Concord Newsdesk Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:47:07 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Yaounde: Kamto rebellion charge deepens Cameroon crisis Yaounde: Kamto rebellion charge deepens Cameroon crisis

Cameroon's main opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, has been charged in a military court with rebellion and other offences, his lawyers have said. The former government minister was arrested in Douala on 28 January after his MRC party organised protests contesting last October's election result. France says it is "worried" by the charges.

Kamto faces charges including “hostility against the homeland, incitement to insurrection, offense against the president of the republic, destruction of public buildings and goods.”

If found guilty, he could face the death penalty, his lawyers said Wednesday.

The opposition leader, who says he was cheated out of the presidency in elections last year, was transferred to a prison in the capital Yaounde during the night by a military court.

Twenty-eight members of his Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) are also on trial for the same charges.

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Meanwhile, 100 other supporters were due to appear before the Yaounde military court Wednesday to find out if they too will face a similar fate.

The fact that a military court is the one bringing the charges against Kamto has rattled critics.

Military justice

“How is it that someone who has never carried a weapon against the government, someone who has never called for armed struggle is judged by a military court?" asks François Ndengwe, Chairman of the African Advisory Board.

"Professor Kamto being judged in a military court is an outrage to the people of good will not only in Cameroon but all over the world," he told RFI.

For Ndengwe, the charges against Kamto illustrate the challenges facing Africa's justice system, often in the hands of autocratic governments.

“It is impossible to have a fair judgment in Africa," he comments, saying this failure justified the existence of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"Africans complained about the ICC trying Laurent Gbagbo [Ivory Coast's former president] but they shouldn't complain. Africans are not able to judge themselves according to the minimum standards of justice and equity, and this is regrettable," he said.

On the domestic front, the charges against Kamto risk aggravating the country's post-electoral crisis.

Restricting democratic space

They are a "clear sign of a new step in the restriction of public liberties that the government of Cameroon has crossed," explains Hans de Marie, a senior researcher at the International Crisis Group (ICG) in Nairobi.

"The charges could increase tribal and ethnic tension in the country, as well as social tension," he told RFI.

Implicit in de Marie's remarks is the fear of a potential civil war.

"The anger and bitterness from opposition members and civil society groups is more and more expressing itself along ethnic lines between the Beti tribe of [president] Paul Biya and the Bamyleke tribe of Maurice Kamto," he comments.

Cameroon is already grappling with unrest in its troubled western Anglophone region after residents there were repressed.

"We know from past experience that it is the restriction of liberties that has triggered the Anglophone crisis," states de Marie.

Kamto has called for an end to the two-year conflict. The opposition leader and his supporters demonstrated in several cities and towns on the 26 January urging an end to the crisis and for a recount of October's election result in which he came second.

Bogus charges

It was shortly after this demonstration that Kamto was arrested in the economic capital Douala and how we got to today's charges.

For human rights lawyer Agbor Nkongho, the charges are all too familiar.

"The charges are bogus. These are the same charges that they [the government] brought against me. It's a way to fight against dissent, repress people, and to perpetuate Mr Biya's reign as they have been doing for the last 36 years," he told RFI.

RFI was unable to reach the Cameroonian government for a response, but their position is that Kamto is a an "outlaw" after he defied warnings and declared himself the winner of last October's election results.

French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said Wednesday the government was "worried" by the charges against Kamto and urged Paul Biya to allow the opposition to "express itself freely."

Risk of conflict

That may not be enough.

"We find it very low compared to the gravity of the situation," says de Marie.

"None of the key partners of Cameroon has clearly condemned the arrest and detention of Kamto or asked firmly the Cameroonian government to release him," he said.

Rights groups though have condemned the attitude of the Cameroonian government, with Amnesty International saying the arrest of Kamto and his staff signalled an escalating crackdown on the opposition.

"For the sake of peace if not democracy, the international community must act," argues Hans de Marie. The risk of conflict in a country already affected by Boko Haram attacks and grappling with unrest in the Anglophone regions stands to be high, he concludes.


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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Politics|2C6700 Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:29:14 +0000
Open Letter to: The Ambassador of the State of Israel Yaoundé, République du Cameroun Open Letter to: The Ambassador of the State of Israel Yaoundé, République du Cameroun

From: A Collective of Anglophone Cameroonians in the Diaspora.


Shalom, Your Excellency!


We, a collective of Africans from Southern Cameroon, the English-speaking part of Cameroon, which is going through a bloody civil war and refugee crisis, have the honour to address this letter to you. We are friends of Israel. Some of us live legally in Israel, some of us have studied in Israel or visited Israel on business or attended academic conferences there, while others have paid religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Mount of Olives, the Jordan River, etc.


We wish to state that we followed with interest, the widely-disseminated press release of February 4, 2019 from the Israeli Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon, condemning the televised anti-Semitic and tribalistic comments of Cameroon’s Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Justice, Hon. Jean de Dieu MOMO. The minister implied that the Jewish victims of Hitler’s monstrous and unspeakable genocide were in fact the culprits of the genocide.We condemn in the strongest possible terms, terms this attempt by Mr. MOMO to make light of the massacre of millions of innocent men, women and children for personal political gain.{loadposition myposition}


We therefore welcome the decision of the Cameroon government to apologize unreservedly for these ignorant and extremely hateful remarks which were in fact a veiled attempt to justify crimes against humanity directed at minorities in Cameroon.


Honorable Ambassador, while we condemn historic crimes against humanity, as well as diminishment of those crimes, we must not turn a blind eye to contemporary human rights violations and crimes against humanity, even though these crimes do not rise to the level, scope, or magnitude of the Jewish Holocaust.  We are talking about well-documented crimes against humanity being committed in the English-Speaking Southern Cameroon as we speak by the Cameroon military, and specifically, the elite military unit, BIR (Brigade d’Intervention Rapide), which is trained, equipped and commanded by former Israeli military officers.



On February 7, 2018, Israeli human rights lawyer, Eitay Mack, and 15 other Israeli human rights activists wrote to the Israeli Defense Export Agency, Israeli Ministry of Defense, complaining about the massive human rights violations of the BIR in North Cameroon as well as Southern Cameroon (North West and South West regions).  The Israeli activists ably and accurately presented the historical and political dimensions of the on-going Anglophone problem in Cameroon. They documented the crimes against humanity committed by the BIR, and reproduced denunciations of these crimes by the African Union, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the European Union, Amnesty International, and multiple other governments and organization.


According to human rights observers, the Israeli-supplied Cameroun army and BIR have attacked and burned down more than 100 villages, and killed thousands of civilians. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that more than 50, 000 Southern Cameroon refugees have so far crossed into Nigeria, while more than 200,000 people are internally displaced. Many of these refugees will head to Europe, others will head for the shores of Israel


In the light of this human right catastrophe in which Israel is directly and indirectly involved through its training and equipping of the notorious BIR, Mr. Eitay Mack and his colleagues called on the Israeli government to stop exporting Israeli weapons to the BIR. They concluded that:

“The citizens of Israel, the State of Israel or the Knesset have never declared war on the residents of the English-speaking provinces of Cameroon, and have never voted to support the eternal reign of an aging dictator.”


The Collective of Anglophone Southern Cameroonians in the Diaspora, which considers itself afriend of Israel, associates itself with the sentiments of Mr. Eitay Mack and his Israeli human rights activist colleagues, and call on the government of Israel to refrain from being a partner in crimes against humanity in Southern Cameroon.


Your Excellency, please accept the expression of our highest consideration


The Collective of Anglophone Cameroonians in the Diaspora.

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Local|f6be11 Mon, 11 Feb 2019 10:15:40 +0000
Cameroon's 11 February Delimma: How the mourning day became paradoxically the Youth Day. Cameroon's 11 February Delimma:  How the mourning day became paradoxically  the Youth Day.

The purported youth day celebration began proper in 1967. The first six years after the truncated plebiscite of October 1,1961 which saw the creation of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, this day was celebrated initially as mourners day because according to Ahmadou Ahidjo the Cameroon's have lost a part of their territory to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This part was known as British Northern Cameroon's.{loadposition mypossition}

The truth about this day the 11th of February 1966 is that John Ngu Foncha had hired l youths below twenty from Dschang to vote for reunification on the the 11th of February 1961.

After obtaining a very slim victory margin, Foncha went to Yaoundé and was asked by Ahidjo what the state could give to these youths as compensation?

Foncha without even thinking said a national youth day be organized in honour of the youths because they helped to rig the Plebiscite results.

This is so disheartening and humiliating to believe that fraud is being celebrated as a national day and one then thinks that such a state can ever organize free and transparent elections without resorting to its rigging machinery.{loadposition mypossition2}

]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Politics|2C6700 Mon, 11 Feb 2019 10:09:16 +0000
Cameroonians spent over XAF228 billion in the last 4 years on the purchase of mbile phones Cameroonians spent over XAF228 billion in the last 4 years on the purchase of mbile phones

Between 2015 to 2017, the money spent to purchase mobile phones reached a total of XAF228 billion, ranking these devices in the top 10 most imported items in Cameroon, the trade ministry revealed.

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In detail, expenditures were XAF81.3 billion in 2015, XAF146.2 billion in 2016 and XAF60.4 billion in 2017, reflecting a decrease by XAF85.8 billion, or more than half, between 2016 and 2017.

According to the posts and telecoms department, the bullish trend between 2015 and 2016 is the fact of a strong growth of the mobile penetration rate, since the advent of mobile phones in the country in 2000. Statistics showed that this rate jumped to nearly 83% in 2016 from about 12% in 2005 ; a growth more pronounced in 2015 with the deployment of 3G and 4G networks by mobile operators that drove the use of smartphones to ease the access of internet.

A deduction would lead to the conclusion that the implementation of these networks drove the higher spending for phone import in 2016.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Business Mon, 11 Feb 2019 10:03:01 +0000
International Criminal Court: Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo freed International Criminal Court: Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo freed

Judges at the International Criminal Court will  have ruled on Tuesday over former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo’s request to be acquitted and released after more than seven years in custody.

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Gbagbo, 73, and Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally and former political youth leader, have been on trial since 2016 for war crimes allegedly committed under Gbagbo’s leadership.

He faced four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during post-electoral violence in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011, when Gbagbo refused to accept defeat by rival Alassane Ouattara.

Legal experts say that during the trial, which is now declared  over, prosecutors presented a lot of evidence crimes occurred, but few witnesses could link the ex-Ivory Coast leader directly.

The acquittal is a major setback for the prosecution, stung by defeats in cases against Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Congolese ex-vice president released in June after his war crimes conviction was overturned, and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who saw charges against him dropped in 2015.

Source: France24

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:22:45 +0000
Kinsasha: Wind of change as Congo Opposition Leader Is declared Surprise Winner of Presidential Vote Kinsasha: Wind of change as Congo Opposition Leader Is declared Surprise Winner of Presidential Vote

Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared the surprise winner of last month’s presidential election.

The win confounds expectations that former President Joseph Kabila’s protege, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, would become leader of the world’s biggest cobalt producer. If the Constitutional Court validates the result, it’ll mark the first transfer of power by the ballot box since Congo gained independence from Belgium nearly six decades ago.
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The prospective change of administration may spur optimism among mining investors including Glencore Plc and Barrick Gold Corp. that they can reverse elements of a fiercely disputed new industry code that raised royalties and added taxes.

Tshisekedi, 55, garnered 7.05 million votes, the electoral commission, known as CENI, said in provisional results broadcast on state television Thursday in the capital, Kinshasa.
Tshisekedi “is provisionally proclaimed elected as president,” CENI President Corneille Nangaa said.

Rival opposition leader Martin Fayulu got 6.37 million ballots, while Shadary obtained 4.36 million, he said.

The Kabila family has led Congo for more than 20 years. The outgoing president succeeded his father in 2001 after he was assassinated before winning elections in 2006 and again five years later. Barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, Kabila handpicked Shadary, a loyalist former interior minister, to run for the ruling Common Front for Congo coalition, fueling suspicions the current head of state intended to retain considerable influence over his preferred successor.

Pre-election polling by New York University’s Congo Research Group recorded Shadary trailing the opposition by a large margin -- with Tshisekedi topping a survey in October and Fayulu commanding a strong lead two days before the vote.

Fayulu criticized CENI Tuesday for failing to announce provisional results on Jan. 6 as scheduled and warned against “any attempt to twist the truth of the ballot box.”

Tshisekedi’s party has traditionally been strong in Kinshasa and the central Kasai region. He joined forces with Vital Kamerhe, the head of another major opposition party who came third in the 2011 election, in an effort to boost his popularity in eastern Congo. Kamerhe is set to serve as Tshisekedi’s prime minister under the terms of their agreement.

The influential body that represents Congo’s Catholic bishops said Jan. 3 that results gathered at polling stations on election day by its 40,000-strong observation mission showed which candidate had won, without naming the person. The New York Times cited a senior adviser to Kabila as saying the Catholic group believed Fayulu, rather than Tshisekedi, won comfortably.

Shadary’s campaign and CENI accused the bishops of violating Congolese law and risking a popular uprising.

CENI released the results three days later than scheduled, prompting speculation about how the agency was handling the counting process. SYMOCEL, a group of Congolese civil society organizations which deployed 20,000 election observers, said in a report on Tuesday there had been major irregularities at the results-compilation centers, with numerous cases registered in Shadary’s home province of Maniema.

Hours before the results were released, the Catholic organization urged CENI to honor “its duty to publish only results from the ballot boxes.” A body representing Congo’s Protestant leadership and SYMOCEL co-signed the document.

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 05:37:58 +0000
Gabon soldiers read message on state radio as shots heard in Libreville Gabon soldiers read message on state radio as shots heard in Libreville

Soldiers in Gabon took control of the national radio station in the early hours of Monday and read a short statement announcing the establishment of a “National Restoration Council” in the absence of the country’s ailing president, Ali Bongo.

A New Year's address by Bongo "reinforced doubts about the president's ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office," said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, the leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.

An AFP correspondent said shots were fired near the radio station in the centre of Libreville, capital of the oil-rich West African nation, with military vehicles blocking access to the site.

In a video circulating on social media, Ondo Obiang is seen in a radio studio wearing military fatigues and a green beret as he reads the statement, which was broadcast at around 4:30 am local time (5:30 am GMT). Two other soldiers with large assault rifles stand behind him.


Ondo Obiang called on the military and Gabonese youth to join his movement and occupy public buildings and airports throughout the country.

"If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours... rise up as one and take control of the street," he said in his radio message.


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Bongo, 59, was hospitalised in October in Saudi Arabia after suffering a stroke. He has been in Morocco since November to continue treatment.

A spokesman for the presidency told Reuters he would make a statement shortly.

In his speech on New Year's, Bongo acknowledged health problems but said he was recovering. He slurred some of his words and did not move his right arm, but otherwise appeared in decent health.

In his absence, the Constitutional Court transferred part of the powers of the president to the prime minister and the vice president.

The Bongo family has ruled the oil-producing country for nearly half a century. Bongo has been president since succeeding his father, Omar, who died in 2009. His re-election in 2016 was marred by claims of fraud and violent protest.

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Mon, 07 Jan 2019 09:38:43 +0000
Cameroon: Autopsy of a sham election and the way forward… Cameroon: Autopsy of a sham election and the way forward…

Calls are already growing in some quarters for the Opposition, which for the most part has rejected Biya’s coronation, to pick up the pieces and move on. They are being told to look forward; and be better prepared for the upcoming legislative elections. They are being led to believe that they could make up for this loss by pulling off the legislative elections, if they just focus on future opportunities and be better prepared, rather than sulking over present losses. This is where I agree with Edith Kah Wallah who, from personal experience, long ago realised how naïve and futile this thinking is.{loadposition myposition}


Truth be told, this regime will never allow the Opposition to control Parliament. Biya is not as naïve to not realise that the sustainability of the fraud machinery that keeps him in power depends on the CPDM’s control of this body. They need that absolute parliamentary majority to maintain the status quo or reinforce it. What to do then?

If they are unwilling or unprepared to take extra legal measures to effect change, the Opposition needs to stop legitimising institutionalise fraud through participation in shambolic elections--at least before they have exacted true institutional and structural reforms that level the playing field for all parties. Given the current reality, this can only be done through a solid coalition between the Opposition and Cameroon’s international partners—the foreign countries that are a lifeline for the regime through the aid and technical assistance they provide. They need to be pressured to condition further assistance on genuine reforms, not the cosmetic half-way changes Biya has been serving Cameroonians during the last 26 years. We said this before this presidential poll and cautioned against participation. Our position remains unchanged. Taking part in any polls before such reforms only projects—to the regime’s advantage—a false image of a plural political landscape. Cameroon— we all know—is everything but that.

If you boycott the political process, then be ready—some will say— to have mediocres govern you. A system can also be changed from within, I have read and heard too often.

Some 20 years ago, the leading Opposition parties—comprising at the time the UNDP, UPC, SDF and CDU—decided to join the government or go into parliament, following losses at largely rigged presidential polls. They were largely driven by two elements: #fear—the fear of being left out in the cold from the policy making process—and #hope, the genuine belief that they could effect change from within. Fast forward to 2018, the first two parties are defunct, the latter two are largely a shadow of their former selves.

What is the lesson? First, the notion that the Opposition can effect change from within, while true in some contexts, has proven to be largely illusory, if not outright naïve in the Cameroonian context. How is that even possible when most of the time, they will be fighting from a position of weakness against a regime that claims to have an overwhelming mandate to govern as it sees fit? Second, it is important not to underestimate the capacity of this regime to co-opt, compromise, discredit and eventually destroy even political parties or politicians with the best intentions, through manipulation. If you doubt this, all you need is take a look at what happened to the UNDP and the UPC, and what the SDF and the CDU have become.

A bon entendeur...

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:54:38 +0000
Cameroon: Paul Biya Wins Seventh Term In Office. Cameroon: Paul Biya Wins Seventh Term In Office.

Biya is 85 years old and has held office for 36 years. Despite his advanced age, ELECAM and the Constitutional Council validated one of the most shambolic electoral exercises in world history.These results were already viral on social media a week before the proclamation of results and were announced over BBC Afrique.  congratulatory messages from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea few days before the proclamation of results.{LOADPOSITION MYPOSITION}

  • Paul Biya : 71,28%
  • Maurice Kamto : 14,23%
  • Cabral Libii : 6,28%
  • Joshua Osih : 3,35%
  • Ndam Njoya : 1,73%
  • Garga Harman : 1,55%
  • Ndifor Frankline : 0,67%
  • Serge Espouse Matomba : 0,56%
  • Akere Muna : 0,35%

Cameroonians both home and in the diaspora are disgruntled with the outcome of the 2018 presidential elections, characterized with fraud and elections mal-practices. Despite the 18 petitions tabled at the Constitutional council to cancel the elections by some presidential candidates were labelled inadmissible. Biya won by landslide victory in the two English speaking regions (North west & Southwest) who are witnessing a crisis for more than a year with hundreds of deaths recorded. These regions boycotted the elections, yet thousands of votes were announced in favour of the incumbent by the Constitutional Council to have voted during the elections.
IF elections were boycotted, then, who voted in these regions? GHOSTS?{loadposition myposition2}

]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Headlines|FF0000 Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:32:53 +0000
Cameroon Presidential Elections: MRC candidate releases Communque Cameroon Presidential Elections: MRC candidate releases Communque


Information from the National Commission for the Recording of Votes on the results of the last presidential election is currently circulating in social networks. This information shows the victory of candidate Paul BIYA. The MRC and the coalition formed around the candidacy of Maurice KAMTO, categorically reject these results which are the product of minutes manufactured, that false observers of Transparency International, unmasked, were intended to make accept the opinion national and international.{loadposition myposition}

The coalition continues to claim the victory of Maurice KAMTO in this election, according to the truth of the polls on the evening of October 7, 2018.

In addition, the coalition rejects all forms of violence that the regime would like him to endorse. It wishes to inform national and international public opinion of the regime's responsibility in orchestrating acts of provocation to trigger post-election violence that it wants to blame on the coalition.

For illustration :

1) the questioning and hearing by the security forces of some of our activists in various localities of the country;

2) the intimidation of our activists and sympathizers in the neighborhoods by people who seem to belong to a militia;

3) the incitement to ethnic hatred by the distillation of tribalist statements between communities;

4) the spread of hate speech in the public media and some private media;

5) the arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr. Thierry OKALA EBODE, Deputy National Treasurer of the MRC, whose only fault is to have denounced a fraud, constituted by the usurpation of his identity by another voter; the latter having acted with the help of the president of the polling station is curiously protected until now;

6) the expulsion, manu militari, of the representatives of the MRC of most polling stations in the three regions of North - Adamaoua, North and Far North -, as well as in the regions of the East, the South and certain departments Central, Western and Southwestern regions;

7) permanent harassment of coalition members by the security services.

The coalition urges the people to remain vigilant and protect their victory.

(e) Coalition around candidate Maurice KAMTO

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]]> (Concord Newsdesk) Politics|2C6700 Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:52:31 +0000