Studied B.Sc Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Buea
A delegation from La Republique du Cameroun has admitted that about 100 lives were lost on October 1, 2017, when Ambazonians celebrated what they termed a restoration of their state. This was during a meeting with the UN committee fighting against torture. The delegation from Cameroon comprised officials from the ministries of justice and external relations, the national gendarmerie, and the Cameroon ambassador to the UN in Geneva. The meeting took place on November 8 and a report was published by the UN committee the following day, according to media reports.
The meeting discussed the current violent atmosphere in Cameroon including the Boko Haram insurgency in the Great North. The report disclosed that the Cameroonian delegation had pointed out that the unrest in Southern Cameroons began with teachers and lawyers voicing concerns which later degenerated into a 'fully-fledged violent separatist movement', causing the loss of lives and property. In the early aftermath of the massacre, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma had declared that only five persons had lost their lives including three prisoners who had attempted to escape as a result of the prison break in Kumbo.
Parliamentarians of Cameroon's leading opposition party SDF have forced the National Assembly to suspend it's ordinary session for today, Thursday, November 23 2017.The disruption comes as a result of the parliament's unwillingness to address the ongoing Anglophone struggle that has gripped the nation over a year now with over 100 deaths.
Parliamentarians from the ruling CPDM party, including a handful from the affected English speaking regions of the country all staged a walk out of the Assembly as their colleagues from the SDF chanted songs against the ills of the Biya regime. A source at the National Assembly reports to Cameroon Concord that the Interim Vice Prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of relations with Parliament is currently holding talks with the striking MPs. The disruption all began at about 11 am Thursday morning when Joseph Banadzem of the main opposition party raised the Anglophone crisis.
This was reportedly given a deaf ear, prompting serious chanting from the opposition MPs. Unable to react in the face of the chanting MPs, the speaker of parliament who appeared to have no powers to bring forth the issues to be discussed had no other option, but to walk out, accompanied by other colleagues.SDF parliamentarians had initially refused to attend this final ordinary session as long as the Anglophone crisis is not looked into.
Louis Berger (www.LouisBerger.com) was awarded a 1.5 million-euro (1.7 million USD) project management and construction supervision services contract by the Cameroonian and Nigerian governments for construction of a two‑lane bridge over the Cross River at Ekok/Mfum, which is the border between the two countries.
“We are proud to support both governments to improve their transport infrastructure and the connectivity between the two countries,” said Jacques Blanc, Louis Berger’s senior vice president. “The new bridge will contribute to more effective and time-saving transportation while providing safer and more comfortable journeys to road users on each side of the border.”
The two-lane box girder balanced cantilever bridge will be approximately 403 meters (1,322 feet) long with a 150-meter span over the Cross River and approximately 1.4 kilometers (.9 miles) of approach roads. The new structure will replace the single lane suspension bridge currently connecting the two countries because its lack of traffic capacity generates long queues on both sides of the border.
The team will support the Project Implementation Unit, the Road Sector Development Team within the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Nigeria. It will also work with the African Development Bank Group project unit within the Ministry of Public Works in Cameroon. The project has a duration of 18 months with a 12-month defects liability period. Services include project management, construction supervision and training on bridge construction management.
The current project is part of the Program for Transport Facilitation for the Bamenda-Enugu road corridor, a program funded through an African Development Fund joint loan to Cameroon and Nigeria and a grant to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Louis Berger has been working in Africa for more than 50 years. The firm has 25 years of experience in Cameroon and more than 30 years in Nigeria, where the company has implemented projects in the economic and institutional development, transport and water markets.
Hours after Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was forced out after 37 years in power, Uganda’s president, another former guerrilla in office for more than three decades, was tweeting about pay rises for civil servants and bright prospects for his army tank crews.
Supporters of long-serving African leaders dismiss parallels with Zimbabwe, where Mugabe’s former deputy - sacked during a power struggle with Mugabe’s wife - is about to take power with military and public backing.
But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s tweets, which come amid rising anger at the 73-year-old’s attempts to prolong his rule, suggest he is one of several African leaders looking south and wondering about their own stability.
“Now that the economic situation in Uganda is improving, the government will be able to look into raising of salaries of soldiers, public servants, health workers and teachers and also deal with institutional housing,” Museveni tweeted on Wednesday.
It was unclear what improvement he meant. Uganda’s faltering economy is growing too slowly to absorb a booming population of 37 million. The number of citizens spending less than a dollar a day has surged to 27 percent, the statistics office reported in September, up from 20 percent five years ago.
President since 1986, Museveni is among Africa’s longest-serving leaders. They include Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang, president for 38 years; Cameroon’s Paul Biya, president for 35 years; Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, president for two stints totalling 33 years.
The family of Gnassingbé Eyadéma have ruled Togo for half a century, and the Democratic Republic of Congo has been run by the Kabila family since Laurent Kabila took power in 1997. He was replaced by his son, Joseph, in 2001.
Some countries allow only two presidential terms, but several have rolled back such legislation.
In Cameroon, Biya scrapped term limits and cracked odwn on the opposition. In Congo, Nguesso jailed an opposition leader this year for protesting agauinst removal of term limits.
Still, Mugabe’s fall has sent a shiver through a continent whose northern countries saw the Arab Spring revolts tear down repressive regimes, even though many of the new leaders proved as bad as the old.
Franck Essi, secretary-general of the opposition Cameroon Peoples’ Party, said opposition movements were closely watching events in Zimbabwe.
“Leaders must put in place mechanisms for a democratic and peaceful transition that will allow new leadership. If not, sooner or later, the people who are suffocating will wake up,” he said.
Some places have already seen change. Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaore was ousted by protests in 2014 as he tried to change the constitution and extend his decades-long rule. In January, Gambia’s erratic ruler Yahya Jammeh fled after regional pressure ended his 22-year reign.
Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down this year after four decades in power; his handpicked successor has pushed out some key dos Santos allies.
For many nations, a Zimbabwe-style switch in the loyalties of the armed forces or a rift in the inner circle represents one of the few ways that rulers might be forced from power. Despite Zimbabwe’s well-established opposition, change didn’t come until Mugabe’s inner circle split over his succession plans, and the military put him under house arrest.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have flooded Togo’s streets this year, calling for an end to half a century of Eyadéma family rule. It didn’t work.
Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, a top Togolese opposition official, said they had hoped for a Zimbabwean-type change of power where the military came over to their side.
”We’d wanted the Togolese army to fight alongside us. We were moved seeing that Zimbabwe’s army and civilian population were all in the streets dancing. That’s what we want in Togo,“ she said. ”There will be change in Zimbabwe this year and there will be in Togo too.”
“THEIR TURN WILL COME”
A slump in commodities prices has deprived some nations of the resources they have traditionally used to muffle protests. In some cases, corruption has also emptied state coffers.
In central Africa, Congo’s Kabila has repeatedly postponed elections after refusing to step down at the end of his term last year, sparking deadly protests.
Jean-Pierre Kambila, Kabila’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted that Zimbabwe’s protests were a colonial fantasy.
“A fabricated demonstration dreamed up by those who do not accept the liberation of Africa. Other Mugabes will be born. Nothing to worry about,” he wrote.
Uganda, a key Western ally set to begin exporting its substantial oil reserves, removed term limits in 2005 to extend Museveni’s rule.
The east African nation has seen far less violence under Museveni than the two dictators who preceded him. But now tensions are rising as social services crumble and parliamentarians attempt to remove a constitutional age cap that would bar Museveni from standing in the next election.
Police have used deadly force against protesters, and repeatedly arrested the main opposition leader. Security forces dragged parliamentarians opposing the bill out of the legislature. On Wednesday, police raided a popular newspaper, detaining eight staff.
Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, dismissed any parallels with Zimbabwe, saying Mugabe’s overthrow was the result of Western interference.
“The intelligence services of the West have worked day and night to bring down Zimbabwe,” he told Reuters. “Citizen pressure in Zimbabwe can only work if and when the army allows it.”
But another Ugandan opposition leader, Asuman Basalirwa, warned that national leaders who refused to step down risked plunging their countries into conflict. Military intervention to end dictatorships ultimately leads to more repression, he said, something that many feared might be in store for Zimbabwe.
“It is time for the continent to democratize,” he said. “Those who have not yet experienced what happened in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and now Zimbabwe should just wait for their turn because it will surely come.”
Authorized sources revealed that Equatorial Guinea’s government closed the country’s border, with Cameroon, located at Kyé-Ossi in Southern Cameroon, last week.
This occurs barely a month after Equatorial Guinea, which was very resilient to free-movement within CEMAC, finally suppressed the visa requirements for citizens of the community for stays that do not exceed 90 days.
Up till now, the authorities of Malabo have not explained this decision. This raises questions about the feasibility of free-movement within CEMAC despite the suppression of visa requirements by the member countries.
Zimbabwe’s new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa told a cheering crowd in Harare on Wednesday that the country was entering a new stage of democracy following Robert Mugabe’s removal as president after nearly four decades in power.
Mnangagwa returned to the country earlier in the day, having fled for his safety when the 93-year-old former leader sacked him as vice president two weeks ago to smooth a path to the succession for his much younger wife Grace.
“The people have spoken. The voice of the people is the voice of God,” Mnangagwa told thousands of supporters gathered outside the ruling ZANU-PF party’s offices in the capital.
“Today we are witnessing the beginning of a new and unfolding democracy.”
Zimbabwe was once one of Africa’s most promising economies but suffered decades of decline as Mugabe pursued policies that included the violent seizure of white-owned commercial farms and money-printing that led to hyperinflation.
Most of its 16 million people remain poor and face currency shortages and sky-high unemployment, something Mnangagwa promised to address.
“We want to grow our economy, we want peace in our country, we want jobs, jobs, jobs,” he told the crowd, adding: “The will of the people will always, always succeed.”
Mnangagwa’s dismissal was the trigger for the army and former political allies to move against Mugabe, feted as an independence hero when Zimbabwe broke with former colonial power Britain in 1980 but later feared as a despot. He resigned as president on Tuesday as parliament began an impeachment process, after resisting pressure to do so for a week.
People danced in the streets following his downfall, some brandishing posters of Mnangagwa and army chief General Constantino Chiwenga, who led the takeover.
Parliamentary speaker Jacob Mudenda said on Wednesday that Mnangagwa would be sworn in as president on Friday after being nominated by ZANU-PF to fill the vacancy left by Mugabe.
‘LET‘S GIVE HIM TIME’
The demise of Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe in a different situation to a number of other African countries where veteran leaders have been toppled in popular uprisings or through elections.
The army appears to have engineered a trouble-free path to power for Mnangagwa, who was for decades a faithful lieutenant of Mugabe and member of his elite. He was also in charge of internal security when rights groups say 20,000 civilians were killed in the 1980s.
“Mugabe has gone but I don’t see Mnangagwa doing anything different from that old man. This is not the change I expected but let us give him time,” said security guard Edgar Mapuranga, who sat by a bank cash machine that was out of money.
Restoring the country’s fortunes and international standing will be a challenge. Alleged human rights abuses and flawed elections prompted many Western countries to impose sanctions in the early 2000s that further hurt the economy, even with Chinese investment to soften the blow.
Staging clean elections next year will be key to winning fresh funds.
Although Mnangagwa is almost certain to win any vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal representative for Africa, Guenther Nooke, said it would be a victory for Zimbabwe’s “old elites” with the help of China.
“He will manage to get elected using fear or many tricks, and then we’ll have a succession from one tyrant to the next,” Nooke told broadcaster SWR2.
China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it respected Mugabe’s decision to resign.
In London, Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain wanted Zimbabwe to rejoin the international community now that Mugabe has resigned. Mnangagwa met neighbouring South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma before his return on Wednesday.
Mugabe is one of the last of a generation of African leaders who led their countries to independence and then ruled, among them Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya, Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Ivory Coast and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.
The African Union said he would be remembered “as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation” and that his decision to step down would enhance his legacy.
But he also stifled democracy en route to winning a series of elections. His government is accused by the opposition and human rights groups of persecuting and killing opponents.
The forced takeover of white-owned farms from around 2000 aimed to bolster his popular support but crippled foreign exchange earnings from agriculture.
Mnangagwa’s human rights record also stirs hostility in many Zimbabweans.
“The dark past is not going to disappear. They will be following him around like a piece of chewing gum on his shoe,” International Crisis Group’s southern Africa senior consultant Piers Pigou said.
“For him to really be seen to be doing the right thing, he’s going to have to introduce policies that fundamentally undermine the power structures of ZANU-PF, through a shift to genuine political pluralism and a decoupling of the party and state.”