By Frankline Sone Bayern
The Cameroonian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release two civil society leaders arrested in the English-speaking part of the country, and lift the ban imposed on their organization, Amnesty International said today.
On 17 January the Minister of Territorial Administration banned the activities of the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC).
The president of the CACSC, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla, and its Secretary General, Dr. Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, were arrested, sparking protests in the southwest city of Buea.
On the same day both Agbor-Balla and Dr. Fontem Neba had signed a statement calling for protest activities to be carried out without violence.
“These two men have been arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. This flagrant disregard for basic rights risks inflaming an already tense situation in the English-speaking region of the country and is clearly an attempt to muzzle dissent,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International Central Africa Researcher.
According to the Minister of Territorial Administration, “all activities, meetings and demonstrations initiated or promoted by the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC), any other related groups with similar objectives or by anyone partisan to these groups, are hereby prohibited all over the national territory”.
The government has accused the two groups of supporting a series of demonstrations that began in late October 2016 across several cities in the English-speaking region of Cameroon. The protesters are calling, among other things, for an end to the use of French in courts and schools. This week a “ghost town” strike – where citizens are asked to remain at home - was called in the regions’ main cities.
“This worrying pattern of arbitrary arrests, detention and harassment of civil society members is entirely at odds with the international human rights law and standards that Cameroon has committed to uphold,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi.
In December, at least two unarmed protestors were killed in Bamenda, the largest city in the English-speaking region, when security forces used live ammunition to disperse a protest.
Donald Trump took power as the 45th president of the United States on Friday and pledged to pursue "America First" policies in an inaugural address that was a populist, anti-Washington rallying cry.
Sketching a bleak vision of a country he said was ravaged by rusted-out factories, crime, gangs and drugs, Trump indirectly blamed his predecessors in the White House for policies that helped the establishment at the expense of struggling families.
"From this moment on, it's going to be America First," the Republican told hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the grounds of the National Mall after taking the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
Four past U.S. presidents, three Democrats and a Republican, sat nearby. Scattered street protests erupted against Trump elsewhere in Washington.
"Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families," Trump said, describing the country's social and economic ills as "American carnage."
Trump, 70, takes over a country divided after a savage election campaign. A wealthy New York businessman and former reality TV star, he will set the country on a new, uncertain path at home and abroad.
Trump's inaugural address revisited the themes of the campaign rally speeches that carried him to an improbable victory on Nov. 8 over Democrat Hillary Clinton, who attended the ceremony with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Under pressure to unite the country after the bitterly fought campaign, Trump said that through allegiance to the United States, "we will rediscover our loyalty to each other" and called for a "new national pride" that would help heal divisions.
Abroad, Trump signaled the possibility of a more aggressive approach to Islamic State militants than his immediate predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama.
"We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and united the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth," he said.
After repeating the 35-word oath of office, Trump stretched his arms wide and hugged his wife, Melania, and other members of his family. Ceremonial cannon blasts fired.
The transition from a Democratic president to a Republican took place before a crowd of former presidents, dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of people on the grounds of the National Mall. The crowd stretched westward on a cool day of occasional light rain.
Away from the Capitol, masked activists ran through the streets smashing windows with hammers at a McDonald’s restaurant, a Starbucks coffee shop and a steakhouse several blocks from the White House.
They carried black anarchist flags and signs that said, "Join the resistance, fight back now." Police used pepper spray and chased them down a major avenue.
In another location not far from the White House, protesters also scuffled with police, at one point throwing aluminum chairs at them at outdoor café.
Former presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were present at the inauguration with their wives. Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, 92, was in Houston recovering from pneumonia.
Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, began the day with a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House.
Trump took office with work to do to bolster his image.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found only 40 percent of Americans viewed him favorably, the lowest rating for an incoming president since Democrat Carter in 1977, and the same percentage approved of how he has handled the transition.
During a testy transition period since his election win, Trump has repeatedly engaged in Twitter attacks against his critics, so much so that one fellow Republican, Senator John McCain, told CNN that Trump seemed to want to "engage with every windmill that he can find."
His ascension to the White House, while welcomed by Republicans tired of Obama's eight years in office, raises a host of questions for the United States.
Trump campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist path and has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods on imports from U.S. companies that went abroad.
His desire for warmer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and threats to cut funding for NATO nations has allies from Britain to the Baltics worried that the traditional U.S. security umbrella will be diminished.
In the Middle East, Trump has said he wants to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, at the risk of angering Arabs and stirring international concern. He has yet to sketch out how he plans to carry out a campaign pledge to "knock the hell out of" Islamic State.
More than 60 Democratic lawmakers stayed away from the proceedings to protest Trump, spurred on after he derided U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a hero of the civil rights movement, for calling him an illegitimate president.
Many demonstrators are to participate in a "Women's March on Washington" on Saturday. Protests are also planned in other cities in the United States and abroad.
Trump's to-do list has given Republicans hope that, since they also control the U.S. Congress, they can quickly repeal and replace Obama's signature healthcare law, approve sweeping tax reform and roll back many federal regulations they say are stifling the U.S. economy.
"He's going to inject a shock to the system here almost immediately," Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News.
Democrats, in search of firm political footing after the unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton, are planning to fight him at every turn. They deeply oppose Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric from the campaign trail and plans to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump's critics have been emboldened to attack his legitimacy because his win came in the Electoral College, which gives smaller states more clout in the outcome. He lost the popular vote to Clinton by about 2.9 million.
Trump's critics also point to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia used hacking and other methods during the campaign to try to tilt the election in the Republican's favor. Trump has acknowledged the finding - denied by Moscow - that Russia was behind the hacking but said it did not affect the outcome of the election.
The Executive Secretary General of the Cameroon Teachers' Trade Unions, CATTU- Tassang Wilfred who also holds the position of aDirector of Programs at the Anglophone Consortium has released a statement contrary to government claims that the strike action has been called off.Read below the statement as he puts it in his own words:
"My dear people of West Cameroon, there is a rumour being sponsored by government to the effect that I have escaped because I had already signed to call off the strike; that is not true- the strike must continue relentlessly because victory is close. I am fasting and praying for you all, we must fight right to the logical end! God is with us!"