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Eyong Orlando

Studied B.Sc Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Buea

 

A plea from Cameroon Concord........

Thank you for reading our magazine, we have a plea to ask you our readers. Over the last two years, hits on our articles have been climbing, we have had an increase in clicks and also a broader reading audience on our social media channels.Our readers have been writing to us requestion for news updates from Cameroon/Southern Cameroons. We have as well been trying to give you the best we can, however, we are short of finances to recruit reporters to carry on independent and investigative journalism which takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. We are therefore pleading on you to support our efforts for this platform to be able to keep up the good work we are doing.

For as little as €1, you can support Cameroon Concord– and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

 

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55 years after West Cameroon decided to gain independence by reuniting with the already independent republic du Cameroun, Biya thinks it’s now time to promote the Bilingual and Bi-cultural values of the nation. But the big question Cameroon Concord could not get an answer to is why now? Why wait for 55 years before you decide to put into effect a commission to promote the values that bind Cameroon together?

While others have been quick to embrace the head of states decision to create the commission which will be placed under his supervision and have a total of 15 members, political pundits have simply described the move as a desperate attempt by the president to put an end to the current political atmosphere in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. The announcement that was first aired over the state broadcaster states that the members of the committee will equally be charged with examining complains tabled to them by citizens who are victims to violators of the bi-lingual and bi-cultural nature of the state.

However, President Paul Biya who has being in power since 1982 either deliberately or unknowingly left out the bi-jurial nature of the country which opinion leaders say should have been included in the commission. As if to say the legal department was completely void of any problems it will be good to remind the head of state that the current strike action that has since last year grounded activities in the North West and South West Regions started first with the lawyers strike. It should be noted that this is not the first commission the head of state is creating since the commencement of the Anglophone strike.

The first was an adhoc committee headed by Paul Gogohmo charged with finding a solution to the teacher’s problems. After holding several unfruitful meetings with teacher’s representatives and trade union, Paul Gogohmo dissolved the committee and forwarded an “empty and unsigned” report to through the Prime Minister to the Head of State.

Equally, Garga Harman, national president of Alliance for Democracy and Development, ADD, one of Cameroon’s numerous opposition political parties was charged by the head of state to hold talks with aggrieved Anglophone. But as a newspaper in Cameroon reports, “he went to the dialogue hall empty handed and came back empty handed.”

While it is the hope of many that this commission will not fail like many other that have been put in place by the government, all eyes are now focused to Yaounde where the headquarters of the commission will be based on their first plan of action. Afaire a suivre…

As the consortium president, Barrister Agbor Balla Felix and its Secretary General, Dr. Fontem Neba dragged forcefully to court without their defence team today January 25, 2017, fears are rife that the arrested intellects together with some detained and yet to be arrested Anglophones might be charged with the newly promulgated and highly criticized 2014 anti-terrorism law.

The law which received both national and international condemnation was described by the government as a tool to crack down on the dreaded Islamic terror group, Boko Haram. But political commentators believe in a bid to install fear and frustrated by its inability to exalt control over the North West and South West Regions, the government will charge the arrested Anglophones who have been out spoken or play figure head role in the current political stair with the law on the suppression of acts of terrorism.

The anti-terrorism law No.2014/028 of 23 December 2014 on the suppression of acts of terrorism in Cameroon states partially that “whoever, acting alone as an accomplice or accessory, commits or threatens to commit an act likely to cause death, endanger physical integrity, cause body injury or material damage, destroy natural resource, the environment or cultural heritage with intent to…intimidate the public, provoke a situation of terror…disrupt the national functioning of public services…create widespread insecurity in the country, shall be punished with a death penalty…” .

While the number of arrested Anglophone youths in prison is yet to be established, it should equally be noted that the Advocate General at the Supreme Court, Justice Ayah Paul Abine together with the initiator of the Bamenda coffin revolution which turned violent, Mancho BBC were equally arrested and are been healed in Yaounde.

It should be recalled that on January 20, 2017 after appearing before the military tribunal in Yaounde, the banned consortium president was charged with terrorism, rebellion against the state, incitement of civil unrest and breach of the constitution. As for his Secretary General, Dr. Fontem Neba, he was charged with conspiracy to terrorism, rebellion against the state, incitement of civil unrest and breach of the constitution.

From all fairness and cross examining the charges levied on them, Agbor Balla and Fontem Neba together with all arrested Anglophones might have a death penalty hanging on their necks. The law which received a lot of criticism since its promulgation had been passed only on suspected Boko Haram terrorist. If all goes as political watchdogs anticipate, the above mentioned personalities might be the first to have a feel of the dreaded law.

 

The economic lost estimated to have been inquired due to the complete shutdown of internet connection in the North West and South West Regions since Tuesday January 17, 2017 is now estimated at Billions of FCFA economic analyst report.
This is due to the fact that not only have all banks and money transfer establishments been shut down in the above mention regions, but equally all business and companies that function primarily with the used of internet connection is completely out of business.
While the government continue to be silent as to the reason behind the shutting down of internet connection in the Anglophone Regions, the blackout which came barely two hours after the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium was banned is seen by political observers as a move by the government to prevent the sharing and receiving of any information concerning the current political atmosphere in the two English speaking regions.



These days in the South West and North West Regions, all financial transactions are now carried out in the neighboring French speaking regions of the country while reporters of both the broadcast and print media faced an almost impossible situation filling in reports from these regions.

MTN, Orange, Nexttel and Camtel, the main mobile telephone and internet service providers in Cameroon are reported to be acting on instruction of the government as explained by a senior official of one of the leading communication company in the country. The official who pleaded for anonymity told this reporter that it is within the governments’ rights to come in and regulates the sector from time to time. Backed by the license they issued to the mobile/internet service providers.
 
It should be recalled that last Tuesday’s internet blackout came after the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication headed by Minister Minette Libom Liken send messages using the various mobile telephone companies to mobile users urging them to refrain from spreading false information through the social media. Adding that it is punishable by the Cameroon penal code with defaulters risk paying close to five million or years of imprisonment.
At the time of this report, internet connection was yet to be reestablished in the North West and South West Regions as business activity and livelihood of the populace of these two regions continue to drop as the days go by. As regard the distribution of information concerning the current political situation in the country which happened to be the main reason behind the shutting down of the internet, Cameroonians residing in the two English speaking regions have resorted to the use of short message service, SMS.
 


As the ghost town declared by the Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Consortium enters day two today, rubrics of yesterday’s operation is still pretty fresh in the minds of denizens of the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon who are ready to give up just anything for a brighter future for their children.

While at the time of this report, the ghost town operation is recording a resounding success in the North West and South West and taking place with a lot of calm and serenity, that of yesterday did produce a lot of fireworks in some major towns of the Anglophone region. Not only did it go violent but dozens were arrested and the angry youths took to the streets.



Revisiting Ghost Town Operation Day one

In the North West Region regional capital of Bamenda which has been championing this fight from day one, business activities where all grounded as the ghost town recorded a resounding success. All the markets, banks, fueling stations, commercial centers, travel agencies among others remained closed while the streets completely deserted with very few people and private cars rushing to their various destinations.
In Ndop, angry youths who were aggrieved by the fact that some business premises were opened, decided to match shutting down business premises and government offices but they were later disperse by arm to the teeth riot police officers whose brutality cannot be over emphasized.

The Divisional Officer for Fundong, this reporter gathered was blocked by irate youths from going to work. They questioned if he was not current with the political atmosphere in the country to know that there was a ghost town.

Cruising West of the Mungo to the South West Regions, which until yesterday exercise relatively calm was the epitome of unrest as the ghost town took a different dimension in the sea-side city of Limbe formerly called Victoria.

Even though the consortium had earlier called for no violence during the ghost town, Limbe, which harbors the lone oil refinery in Cameroon took everyone by surprise. Not only were roads within the town barricaded by angry youths, but equally any commercial bike rider or taxi driver caught working had to face the angry youths.
 
Matters reach climax when hundreds of angry Limbe youths stormed French schools in Limbe which had classes going on unperturbed. Hundreds of Francophone students and pupils were forced out of their various school premises by angry youths as police fired tear gas and gun shots in an attempt to disperse the ramping crowd.

While it is reported that over twenty were arrested ,a resident of Limbe who spoke to Cameroon Concord narrated that they had to go out to ensure that the ghost town was respected by all especially those French schools who have since the strike remained indifferent.

Today’s Ghost Town Operation

Today January 17, 2017 is the second and last day of the tow day ghost town operation as declared by the consortium headed by barrister Agbor Felix Balla, who spent a greater part of his career working as a legal adviser to the United Nation.
 
At the time of this report, day two of the ghost town is relatively effective and no violent has been reported as at now. From Buea, Limbe, Mutengene and Kumba in the South West Region to Bamenda, Nkwen, Nitop, Commercial Avenue, Small Mankon et al in the North West, one can conclude that the ghost town operation is 100% effective. Now the question Cameroon Concord could not answer is what happens after the ghost town?

While we all wait on the Consortium leaders on what next, time is fast running out as this academic year risk being declared as null by UNESCO. Affair a suvire…


As the ghost town declared by the Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Consortium enters day two today, rubrics of yesterday’s operation is still pretty fresh in the minds of denizens of the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon who are ready to give up just anything for a brighter future for their children.

While at the time of this report, the ghost town operation is recording a resounding success in the North West and South West and taking place with a lot of calm and serenity, that of yesterday did produce a lot of fireworks in some major towns of the Anglophone region. Not only did it go violent but dozens were arrested and the angry youths took to the streets.



Revisiting Ghost Town Operation Day one

In the North West Region regional capital of Bamenda which has been championing this fight from day one, business activities where all grounded as the ghost town recorded a resounding success. All the markets, banks, fueling stations, commercial centers, travel agencies among others remained closed while the streets completely deserted with very few people and private cars rushing to their various destinations.
In Ndop, angry youths who were aggrieved by the fact that some business premises were opened, decided to match shutting down business premises and government offices but they were later disperse by arm to the teeth riot police officers whose brutality cannot be over emphasized.

The Divisional Officer for Fundong, this reporter gathered was blocked by irate youths from going to work. They questioned if he was not current with the political atmosphere in the country to know that there was a ghost town.

Cruising West of the Mungo to the South West Regions, which until yesterday exercise relatively calm was the epitome of unrest as the ghost town took a different dimension in the sea-side city of Limbe formerly called Victoria.

Even though the consortium had earlier called for no violence during the ghost town, Limbe, which harbors the lone oil refinery in Cameroon took everyone by surprise. Not only were roads within the town barricaded by angry youths, but equally any commercial bike rider or taxi driver caught working had to face the angry youths.
 
Matters reach climax when hundreds of angry Limbe youths stormed French schools in Limbe which had classes going on unperturbed. Hundreds of Francophone students and pupils were forced out of their various school premises by angry youths as police fired tear gas and gun shots in an attempt to disperse the ramping crowd.

While it is reported that over twenty were arrested ,a resident of Limbe who spoke to Cameroon Concord narrated that they had to go out to ensure that the ghost town was respected by all especially those French schools who have since the strike remained indifferent.

Today’s Ghost Town Operation

Today January 17, 2017 is the second and last day of the tow day ghost town operation as declared by the consortium headed by barrister Agbor Felix Balla, who spent a greater part of his career working as a legal adviser to the United Nation.
 
At the time of this report, day two of the ghost town is relatively effective and no violent has been reported as at now. From Buea, Limbe, Mutengene and Kumba in the South West Region to Bamenda, Nkwen, Nitop, Commercial Avenue, Small Mankon et al in the North West, one can conclude that the ghost town operation is 100% effective. Now the question this reporter could not answer is what happens after the ghost town?

While we all wait on the Consortium leaders on what next, time is fast running out as this academic year risk being declared as null by UNESCO. Affair a suvire…

South African based mobile telephone company, MTN, has refuted allegations that it has collided with the government of Cameroon to violate consumers rights in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

This comes after denizens of the two English speaking regions of the country which happens to be the strong hold of MTN took to the social media complaining of the fact that the mobile company has joined the regime of 84years old Paul Biya to sabotage networks and even block some numbers so as to limit the broadcasting and sharing of information concerning the strike action ongoing in former Southern Cameroon.

It should be pointed out that most of the English speaking Cameroonians identify with MTN network and for some time now, a handful of them complain of their numbers either not being able to receive or make calls, being blocked or their internet bundles get extinct in less than no time. Matters came to a climax last weekend as on Saturday after the Ghost town was declared hundreds of subscribers of the network storm the Bamenda and Buea regional head offices asking for answers as to why their numbers were block and their inability to surf the internet. It is equally worth nothing that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications have been circulating messages via mobile networks in Cameroon warning citizens against the effects of spreading false information on the social media.

They back what many have described as “empty threat” by stating that such acts are punishable by the penal code ranging from 5years imprisonment and fines estimated at Millions of FCFA.

Responding to these allegations which has since the incident seen MTN losing most of its customers to rival networks, Philisiwe Sibiya, chief executive officer of MTN in a statement made public states that “over the last couple of days, there has being reports and comments on the social media suggesting that MTN embarked on communication to subscribers intended to curtail customers rights and violate customers privacy.” Adding that “…as a responsible corporate citizen, MTN Cameroon will in no instance engage in activities that go contrary to the corporate values of the MTN Group and our license and concession obligations.” While refuting allegations of tempering with their service, the CEO added that “all our services remain accessible to our customers, we remain fully committed to provide quality service to all our customers and to building the special relationship that we have enjoyed for close to 17 years with the Cameroonian public and communities in general and those of the South West and North West Regions in particular.” A section of the statement dated 14 January and signed by Philisiwe Sibiya read.

Despite all attempts by the service provider to redeem its image, Cameroonians of the North West and South West regions who since November of last year have being on strike continue to criticize the company for siding with the government at the detriment of the population.

Page 53 of 54

Headlines On Cameroonian English Tabloids

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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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