Headlines|FF0000 http://cameroon-concord.com Thu, 14 Nov 2019 17:54:32 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Cameroon: The full text of Biya's rambling monologue on the Anglophone crisis http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-the-full-text-of-biya-s-rambling-monologue-on-the-anglophone-crisis http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-the-full-text-of-biya-s-rambling-monologue-on-the-anglophone-crisis Cameroon: The full text of Biya's rambling monologue on the Anglophone crisis

It is hard to even comprehend Biya's stream of consciousness as he vacillated from one contradiction to the next. The man is tottering on the borders of senile decay. Hear Biya in his own words: "Talking about dialogue per se, the issue has always been, with whom?" And then he goes on to say: "The dialogue, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, will bring together a wide range of personalities: parliamentarians, politicians, opinion leaders, intellectuals, economic operators, traditional authorities, religious authorities, members of the diaspora, etc. Representatives of the Defence and Security Forces, armed groups and victims will also be invited." You really need to read the speech to know that Biya was not addressing Cameroonians; he was trying to placate the international community.

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Fellow Cameroonians,

My Dear Compatriots,
For close to three years now, the North-West and South-West Regions of our country have been going through a crisis that not only jeopardizes the safety and well-being of the population living there, but also has far-reaching consequences for the national community as a whole.

It should be recalled that the crisis was triggered by corporate demands made by lawyers and teachers calling for the translation of the OHADA Uniform Acts into English and the preservation of the specificity of the Anglo-Saxon judicial and educational systems in the two regions.

From the outset, and true to an option that I hold dear, I instructed the holding of dialogue between the Government and trade unions to seek appropriate solutions to these demands. The measures taken by the Government at the end of these consultations went well beyond the initial demands and include:

- the translation into English of the OHADA instruments which are now available in the two official languages;

- the creation of a Common Law Section at the Supreme Court to handle appeals filed against the decisions of lower courts in Common Law matters;

- regarding the training of judicial and legal officers, the creation of a Common Law Section at the National School of Administration and Magistracy. This measure was accompanied by a programme for the recruitment of English-speaking pupil judicial and legal officers and court registrars;

- the launching of the special recruitment of bilingual teachers in secondary schools;

- at the level of the judiciary, the stay of proceedings against some persons arrested in connection with the demands;

- the setting up of a national Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multi-culturalism to, among other things, carry out an in-depth review of all the sources of frustration suffered by our compatriots in the North-West and South-West Regions.

Decisions were taken subsequently to fast-track the decentralization process, with the creation of a new ministry devoted thereto. The upcoming regional elections will complete the process by enabling our compatriots nationwide to fully participate in the management of their local affairs.

My Dear Compatriots,
Despite the efforts made by the Government, radical movements, mainly inspired from abroad, have exploited and distorted the corporate demands. They have thus hatched a secessionist plan to partition our country. In this regard, they have formed and financed armed groups that have caused untold harm to the population of the North-West and South-West Regions.

The whole world has witnessed the atrocities committed by these armed groups: maiming, beheading, assassination of elements of the Defence and Security Forces, administrative authorities and defenceless civilians, destruction of public infrastructure and buildings, and burning of schools, hospitals, etc.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to once again extend my heartfelt condolences and those of the entire Nation to those who have lost loved ones in the crisis. I also wish to send a message of comfort to the wounded and all those affected in one way or the other. I want to assure them that they can count on the solidarity of the Government of the Republic and the Nation as a whole.

My Dear Compatriots
The atrocities committed by armed groups have forced thousands of our compatriots to seek refuge in other regions of the country and, for some, in neighbouring countries where they have been reduced to living under precarious conditions.

In the face of these intolerable acts, the Defence and Security Forces have taken energetic measures, often at the risk of their lives, to perform their duty of protecting citizens and their property.

These measures are currently bearing fruits with the improvement of security and the progressive resumption of economic activities in the two regions.

My Dear Compatriots,
Since the outbreak of this crisis, I have spared no effort, with the help of Cameroonians of good will, in seeking ways and means for its peaceful resolution.

In a bid to calm the situation, I even ordered the discontinuance of judicial proceedings pending before military tribunals against 289 persons arrested for offences committed during this crisis.

In the same vein, I extended a hand of peace to members of armed groups by calling on them to lay down their arms and benefit from the process of reintegration into society. A National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee was thus set up. Regional Disarmament Centres are gradually receiving many ex-combatants who willingly accept to lay down their arms. We will continue to make the necessary efforts to fully operationalize this process.

At the humanitarian level, I decided to launch a large-scale assistance plan for our affected compatriots of the North-West and South-West Regions. I also established a Centre for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action for its implementation. I wish to thank our international partners for supporting us in this initiative.

My Dear Compatriots,
The supposed feeling of marginalization by the people of the North-West and South-West Regions has often been advanced to justify this crisis. On this score, I wish to remind our compatriots in these regions, but also to those in the other eight regions of Cameroon, that marginalization, exclusion or stigmatization have never guided the work of the various governments I have formed since I became president of our country. Though no human endeavour is perfect and, in a developing country like ours with multiple challenges and limited resources, many needs are still to be met, in all the regions.

With the massive support you gave me during the last presidential election, I intend to work relentlessly, with all the sons and daughters of our country, towards meeting the challenges we are facing in order to improve the welfare of our population, especially in terms of infrastructure, water and electricity supply, healthcare delivery and youth employment.

My Dear Compatriots,
On 4 January this year, I made a vast government reshuffle, particularly with the appointment of a new Prime Minister, Head of Government. As usual, the choice of these officials was mainly guided by their human and professional qualities, their competence and experience. However, I would like to underscore that as faithful as I have always been to the regional balance policy, I chose a Prime Minister who hails from the South-West Region. His predecessor who served in that key position for nearly ten years was from the North-West Region. In fact, since 9 April 1992, Prime Ministers, Heads of Government, have been appointed from among the people of those two regions.

Despite all this, some people will continue to talk of marginalization of the people of these regions. It must be acknowledged that such is human nature and there will never be enough duty posts to satisfy all the regions, divisions, sub-divisions, towns, villages, families and citizens of our country. Any choice that is made will always cause joy whenever one is honoured, and disappointment when one is not.

It is, however, crucial for us to change our mentalities in this regard. Though it is necessary to consider regional balance in new countries with a diverse sociological composition like ours, it should be recalled that ministers and other officials are not appointed to serve only their regions, villages or families, but to serve the entire national community. They must serve the general interest and not specific interests.

That is why since I came to power, I have and will continue to wage a ruthless war against corruption and the embezzlement of public funds, and to promote good governance.

My Dear Compatriots,
Since the outbreak of the crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions, the term dialogue has never been so much talked about, used and even misused.

In and out of the country, people have made proposals and suggestions. Some are realistic while others are clearly less so. There has been a barrage of advice. Some smart, others based on interests. Some people dared to issue injunctions.

There have also been multiple and varied initiatives, most of them made by people of good faith, by countries or organizations that are truly concerned about the future of our country and the well-being of our people. I wish to thank them for their effort and token of friendship.

It is, however, worth noting that the proliferation of such initiatives was sometimes unfortunately based on simplistic and false ideas, born out of secessionist propaganda. Such is the case with the purported marginalization of Anglophones, persecution of the Anglophone minority by the Francophone majority, Government’s refusal to engage in dialogue preferring a military solution to the crisis or even ridiculous accusations of genocide.

Talking about dialogue per se, the issue has always been, with whom? New information and communication technologies, especially social media networks, have unfortunately facilitated the advent of self-proclaimed leaders, extremists of all shades trying to achieve recognition using insult, threat, hate speech, violence and murder.

However, in no country in the world, has the killing of gendarmes or civilians, kidnapping, mutilation, molestation, burning, destruction of public infrastructure, prevention of children from going to school or people from going about their activities in peace ever been a source of legitimacy to represent or speak on behalf of the people, the very victims of such atrocities.

In democracy, only elections confer such legitimacy.

My Dear Compatriots,
The many consultations I have continued to hold on this crisis have enabled me to size up the strong desire of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions to return to a normal life, to be able once again to safely carry out their economic and social activities, to witness the return of refugees and displaced persons, and to see their children return to school. The Prime Minister’s recent tour of the two regions has helped to confirm this feeling.

I therefore strongly believe that the time has come to rally all well-thinking and constructive forces in our country and in the diaspora to make this desire come true.

That is why I have decided to convene, from the end of this month, a major national dialogue that will, in line with our Constitution, enable us to seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions, but also of all the other components of our Nation.

The dialogue in question will mainly concern the situation in the North-West and South-West Regions. Since it will focus on issues of national interest such as national unity, national integration and living together, it is obvious that it will not concern only the population of these two regions.

The dialogue will therefore rally all the sons and daughters of our beloved and beautiful country, Cameroon, to reflect on values that are dear to us, namely: peace, security, national unity and progress.

It will also focus on issues that can address the concerns of the population of the North-West and South-West Regions, as well as those of the other regions of our country such as bilingualism, cultural diversity and social cohesion, the reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas, the return of refugees and displaced persons, the education and judicial system, decentralization and local development, the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, the role of the diaspora in the country’s development, etc.

The dialogue, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, will bring together a wide range of personalities: parliamentarians, politicians, opinion leaders, intellectuals, economic operators, traditional authorities, religious authorities, members of the diaspora, etc. Representatives of the Defence and Security Forces, armed groups and victims will also be invited.

Obviously, it will not be possible for everybody to effectively participate in this dialogue, but each person will have the opportunity to make a contribution.

Prior to the effective holding of the dialogue, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, will carry out broad-based consultations to solicit a wide range of views that will serve as a source of inspiration for the conduct of deliberations. In the coming days, delegations will also be dispatched to meet the diaspora to enable them to make their contribution to discussions on the resolution of the crisis.

In this regard, I am appealing to the patriotism and sense of responsibility of all our compatriots in the country and in the diaspora so that everyone, wherever they are, should seize this historic opportunity to help to steer our country on the path of peace, harmony, security and progress.

My Dear Compatriots,

The propaganda of secessionists has tried to present the recent court decisions taken against a number of our compatriots in the context of this crisis as an obstacle to the dialogue envisaged.

That is not the case. I also wish to use this opportunity to stress that respect for the rule of law and the fight against impunity are pillars in the consolidation of a State ruled by law to which we all aspire. Violating the rule of law and granting impunity to some citizens is paving the way for anarchy.

It is therefore crucial, at this stage, to dispel rumours that one can quietly loot, rape, burn, kidnap, maim, murder, in the hope that a possible dialogue will erase all these crimes and provide impunity to their perpetrators.

As shown by the experience of many countries in the world, such way of thinking will only encourage the perpetuation of violence in the crisis regions and even encourage it in crisis-free regions.

Admittedly, however, in the context of a dialogue, a peace process or national reconciliation, the possibility of pardon may be considered, under certain conditions.

It is equally true that in accordance with our Constitution, the Head of State is empowered to exercise the right of pardon.
It was, moreover, on the strength of this authority that I made a peace offer to members of armed groups during my recent swearing-in ceremony.

I wish to solemnly reiterate this offer today. Those who voluntarily lay down their arms and place themselves at the disposal of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Centres have nothing to fear. Their fellow armed group members who are already there can testify to this. Conversely, those who persist in committing criminal acts and violating the laws of the Republic will have to contend with our Defence and Security Forces and will face the full force of those same laws.

The same applies to promoters of hate and violence who, comfortably settled in foreign countries with impunity, continue to incite murder and destruction. Let them know that sooner or later they will have to face justice.

I am appealing to the countries sheltering these extremists to take action against these criminals if they really care about the situation of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions.

Most of them no longer have Cameroonian nationality, but they spend their time raising funds to carry out terrorist acts in Cameroon, masterminding acts of arson, kidnappings and murder, and issuing calls aimed at preventing children from attending school and fellow citizens from going about their business peacefully.

My Dear Compatriots,
The entire national community has high expectations for the dialogue I have just announced and hopes that this will be an opportunity for our brothers and sisters in the North-West and South-West to close this particularly painful chapter, to forget their suffering and to return to normal life. It also hopes that our country will continue resolutely on the path of progress, through fruitful discussions on ways and means of creating conditions conducive to the optimal exploitation of natural resources and our country's enormous human potential. Therefore, we should all work towards a successful dialogue.

My Dear Compatriots,
Over the years, we have used our linguistic and cultural diversity, the talent of our sons and daughters, and our commendable efforts and sacrifices to build a solid country and a strong Nation. Together we have met many challenges and won uncountable victories. We have proven that united there is no difficulty we cannot overcome and no obstacle we cannot cross. We proved it yesterday. We will prove it again today and tomorrow. The future of our compatriots in the North-West and South-West Regions lies within our Republic.

Cameroon will remain one and indivisible.

Long Live Cameroon!

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bogus@bogus.com (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:43:10 +0000
Burundi: Release of three school girls accused of scribbling photos of president Nkurunziza http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/burundi-release-of-three-school-girls-accused-of-scribbling-photos-of-nkurunziza http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/burundi-release-of-three-school-girls-accused-of-scribbling-photos-of-nkurunziza Burundi: Release of three school girls accused of scribbling photos of president Nkurunziza

Three schoolgirls, who had been arrested for scribbling the photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza were released.{loadposition myposition}

Burundian justice minister announced the release of three schoolgirls aged between 14 and 17, imprisoned in the north for scribbling photos of President Pierre Nkurunziza

Aimée Laurentine Kanyana, Minister of Justice, told RTNB (national television) that girls enjoyed temporary freedom. Similar events in the future will be prosecuted, she said.

"We call on parents to strengthen the education of their children, we remind children that they must respect the authorities, that the age of criminal responsibility is 15 years," she said.

Since the arrest of schoolgirls, several Internet users have launched an online campaign on social media around the hashtag #freeourgirls.

In 2016, more than 230 students were temporarily stripped of their school for contempt after scribbling photos of Nkurunziza and then sentenced to 20 years in prison before being laundered and reinstated in their school against the outcry.

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bogus@bogus.com () Headlines|FF0000 Wed, 27 Mar 2019 18:03:16 +0000
Cameroon: President Paul Biya, has been appointed president of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) for the next 12 months. http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-president-paul-biya-has-been-appointed-president-of-the-central-african-economic-and-monetary-community-cemac-for-the-next-12-months http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-president-paul-biya-has-been-appointed-president-of-the-central-african-economic-and-monetary-community-cemac-for-the-next-12-months Cameroon: President Paul Biya, has been appointed president of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) for the next 12 months.

Following the 14th Ordinary Session of the Conference of  Heads of State of the Subregion held in N'Djamena, Chad, Biya succeeds Idriss Deby at the time of the organization's many projects including the end of obstacles to the free movement of people and goods that is still not a reality on the ground despite the lifting of the last barriers in 2017 by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.On the roadmap of the new president-in-office of CEMAC are the questions of financing of the reform program.{loadposition myposition}

Cemac indeed needs money of a lot of money to finance the many projects registered in the program and Idriss Deby let it know, "the bold reforms undertaken by the CEMAC countries have produced very encouraging results but we must reinforce the momentum to boost growth and offer better prospects to the people of the sub-region, "the Chadian head of state told his counterparts.

Before insisting, "finance ministers must settle the arrears of the Community integration tax on December 31, but also pay the dues of 2019."

Among Cemac's many projects are the repatriation of export revenues, especially from large companies, multilateral surveillance, finalization of Institutional Reforms, the free movement of nationals of the sub-region and their property in Cemac, the operation of the Inter-State Center for Higher Education in Public Health of Central Africa (CIESPAC), the return of the Commission to its headquarters in Bangui.

An extraordinary joint ECCAS / CEMAC summit is announced in the near future. The fifteenth ordinary session of the CEMAC Heads of State Conference will be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2020.

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bogus@bogus.com () Headlines|FF0000 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 14:57:19 +0000
Burundi: Three Students sent to jail for scribbled on presidents picture. http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/burundi-three-students-sent-to-jail-for-scribbled-on-presidents-picture http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/burundi-three-students-sent-to-jail-for-scribbled-on-presidents-picture Burundi: Three Students sent to jail for scribbled on presidents picture.

Six students were detained on Tuesday, March 12, in Kirundo province in northeast Burundi for scribbling on pictures of President Pierre Nkurunziza in five textbooks. The students were accused of “insulting the head of state.

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The National Federation of Associations Engaged in Children's Welfare in Burundi (FENADEB) reported that another student, 13, had been immediately released because he was a minor under the age of 15.

Three students were reportedly provisionally released on Friday, March 15, but, the remaining three were kept in custody. The girls, aged 15 to 17, if found guilty, risk up to five years in prison for insulting the president. Iwacu newspaper reported that families affected were deeply distressed.

“Scribbling [on the president’s picture] is a punishable offense under the Burundian law,” according to a Reuters report. However, the age of the offenders may serve as a “mitigating circumstance” in these students’ trial.

As a teacher anonymously noted, the textbooks had not been checked for several years and are often shared by students, so it is difficult to know who marked them.

A similar episode occurred in 2016, following the controversy over the president’s third term, where high school students scribbled on textbook pictures of Nkurunziza. Authorities took this as a serious insult and expelled hundreds of students from various schools across the country. Eleven students were charged with “insulting the head of state” and “threatening state security,” although they were reportedly later cleared.

These actions were highly criticized. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a statement on June 29, 2016:

I am dismayed by continuing reports of the suspension and arrest of schoolchildren and students for having scribbled on pictures of the president in textbooks.

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bogus@bogus.com () Headlines|FF0000 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 14:26:46 +0000
Human Rights Watch issues damning report indicting Cameroon security forces for gross human rights violations http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/human-rights-watch-issues-damning-report-indicting-cameroon-security-forces-for-gross-human-rights-violations http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/human-rights-watch-issues-damning-report-indicting-cameroon-security-forces-for-gross-human-rights-violations Human Rights Watch issues damning report indicting Cameroon security forces for gross human rights violations

After US State Dept, Human Rights Watch issues its own damning report indicting Cameroon security forces for gross human rights violations. For how long will Biya survive this global scrutiny, now that he is being exposed.

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Excerpts: Violations by Government Forces
"Human Rights Watch found that government forces responded to the growing separatist insurgency by carrying out abusive security operations against communities suspected of supporting secessionist groups. Security forces committed extrajudicial executions, used excessive force against civilians, tortured and abused suspected separatists and other detainees, and burned homes and other property in scores of villages.

"During attacks documented by Human Rights Watch, security forces allegedly shot and killed over a dozen civilians, including at least seven people whom witnesses said had intellectual, psychosocial or physical disabilities who did not flee because they were unable or refused to. At least four older women died, burned alive, after security forces set their homes on fire.

"Human Rights Watch also documented three cases where security forces detained people suspected of supporting the secessionist cause, and then tortured and killed them in detention. In a fourth case, Human Rights Watch analyzed evidence of torture filmed by perpetrators, who appear to be gendarmes. On September 24 and 27, a total of nine men were allegedly executed by security forces in the town of Buea, according to videos reviewed by Human Rights Watch and a report by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, a local nongovernmental organization (NGO)."

Read full report

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bogus@bogus.com (Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai ) Headlines|FF0000 Thu, 14 Mar 2019 17:36:15 +0000
Cameroon continues it's troubling descent http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-continues-it-s-troubling-descent http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-continues-it-s-troubling-descent Cameroon continues it's troubling descent

Political leaders in the U.S. have begun to speak up, while certain sectors of the U.S. government have also taken actions to hold Cameroonian leaders accountable.{loadposition myposition}

DOUALA, Cameroon, March 12, 2019/ -- Despite somewhat slipping from global headlines in recent weeks, Cameroon has nonetheless maintained its death spiral. The root cause of the crisis can be unequivocally placed (https://on.wsj.com/2yRnhMO) at the doorstep of the Presidency, or the Geneva Intercontinental Hotel, where President Paul Biya spends much of his time. As we have previously written (https://bit.ly/2u1J0Pq) on this site, President Biya is Africa’s oldest head of state, having been in power since 1982, and recently secured a seventh term in office despite credible allegations of vote rigging, electoral fraud, targeted threats of violence against opponents, and an ongoing, bloody uprising in the country’s Anglophone regions.

Biya’s main challenger in the October 2018 election, Maurice Kamto, has been subsequently charged (https://bit.ly/2O1a9va) by a military court with rebellion, insurrection and “hostility to the homeland,” after his political party staged peaceful protests in several of Cameroon’s major cities. To be sure, Kamto’s ordeal is only the latest example in a long succession of targeted harassment, intimidation and persecution of the country’s dissidents and opposition political figures. Akere Muna, for instance — another 2018 presidential challenger who ultimately joined Kamto’s coalition — has been repeatedly targeted (https://bit.ly/2XP8uNs) by local authorities, as has Kah Walla (https://bit.ly/2FB4uXA), a former presidential candidate, leading women’s rights activist, and president of the Cameroon People's Party.

Next week, as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy visits Cameroon (https://bit.ly/2TzmOez), Maurice Kamto and countless other political prisoners (https://bbc.in/2UvE7K7) will likely remain behind bars and the country’s activist community still living in fear. Importantly, however, political leaders in the U.S. have begun to speak up, while certain sectors of the U.S. government have also taken actions to hold Cameroonian leaders accountable, or at least put the government on notice that human rights violations will not be allowed to continue without consequence.

Last month, for example, U.S. officials committed to "terminate" (https://cnn.it/2MTKNi3) over $17 million in security assistance to the Biya regime, as well as the withdrawal of an offer for Cameroon to be a candidate for the State Partnership Program (https://bit.ly/2F3vl0l), which links 81 nations around the world with the U.S. armed forces “in a mutually beneficial relationship.” This move, indeed, was long overdue given the ongoing, absolutely horrific abuses (https://bit.ly/2PO8SXt) being perpetrated in the country — most notably in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, which has resulted in tens of thousands of refugees (https://bit.ly/2PlgHUe) and, according to recent public opinion polling (https://bit.ly/2UwEd43), a dramatic decline in citizens’ faith in their leaders and state institutions.

U.S. Congressional leaders are also speaking out, including Representative Eliot Engel, the powerful chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who this week wrote a letter of concern (https://bit.ly/2XKbHxQ) focused specifically on Cameroon to Secretary Nagy, in light of his upcoming trip. This is no small feat. In the letter, Congressman Engel requested that Secretary Nagy — who has previously served in Cameroon — to “raise the fact that the Government of Cameroon has clearly violated the rights of Mr. Kamto and other political prisoners to assemble freely and express and disseminate their opinions, which are encapsulated in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which Cameroon ratified three decades ago.”

Certainly, the issue at hand is not about “western moralizing” or “American finger wagging” as it is often perceived or otherwise presented by Cameroon state media (and other repressive governments (https://bit.ly/2N1dTvT) on the African continent). These rightful voices of concern are simply pointing out the fact that leaders in Cameroon, among others, often fail to live up to the language enshrined in their own constitutions, conventions, norms and regional standards. The ACHPR, for example, and the African Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections (https://bit.ly/2HfbDRB) exist for a reason. And they should be duly respected.

Instead of engaging in a comprehensive, much-needed dialogue with the political opposition, civil society, and Cameroon’s beleaguered business community (https://bit.ly/2F5SxLC), which is also suffering as a result of the crackdown, President Biya and the ruling cabal have doubled down, contracting highly paid lobbyists (https://bit.ly/2qo8CnJ) in Washington to whitewash their crimes while engaging in a scorched earth policy back home. Increased repression, and the climate of fear that is purposefully cultivated as a result, may keep President Biya and his enablers in power for the time being. The only viable path, (https://bit.ly/2F4Gf6e) however, towards achieving progress, development and ultimate peace will surely have to be based on respecting democratic principles and meeting the so far unmet aspirations of its people who are yearning for a better life — many of whom continue to quite literally put their lives on the line to secure a better, more prosperous country for future generations.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Vanguard Africa.

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bogus@bogus.com (Vanguard Africa) Headlines|FF0000 Tue, 12 Mar 2019 16:10:23 +0000
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says Cameroon risks further slide into violence http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-michelle-bachelet-says-cameroon-risks-further-slide-into-violence http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-michelle-bachelet-says-cameroon-risks-further-slide-into-violence U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - Cameroon may fall further into violence if the government does not stop hate speech by politicians and heavy-handed tactics by security forces, the U.N. human rights chief said on Wednesday.{loadposition myposition}

Long-running tensions have erupted into conflicts with separatists in the southwest and Islamists in the northwest, prompting crackdowns by security forces and leaving 1.3 million people in need of aid, according to the United Nations.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the neighboring Sahel region had taken an innovative approach to protecting civilians during counter-terrorism operations, and legal advisors and U.N. rights experts were working with armed forces in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

 

She urged Cameroon to adopt a similar approach, after a U.N. rights committee last month noted “the heavy-handed approach of the security forces to the crisis ... including destruction of medical facilities, schools, essential infrastructure and entire villages”.

“I am also concerned by alarming instances of hate speech, including by political leaders, as well as serious restrictions on the political space, with prosecutions in a military court of a number of members of opposition parties,” the former Chilean president said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“It is essential that steps be taken now, to de-escalate the increasing crisis in the country, and prevent a further descent into violence.”

 

Last week Cameroon’s Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella told the council his government was increasing rights training for civil servants and the security forces.

“The defense and security forces have remained highly professional in their behavior despite aggression against them by Boko Haram (militants) and barbaric attacks by so-called separatist armed gangs,” he said.

Accusations of violations by security personnel were being investigated “diligently” and would be punished, Mbella added.

In the past few months, 40,000 refugees fled into Cameroon from Rann, a Nigerian town just across the border that has been repeatedly attacked by Islamist insurgents Boko Haram. Islamic State has also claimed attacks in the area.

More than 30,000 refugees returned to Rann last week after being urged to accept assurances about an improvement in security.

Earlier this year, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR criticized Cameroon for turning away fleeing Nigerians, but it said Cameroon had given assurances last week that refugees from Rann were not being forced to return.

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bogus@bogus.com (Reuters) Headlines|FF0000 Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:42:28 +0000
Senegal:Macky Sall secures another presidential term after re-election http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/senegal-macky-sall-secures-another-presidential-term-after-re-election http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/senegal-macky-sall-secures-another-presidential-term-after-re-election Senegal:Macky Sall secures another presidential term after re-election

Senegalese President Macky Sall was officially declared winner of the Feb. 24 vote on Tuesday, after the constitutional council confirmed his re-election with 58 percent of votes.

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Provisional results announced by Senegal’s official counting body last week had showed Sall comfortably securing a second term without a run-off vote.

Sall had been tipped to win after a first term that propelled the West African country’s economic growth to more than six percent - one of the highest on the continent.

Rights groups criticized him for squeezing out rivals and the opposition rejected the results, but decided not to appeal.

“This renewed trust motivates me to work twice as hard, to do more and better,” Sall told a crowd of reporters gathered at the presidential palace on Tuesday.

Commenting on the election results for the first time, Sall thanked the voters for choosing continuity and supporting his modernising plans. He also addressed opposition candidates, calling for dialogue and unity.

The council confirmed that runner-up Idrissa Seck secured 21 percent of the votes, while Ousmane Sonko came third with 16 percent.

More than 66 percent of 6.7 million registered voters took part in the election.

 

Senegal has long been viewed as the region’s most stable democracy, with peaceful transitions of power since it gained independence from France in 1960.

Sall said his swearing-in ceremony would take place on April 2.

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bogus@bogus.com (Reuters) Headlines|FF0000 Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:57:54 +0000
Operation Sparrowhawk Cameroon: Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o sent to Kondengui http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/operation-sparrowhawk-cameroon-edgard-alain-mebe-ngo-o-sent-to-kondengui http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/operation-sparrowhawk-cameroon-edgard-alain-mebe-ngo-o-sent-to-kondengui Operation Sparrowhawk Cameroon: Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o sent to Kondengui

Former Minister of Defence Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o has been detained at the Kondengui Maximum security prison in Yaounde after he was presented before a judge after the Special Criminal Court on Tuesday.{loadposition myposition}

Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o was once again at the Special Criminal Court on Tuesday where he was grilled for hours before judges decided to keep him in custody late at night.

He was later transferred around 10 pm to the Kondengui Maximum security prison from where investigations will continue on his alleged embezzlement of state funds.

He was detained alongside three of his close aides, Colonel Joel Mboutou, former defence attaché at the Cameroon Embassy in Morocco, Victor Emmanuel Menye, Asssistant General Manager of SCB bank and Maxime Mbangue, ex adviser at the Ministry of Defence.

Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o’s wife is expected to appear before the Special Criminal Court today where she will be grilled by investigators.

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bogus@bogus.com (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:23:16 +0000
Cameroon: French parliamentarians put pressure on Biya's regime to release former CRTV GM, Amadou Vamoulké http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-french-parliamentarians-put-pressure-on-biya-s-regime-to-release-former-crtv-gm-amadou-vamoulke http://cameroon-concord.com/headlines/cameroon-french-parliamentarians-put-pressure-on-biya-s-regime-to-release-former-crtv-gm-amadou-vamoulke Cameroon: French parliamentarians put pressure on Biya's regime to release former CRTV GM, Amadou Vamoulké

French MPs and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) participated in a press conference in the  French National Assembly.
During the session, they asked for the "immediate" release of the former CRTV GM  who has been jailed for more than 30 months.{loadposition myposition}


The former head of the Cameroonian public broadcaster [CRTV] is being sued for alleged embezzlement of 4 billion FCFA (6 million euros), for the sole benefit of the media he led between 2005 and 2016.

At the end of January, 9 French parliamentarians had sent a letter to Emmanuel Macron and Jean Yves Le Drian to ask them to use their diplomatic relations to ensure the "immediate release" of the former boss of the state radio and television.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the prosecution has not "provided evidence of the relevance of its action" in this case.

Amadou Vamoulké, former managing director of the Cameroon Radio and Television (Crtv), is tried for alleged misappropriation of public funds..{loadposition myposition2}

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bogus@bogus.com () Headlines|FF0000 Thu, 21 Feb 2019 20:14:42 +0000