Thursday, 16 November 2017

Front page

Curbing fiscal fraud and evasion:

Cameroon hosts international forum on transparency & exchange
-The three-day Forum holding in Yaounde, from 15 to 17 November, was placed under the high patronage of President Paul Biya

By Victorine Ngum in Yaounde
Cameroon’s Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey talks to the press, as Josee Maria GARDE, Chair of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange, and the Cameroon Director General of Taxation, Modeste Mopa Fatoing listen from behind
The Yaounde Hilton Hotel has been  jammed and busy since Monday, as taxation administrators the world over converged on the capital of the Central African nation for the 19th Plenary Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
    Placed under the distinguished patronage of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, the 10th General Assembly of the Global Forum has as objective to enforce standards of transparency and information exchange in the area of taxation.
    Billed to run from 15 to 17 November 2017, the Global Forum is also an avenue for peers in the domain of taxation to review norms of practice and information sharing.
    Over 250 delegates from 137 member countries and jurisdictions are taking part in the Forum that was officially opened on Wednesday, by Cameroon’s Finance Minister, Alamine Ousmane, sitting for the Prime Minister. Representatives from over 12 international organizations including the IMF, World Bank, Centre for Meetings and Studies of Directors of Tax Administrations (CREDAF) and the EU are also attending.
    Participants at the Forum are expected to review the annual activities of the GF and the stakes related to the evolution of the standards for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. They shall equally examine the main orientations and the way forward for the GF, according to a release from the Cameroon Ministry of Finance.
    It should be mentioned however, that, though Cameroon joined the Global Forum in 2012, she has yet to effectively quantify the extent of tax evasion by multi-national companies operating in the country.
    Yet, it is believed that because these companies operate simultaneously here and in many other countries around the world, they can easily transfer their fiscal burden from Cameroon to these countries, especially those with more favorable tax levies. And in so doing they evade taxes in Cameroon.
    Cameroon’s membership of the Global Forum is therefore with the aim to seek better ways of tackling such fiscal flight and fraud, by using mainly procedures decided jointly with peers of the Global Forum.
    “Mechanisms applied to curb tax fraud and evasion are twofold - International and national. Internationally Cameroon seeks bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other countries to stem tax fraud,” says the Director of Legislation and International Tax relations at the Directorate General of Taxation, Roland Atanga Fongue.

Yaounde steps up security alert in NW & SW

Following fatal attacks on military positions last week, described as terrorist attacks, with the brutal killing of four gendarme officers in two days, Yaounde seems to be withdrawing gendarme officers deployed in parts of the NW region to contain unrests from Anglophone grievances there and in the SW, and replacing them with highly combative special forces, the rapid intervention battalion, BIR.
            Late afternoon Tuesday, half a dozen truckloads of gendarmes were seen leaving Bamenda and a couple of hours later, nearly criss-crossing with them, four seventy-seater busloads of BIR were seen heading towards Bamenda via the West region just before dusk.
            It is understood that in situations of degrading security, security forces are deployed in graduated order; starting with the quasi-paramilitary police, through the paramilitary gendarmes, to the regular army, and finally the Special Forces, the BIR.

SDF MPs boycott opening session of parliament

SDF Members of Parliament have boycotted the opening session of Parliament in Yaounde. 
            SDF representatives of both the upper and lower house were instead at the regional headquarters of the party in Olezoa, Yaounde as the opening rituals at Ngoa Ekele and Nkolnyada were going on.
            According to a release issued Tuesday, the decision of the SDF to boycott the opening ceremony of the 3rd parliamentary session is the first action of a series whose goal is “to force the Yaounde regime to find a lasting solution” to the crisis that has rocked Southern Cameroons for more than a year now.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Arrest warrants issued for 48 Ambazonia leaders

Anglophone crisis:
-Yaounde on diplomatic offensive to get the secessionists arrested abroad
-The governments of Nigeria, S. Africa, EU etc are expected to respect the principle of reciprocity in
international law, and to hand in these ‘fugitives’ over to Cameroonian authorities
By Ekum-Tambe Eku in Yaounde
Ambazonia interim leader, Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe, now a wanted man
The Yaounde Military Court has issued 15 (some sources say 48) arrest warrants for leaders of the Anglophone struggle notably those advocating secession. According to sources close to the military court, top on the Wanted list include notably Sisiku Ayuk Julius Tabe, Tassang Wilfred, Mark Barata, Tapang Ivo Tanku, Ebenezer Akwanga, Boh Herbert, Milton Taka, Cho Ayaba, Bobga Harmony, Eyambe Elias, Nso Foncha Kem, Elizabeth Bifuh-Ambe, Larry Ayamba, Milan Atam and Kometa Elvis.
            The ‘wanted men’ are accused among other things of instigating the brutal killing of gendarmes, police and military men on duty in the NW and SW, stabbing of 29 students on their way to school, burning of 142 schools and health centres, burning of markets and shops, killing of 7 traders, attack on 8 police stations and  7 gendarmerie brigades, vandalizing and desecrating state symbols among other crimes.
            All the persons listed above are living in different countries abroad including Nigeria, South Africa, Belgium and USA amongst others. They are said to be the front-liners calling for the separation of the of the Republic of Cameroon and the restoration of the state-hood of Southern Cameroons, now called Ambazonia.
            These “Facebook Generals’ are accused of using the social media to incite violence and ghost towns in the two Anglophone regions, as well as to propagate their secessionist agenda.
            In the course of the violence they are said to have incited, several public and private structures including schools, vehicles, and police stations were destroyed.                      Apart from material damages, several lives have also been lost as a result of the violence caused by the secessionists.

Anglophone Uprising:

Parliament says no to terrorism in Cameroon

This was the take home message from the Senate and National Assembly that opened on Tuesday 14 November, for the budgetary session.

By Mercy Neba in Yaounde
Cavaye Yeguei Djibril
After 4 months of recess, senators converged on the Yaounde Conference Centre Tuesday for the start of the 3rd and last parliamentary session for the 2017 legislative year, dedicated for the examination and adoption of the state budget for 2018.
            Addressing the senators and the high-powered guests, including the Prime Minister and the Ministers, the senate president Marcel Niat Njifendji described the November session as crucial because it is coming at a time when Cameroon is going through a serious crisis in the Anglophone regions of the country, with some individuals bent on plunging the country into chaos and with threats of secession and acts of terrorism.
            Hon. Niat said this was unacceptable. He called on all senators to play an active role in promoting dialogue as a means towards finding an end the crisis. This call was appreciated by senators.
            “The senate president was passionate about the situation in the NW & SW regions.  You could see how passionate he was in his appeal for dialogue and negotiations as relevant means towards finding a solution to the very worrying problem,” said Mbella Moki Charles, CPDM Senator for Buea in the SW.

The future of our children must not be compromised

        -Hon. Solange Kwarmba, CPDM MP for Mayo-Tsanaga
Hon. Solange Kwarmba, CPDM MP for Mayo-Tsanaga
The CPDM member of parliament for Mayo-Tsanaga, has called on parents and dissidents in the NW and SW regions to allow children to go to school, arguing that education is a fundamental human right for every child. Hon. Kwarmba was speaking to The Median in Yaounde, on the sidelines of the opening of the November session of parliament, on Tuesday 14 November 2017.
            “On behalf of the people of Mayo-Tsanaga division, and on my personal behalf, I am calling for a return to normalcy, and for peace to reign in the Anglophone zone of our country. Parents and especially the dissidents and the general population should allow our children to go to school because education is a fundamental human right for every child. As a mother I cannot be indifferent to the fact children are not going to school in some parts of our country,” Hon. Solange Kwarmba said, adding that things are going out of hand in the beleaguered Anglophone regions and so all hands must be put on deck to arrest the situation and seek a lasting solution to the crisis.
            “You know that the first development of a child is mental. So when you block the mental advancement of children then you have blocked their human development automatically. So children must first go to school if they must develop properly and be mentally balanced,” Hon. Kwarmba explained further.
            Also fielding questions about Boko Haram insurgency in the Extreme North where she originates, Hon Solange Kwarmba said things are gradually returning to normal and people have started going about their businesses as usual.
            “I think things are returning to normalin the Extreme North. Law and order is returning and I seize this opportunity to salute the bravado of the forces of law and order for the good work they are doing on the field. I also hail the head of state, President Paul Biya and the local administrative authorities who are not relenting in their effort to see that peace and order reigns. I cannot forget our vigilante groups who are also helping the security forces with vital information on ground. You know the vigilantes groups are the interfaces between the populations and the enemies – Boko Haram,” remarked the youthful lady MP, who is a member of the age bureau (bureau d’age) of the national assembly.