The state Police and the French foreign legion detonated a hand grenade in another show piece of drama this morning at the Azire New Church Junction,where the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon is running two Schools,viz,The Presbyterian Comprehensive High School and the Presbyterian Primary School.
Today, this presumption that what the government spokesperson dishes out as the truth, may not actually be the truth per se, is now being challenged. Since the outburst of what is now universally acknowledged as the Anglophone problem, not much of what Minister Tchiroma says seems to be taken with the same validation as it had been before. For example, in a statement issued from the Bamenda Episcopal conference held on Wednesday October 4, 2017, the Bishops indicted the government’s spokesperson for, in their own words ‘’blatantly telling lies to the nation either because he was not adequately briefed, or because he deliberately wanted to manipulate the public and international opinion’’.
The Bishop’s embarrassment is that the minister of communication lavished praises on the military for what he described as an act of professionalism displayed by the military, in total disregard of the ‘’brutality and barbarism’’ meted out on the population. The Bishops now tend to believe that the minister was not adequately informed of the true situation and that they stand fast and firm on their position in criticizing government on the use of force, torture, harassment, capture and killing of unarmed protesters, who were exercising their civic rights to demonstrate peacefully.
We regret that things have reached this stage where the population has to doubt the truths over one issue that borders on the lives of a people. For instance, Minister Issa Tchiroma has maintained his position that the military acted professionally on October 1 in the North West and South West regions. He even went farther to warn media houses not to broadcast or publish anything indicating that the military carried out genocide in Anglophone Cameroon. In the minister’s words, any information published, that the military carried our genocide in Anglophone Cameroon is false.
Without much doubt, we would want to believe the Honourable minister that such information may be false. But in doing so, we are only creating a vacuum that must be filled by one of the two ‘’truths’’ that is, the Bishop’s ‘’Truth’’ and Tchiroma’s ‘’Truth’. It is indeed a perplexing situation to a population that faces a problem that calls for a solution on the one hand, and a nation whose very foundation is being shaken.
It is our belief that these two ‘’Truths’’ can be welded into one, through a thorough investigation of what really happened, instead of hasty conclusions which at the end of the day, will only portray the country as one in which confidence in ourselves has lost its grip on us, and that on every issue, we have to find ourselves on a collision course.
For instance, six Catholic Bishops of the Bamenda Episcopal Provinces are believed to have published a booklet on the alleged genocide committed in the North West and South West regions between September 22, and October 1, 2017. Reports of which, it is also alleged, after serious deliberations, have been forwarded to the Vatican for onward transmission to the United Nations Security Council.
If actually this is the case, such a booklet could form the basis of establishing what the Bishops actually refer to as genocide. We also want to believe that such a document should not have been hurried out without first of all exploiting it here fully. Although everyone has the right to doubt the truth of the Bishop’s findings on the situation, it would never the less throw some light where darkness has now overshadowed the truth and we are being swayed from the Bishop’s declaration to Tchiroma’s conviction. Arguing the way we are struggling to find who is telling the truth is obviously leading us nowhere.
We have always insisted that the solution to our problem lies in our own hands and we strongly believe that we can solve same without necessarily shedding the blood of the same people we call brothers of a one and indivisible nation. Our major concern on this issue is what now looks like the determined aloofness of the head of state from the problem currently facing the nation. The population, not only of the Anglophones regions but of the whole country, and of course even the international community, are worried by Mr. President’s silence. We will certainly not stop sounding and re-echoing the global call for dialogue. It is the only way out.
UNITED NATIONS —
The United Nations Secretary-General said Wednesday that the Central African Republic is at a critical moment and everything must be done to ease growing communal tensions and preserve gains to keep the fragile nation on the right path.
Antonio Guterres will travel to the Central African Republic next week, to meet with the country’s leaders and visit the nearly 12,000-member U.N. peacekeeping mission.
The country has been struggling with sometimes deadly inter-communal tensions for the past five years between two armed groups -- the mostly Muslim Seleka and largely Christian anti-Balaka.
Another serious outbreak of violence between the two groups erupted in May, and Guterres warned that the situation remains very troubling.
“Across the country, communal tensions are growing, violence is spreading, and the humanitarian situation is deteriorating," he said.
The numbers of people in need of humanitarian aid is surging, with almost 600,000 internally displaced and more than half-a-million driven to seek refuge in neighboring countries. The violence has been deadly for peacekeepers and aid workers, as well as civilians.
Guterres said he has asked the Security Council for an increase in peacekeepers to calm the situation.
The U.N. peacekeeping mission in the C.A.R. has been the epicenter of sexual abuse and exploitation allegations against the United Nations. One mission chief has been fired and peacekeepers from accused countries have been repatriated.
Guterres will be accompanied on his visit by his recently appointed victims’ rights advocate.
“We are determined to ensure that the voices of victims are heard – I will myself be ready to meet with victims and their families – in and beyond the Central African Republic. Victims must be at the center of our response if we want our zero-tolerance policy to be successful,” he said.
Guterres said despite challenges, fragile gains such as the election of a president and government and the establishment of a special criminal court must be preserved and strengthened.
LOME (Reuters) - Four people were killed in Togo on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and demonstrators calling for an end to a half century of Gnassingbe family rule, the security minister said.
Opposition activists have been demonstrating since August against Gnassingbe’s administration and say a constitutional reform he has proposed would allow him to rule the West African country until 2030.
Colonel Damehame Yark, the security and civil protection minister, told a news conference that one person was shot dead and around sixty others arrested in the capital, Lome. Another three died of gunshot wounds in the second-biggest city, Sokode.
“These are too many deaths. We’d be wise to preserve the peace,” he said.
The latest bout of protests followed the arrest in Sokode on Monday of a Muslim imam accused of urging his followers to murder soldiers.
Clashes erupted after the arrest. A crowd killed two soldiers and one other person died in unspecified circumstances, the government said in a statement. About 20 other people were injured, it added.
The deaths reignited a mass protest movement against President Faure Gnassingbe, who succeeded his late father Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005.
The protesters are calling for his resignation.
“We deplore this toll and we say that backing down is out of the question. Despite what we have suffered, we will maintain our call for protests tomorrow,” said Brigitte Adjamagbo, one of the leaders of the opposition movement.
She said the coalition was aware of two people killed, including an 11-year-old child, as well as twenty others who were seriously injured and dozens of arrests.
In a bid to curb demonstrations, the government has banned marches and mass protests on weekdays.
But young protesters in Be, a working-class neighbourhood in eastern Lome, defied the ban on Wednesday. They erected barricades with bricks and burning tyres and threw stones at security forces, who responded with volleys of tear gas.
“This is our last bastion,” shouted one demonstrator, Ayi Koffi. “We have no arms, no gas. We do not have cars to pick up people. We have come out barehanded to say, enough!”
In a statement, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, a group comprised mainly of French-speaking countries including Paris’s former colonies, said that nothing justified the violence.
“Dialogue must be prioritised in all circumstances,” it said.
The controversial constitutional reform will be decided by popular referendum after the bill failed to win approval from parliament following a boycott by opposition lawmakers last month.
The Cameroon subsidiary of Orange's subscribers were once again unable to make calls, send SMS or conduct mobile money operations for most of the day on October 17, 2017.
The network operator revealed in an official statement published in the evening that it was due to a new disconnection from the optical fiber by Camtel, the public operator which holds the monopoly over Cameroon’s optical fiber.
Yet, after the first disconnection of Orange Cameroun, last October 6, Camtel was recalled to order by the telecommunication regulatory body. Indeed, in a mail on October 9, the regulatory body let Camtel know that, according to the current telecommunication regulations, no network operator can interrupt the interconnection without the telecommunication regulatory body’s (ART) formal notice.
Defying ART’s warning, Camtel took its conflict with Orange Cameroon, which started some days ago, up a notch. This conflict is about an outstanding debt of CFA1.6 billion that Orange Cameroun is denying.
“Orange Cameroun owes us more than one billion Cfa under our partnership. Despite many notices to fulfill its obligations, our partner did not think it should do so. So, after many warnings, we decided to interrupt our services on optical fiber. After this, Orange repaid a portion of the debt, CFA700 million. We are then waiting for the remaining sum. How can Orange Cameroon deny this invoice while it made a prepayment”, Gérard Assouzo’o, Camtel marketing manager said.
Congress of the The United States
Washington, DC 20515
October 17. 2017
The Honorable Nikki Haley
United States Representative to United Nations
United States Permanent Mission io the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York. New York 10017
Dear Ambassador Haley.
On behalf of the Camcroon American Council (CAC) and the Cameroon diaspora of New York, we are troubled with the deteriorating conditions for the English-Speaking (Anglophones) minority in the Northwest and South-west regions of Cameroon.
The concerns of the CAC arc serious: mass arrests. black out of Internet services for 94 days in the Western region of Anglophone-only communities, using live ammunition to disperse protests, and diminishing freedoms of the press. These beliefs arc strengthened by the U.S. State Department's 2016 Human Rights Report on Cameroon, which makes clear that the government of Cameroon has taken actions to undermine the equality of all citizens before the law.
In addition to the concerns arising in the Western, Anglophone region, Cameroon faces humanitarian crises in other regions. In the North, Cameroon is combating famine and Boko Haram, and in the east. there is a flow of refugees fleeing the Central African Republic. The confluence of these events poses unique threats to the stability of Cameroon and to United States interests in Cameroon.
We respectfully request that the US Mission to the United Nations hold a briefing for the Cameroon Diaspora and their allies in the coming weeks. We believe a briefing will enable this very active community to better understand the situation from the perspective of the United Nation's Security Council, and will help the community communicate better with their family members, business partners and friends back in Cameroon.
Daniel M. Donovan. Jr.
Member of Congress Member of Congress