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A stunning injury-time free-kick from Dimitri Payet gave France a 3-2 friendly victory over Cameroon in Nantes on Monday.

The West Ham midfielder curled a shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa just two minutes after the visitors had levelled the match at 2-2.

Blaise Matuidi's volley following a fine run from Kingsley Coman had put the hosts in front before Vincent Aboubakar levelled just two minutes later for a Cameroon side who posed a consistent threat on the break.

Olivier Giroud was booed by some supporters outside the Stade de la Beajouire, with several making their frustrations over Karim Benzema's omission quite clear, but he responded with a fine finish from a Paul Pogba cross for hishis fifth goal in four starts to put France ahead.

Giroud missed a good chance for a second but was given a largely warm reception when he was replaced by Andre-Pierre Gignac just after the hour, as France began to push forward in earnest in search of a goal to safeguard their third win in a row.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting equalised against the run of play in the 88th minute after a Laurent Koscielny error but Payet's superb strike secured a third win in a row for Didier Deschamps' side, who face Scotland on Saturday in a final Euro 2016 warm-up game.

The home side began brightly but Cameroon almost snatched the lead with 13 minutes played, Hugo Lloris forced to make a fine one-handed stop low to his left after Karl Toko Ekambi cut infield and aimed for the far corner.

France went ahead on 20 minutes with their first moment of real attacking quality. Coman skipped away from Edgar Salli down the left and clipped the ball towards the penalty spot, where Matuidi was on hand to volley left-footed past Ondoa.

But the lead lasted just two minutes. Nyom made amends for his earlier sluggish defending by drilling a fine low cross towards the six-yard box, and Aboubakar arrived unchallenged at the near post to turn the ball beneath Lloris.

Pogba spurned a great chance to put France back ahead, flashing a header wide of the right-hand post when unmarked 12 yards out, but Giroud made sure of an advantage before the break.

Juventus star Pogba created space down the right before bending a superb cross towards the penalty spot, and Giroud steered a stylish first-time finish past Ondoa.

The Arsenal man was thwarted by Ondoa just before the hour mark after bustling his way into the penalty area, prompting a few more jeers from sections of the crowd, and Pogba saw a curling effort superbly clawed away by the 20-year-old goalkeeper before N'Golo Kante drilled the rebound wide.

Substitute Cabaye was denied by a sprawling Ondoa when picked out by a fine Payet pass, and they were hit with a sucker-punch a minute later, as Koscielny's slip allowed Choupo-Moting to latch onto Anatole Abang's pass and slot past Lloris.

But Payet had the final word, curling a fantastic free-kick beyond the reach of Ondoa from 25 yards out to secure the win.

The Director of Aspire Football Dreams Project, Cameroon, Thomas Nkono is urging young boys of 13 years to registration for the Aspire Football Dreams Project to try their luck at grabbing a scholarship that would enable them to realize their dream of becoming professional footballers while going to school or learning a trade.

The Project in its eighth edition in Cameroon was launched in March would be closed by the end of June with coordinators in 40 sites expected to register about 704 children each all over the national territory making a total of 28,160 for a pre-test.

Following the pre-test, the 176 players selected would be divided into 16 teams to play 8 matches at the end of June from which 30 players would be selected to take part in the finals in Yaoundé in July.

To ensure professionalism and objectivity in the selection, two groups of coaches from Europe and Qatar would oversee the finals for the selection of two or three players and the best player from Cameroon would be announced.

As is the tradition, former Director of FC Barcelone Training Centre who doubles as the Director of Aspire Football Dreams Qatar who detected Lionel Messi, Jeffren Suarez, Perdro Roderiguez Ledesma would be present at the finals.

The selected players are expected to spend about three weeks in Qatar to participate in the world finals with other selected players from 14 countries.

Youths from Aspire, FC Barcleone and other European teams invited to the grand finale in Qatar.

A Senegalese court on Monday is set to rule in the trial of former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré for alleged crimes against humanity committed during his 1982-1990 rule marking a historic end to a decades-long quest for justice.

The ruling will mark the first time in the world that the courts of one country will prosecute the former ruler of another country.

The trial in exile of Habré – once dubbed “Africa’s Pinochet” – has been a long quest for justice for the victims and the families of victims of the 73-year-old former Chadian dictator.

More than 90 witnesses have testified in the trial, which began in July last year. Habré is accused of having presided over 40,000 political murders and widespread torture in his Central African homeland. A 1992 Chadian Truth Commission singled out the brutal police force under the former rebel leader-turned-president for some of the worst atrocities during Habré’s reign.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Habré.

Habré has dismissed the tribunal as politically motivated. During the course of the trial, the former rebel leader and his supporters have frequently disrupted proceedings with shouting and singing. He refused legal representation but the court appointed him Senegalese lawyers.

A documentary on the former Chadian strongman, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, featured extraordinary closing footage of the former rebel-turned-despot being forcibly carried into the courtroom, kicking and screaming.

France24

The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Africa says West Africa is better prepared to tackle future outbreaks of Ebola. In an exclusive interview with VOA, Matshidiso Moeti says Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are now able to respond more quickly to emergencies because of upgrades to their surveillance, laboratory and health care systems.

Moeti became head of WHO’s regional office for Africa in February 2015, at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As the World Health Organization’s chief troubleshooter in the region, she told VOA she knew she had to do whatever was necessary to stop the spread of this fatal disease.

Ebola had killed more than 11,000 people in the three most heavily affected West African countries by the time WHO declared the transmission of the Ebola virus virtually over at the end of last year.

Warning of flare-ups

Although it acknowledged that the epidemic was no longer out of control, the WHO warned the countries to remain vigilant as flare-ups of the disease were likely to continue for some time.

”We have had a very prolonged last leg of getting to zero in this outbreak and we are not there yet,” said Moeti. But, she added Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea have greatly improved their ability to respond to Ebola and have proved this in their skillful management of the occasional flare-ups of the disease.

“They have been able when they get an unexpected case in these last few months to be able to respond and detect it relatively early, follow-up the contacts and contain the spread. So, for me that is one of the best outcomes of this tragic situation in West Africa,” said Moeti.

But, she cautioned that all the improvements made in infrastructure, in response systems, and in skills training must be sustained. This, she said required the continued support of the International community. 

Moeti stressed that the funding and expertise that had poured into West Africa during the Ebola epidemic must hold. “I am very hopeful that some of the commitments that were made by the donors during the time when these countries were talking about their recovery actually do materialize,” she said.

She called this essential “to ensuring that the healthcare workers, the infrastructure, the laboratories, the commodities that are needed to be available on an ongoing basis are sustained.”

Heath emergency reforms

The World Health Assembly, which has just wrapped up its annual meeting, has approved reforms of the emergency health system.

Moeti praised the underlying agreement by member States to provide the money needed to implement this system. She said WHO will be in a better position now to head-off crises before they become full blown. This, she said would prove to be a boon to African countries.

This year’s World Health Assembly had a particularly packed agenda of 76 health issues to consider. The 3,500 delegates who attended the week-long meeting approved 10 new resolutions including the program on health emergencies.

In her closing statement to the Assembly, WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan said the members’ support of this program “sends a powerful political signal” that they wanted WHO to remain “the single agency with universal legitimacy in matters of international health, to lead and coordinate the response to emergencies.”

She also welcomed a resolution on the Sustainable Development Goals that “agreed to prioritize universal health coverage. Of all targets under the new agenda, this is the one that most decisively leaves no one behind. It is inclusive, feasible and measurable.”

Other resolutions adopted by the Assembly include tobacco control; road traffic deaths and injuries; nutrition; HIV, hepatitis, STIs (sexually transmitted infections); access to medicines and integrated health services.

Who will head WHO?

Margaret Chan steps down as WHO chief next year. The race is on to find a new candidate for this position. Among those eager for the job is Ethiopia’s foreign minister and previous health minister, Tedros Adhanom. He is Africa’s first and only candidate for this position.

Matshidiso Moeti called him a “credible candidate,” who has a proven track record in reforming his country’s health system. “I think that he is uniquely placed to understand the needs of the poorest countries,” she said.

Moeti told VOA that she did not believe that previous leaders of the World Health Organization have short-changed Africa. She said they all recognized that Africa was the region with “the highest disease burden, with the largest number of Least Developed Countries, with the weakest health systems in the world.”

She noted that Margaret Chan was very explicit in prioritizing Africa as part of her agenda.

”Of course, I agree that an African person, who has grown up in the system has a unique understanding of the situation, the context, the culture in the region and the types of responses that might or might not work,” she said. “I think that is an added plus without at all thinking that the others have underplayed the needs of the region.”

VOA

A Nigerian man sentenced to death for the murder of a policeman in Saudi Arabia was beheaded on Sunday.

This is the 95th execution in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year, according to AFP.

Houssaoui Fahd, the accused, was convicted for strangling and hitting the head of the Saudi policeman against the ground several times until he died, Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement released by Saudi news agency SPA.

He was executed in the city of Taif, southwest of Riyadh, the ministry added.

Amnesty International has however expressed concern about the rising number of executions in Saudi Arabia.

The organisation warned on Friday that if the killings continue, Saudi Arabia has killed more than 100 people in the first six months of this year.

In 2015 alone, 153 people were executed in Saudi Arabia, the highest in 20 years, governed by Islamic law.

AP

Iraqi government forces are keeping up the pressure on ISIL – beginning a major operation on Monday to storm the militant stronghold of Falluja, reports say.

According to a report by AFP quoting army commanders, Iraqi forces have entered the city, which was one of the first in Iraq to fall to the militant group in 2014.

Reuters quotes a military officer as saying the Iraqi army has begun an operation on Monday to storm Falluja, and that a military unit was trying to advance in the city, which lies some 50 kilometres from Baghdad.

Explosions and gunfire could be heard in Falluja’s southern Naimiya district.

Iraqi government began a major push to recapture the city on May 23.

Headlines On Cameroonian English Tabloids

Modern Villa For Sale in Yaounde Cameroon

Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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