Monday, 18 June 2018
Arguments in Defense of the US Ambassador
Rather than castigate the US Ambassador for advising Biya to step down after 36 years in power, Cameroonians should hail Ambassador Barlerin for speaking truth to power. It’s time for Biya to go.
By Ekinneh Agbaw-Ebai, Boston, USA
|US Ambassador, Peter Henry Barlerin|
If there ever was any doubt about the abysmal level to which governance or leadership in Cameroon has fallen and how small the minds are in very high places, the utterly reckless and bizarre response to the US Ambassador, Peter Henry Barlerin, for advising President Biya to think about his legacy; a move interpreted by Yaoundé as a call for Biya to step down, is a melodrama which speaks to the intemperate desperation of Cameroon’s vampire elite in their quest for Biya to remain in power, and provide cannon fodder for their bare-face corruption and pillage of the nation’s wealth. In a release after an audience with President Biya at the Unity Palace last May 17, the US envoy said: “…the President and I discussed upcoming elections. I suggested to the President that he should be thinking about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered in the history books to be read by generations to come, and proposed that George Washington and Nelson Mandela were excellent models.”
While lamenting the absence of dialogue which has escalated the Anglophone crisis, Ambassador Barlerin indicted security forces for “targeted killings, detentions without access to legal support, family, or the Red Cross, and burning and looting of villages.”Jolted by self-righteous indignation and a mundane craving to ingratiate themselves to the corridors of power, gaffing, goofing, dilatory goons, masquerading as intellectuals and opinion leaders; including fifth columnists and sundry regime apologists, took to the airwaves to castigate the Ambassador; casting banal, vituperative aspersions on his person and declaring him, persona non-grata.
The bile and vitriol, including the obnoxious threat by one Banda Kani; who on live TV, said Ambassador Barlerin will return to America in a coffin, is a diplomatic sacrilege that does not edify Cameroon as a nation. Cameroon deserves better.
The impropriety of inflaming primordial sentiments against a resident ambassador is simply mind-boggling and inexcusable. And never again should it happen! The attacks, like the sycophants behind them, are not only pathetic; they are cheap and only reinforce Cameroon’s image as a banana republic with highly dysfunctional institutions where bizarre things can happen. In the event, the civic callousness by self-seeking morons who plumbed the abyss of diplomatic rascality and drag the nation to a hitherto unprecedented low; did a great disservice to the nation. This is a shame and Cameroonians deserve full explanation for this embarrassment.
On the face of it, there is nothing the Ambassador said that has not been in the domain of public discourse. Images of arrests, torture, executions and burning of Anglophone villages have gone viral on social media. It also does not require a rocket scientist to figure out that Biya is tired. At 85, Biya is far on the left side of the average age of African Presidents which is 63; that’s pension time, or nearing it, in most countries. Put in context, the European equivalent is 55; which is also the average age of American presidents at their inauguration. Since taking office in 1982, Biya has seen five French presidents including Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande and Emmanuel Macron. In the same period, Americans have elected six different presidents – Ronald Reagan, George H Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Biya is also Africa’s oldest president and the second longest- serving ruler; behind Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Nguema, in power for 38 years.
Biya to Dispatch Powerful Delegation to Nigeria
On the instructions of President Paul Biya, a government mission will in the next few days, travel to Nigeria’s Cross River State to meet with Anglophone Refugees and discuss conditions for their imminent return to their respective localities in the country.
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
|Issa Tchiroma Bakary|
This was the take home from a press conference granted the national and international press Friday, by government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakary. Though the press confab was meant to debunk damaging remarks by Amnesty International in its 2017/2018 report on Cameroon, Issa Tchiroma used the occasion to also announce the government’s planned solidarity initiative towards the Anglophone refugees in Nigeria.
Yet, it is not immediately known what the delegation would say to the refugees as to convince them that all conditions would be met for their safe return home.
Neither did the government spokesman explain for instance where and how those whose houses have been burnt would be resettled nor did he give security guarantees especially with the continued presence of the same military that caused the people to flee in the first place.
Though commentators have hailed the government for finally thinking of the over 40.000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, they said the government should also give serious thought to the humanitarian challenges that await these people upon their return, giving that many have lost all their property and so may not have where to go to when they come back into the country.
Steer Clear of Ambazonian Refugee Camps in Nigeria or Face Devastating Consequences
The Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia is challenging the Cameroon President Paul Biya to ensure that no highly placed government official visits Ambazonian refugee camps in Nigeria. Cameroon Concord News reported that Acting President of the Ambazonia Interin Government, Dr. Ikome Sako has ordered self-defense forces in the Manyu to be on the alert and to arrest or kill any Biya regime official visiting Southern Cameroons refugees in the Cross River State in Nigeria.
Confirming the President Sako decision, Ambazonian Communications Secretary, Hon. Chris Anu told Camcordnews that French Cameroun army soldiers deployed to Southern Cameroons created the horrific war that forced some 40, 000 Ambazonians to escape into hiding in neighboring Nigeria. Chris Anu further pointed out that the situation has changed as the Ambazonian Self-Defense Council Restoration Forces reasserted control, enabling the Interim Government’s presence to spread throughout Southern Cameroons.
Mr. Anu also warned that any visit of Southern Cameroons refugees in Nigeria by French Cameroun government officials was unacceptable. The Interim Government is expected to issue a strong statement on Monday to the international community condemning any move by La Republique du Cameroun towards the suffering Ambazonian population in Nigeria.
Akere Muna, who recently made public his decision to run for the upcoming presidential election to be held between September 14 and October 14, 2018, has accused Justice Minister Laurent Esso of attempting to disqualify his candidacy.
Akere has been quoted as saying that the Yaoundé regime is using a Muna family succession issue involving his younger sister, former culture minister Ama Tutu Muna for political gains. Akere told a group of press men and women on Thursday in Yaoundé that “The only capital I have is my honor. My sister believes that I am a forger and the state supports it, with the Minister of Justice in mind. I will face it here and elsewhere.”
It is a Conspiracy to Overthrow President Biya
-Issa Tchiroma, Gov’t Spokesman
|President Biya and Issa Tchiroma Bakary|
24 hours ahead of the initially announced date, the Amnesty International NGO, has once again published an incriminating report against Cameroon and its army in connection with the security situation prevailing in the North West and South-West regions.
As in the previous 2016-2017report, the 2017-2018 edition of Amnesty International report is tainted with filthy lies, hasty inference, unacceptable defamatory tactics that are part of a strategy to harass and destabilize our country in its fight against the terrorist threat.
The Government of the Republic strongly refutes this so-called report which, under the pretext of the protection of human rights, is nothing but a bunch of approximations and false allegations.
The reason is that the situation on the ground is at odds with what Amnesty International describes. In fact, in these two regions of our country, terrorist gangs claiming to belong to secessionist movements and benefiting from important support from abroad have decided to respond to the dialogue offered by the Head of State through violence, crime, destruction of property and public buildings, abductions followed by assassinations and ransom claims, and all other forms of barbaric acts prejudicial to the peace and security of the people.
Faced with this situation, the State's only recourse was nothing but an appropriate response, by virtue of its sovereign duties to preserve the territorial integrity of the nation, to preservecivil peace and protect the populations and their properties.
With regard to the content of this so-called report, I would like to illustrate a case which exposes the obvious bad faith of our prosecutors of the moment. According to Amnesty International, the Cameroon Defense and Security Forces have committed serious abuses, some of which, to name a few, targeted the civilian populations of the DADI locality in the Southwest region.
As it is, what really took place in this area and which is obvious to any observer, is that the people of DADIwere taken hostageby terrorists who had enslaved them for several days and set up their base in the area.
The Defense and Security Forces, informed of the situation, intervened to free these populations and restore their legitimate rightsto enable them live in peace and to carry out their business as usual.
Instead of reporting this situation, Amnesty International has preferred to endorse unjustified accusations with dismal lightness, condoning criminal acts to which the authors of its 2017-2018 report paradoxically attempt to confer credit and legitimacy.
Inso doing, it is deplorable to notice that Amnesty International is taking on the responsibility of compromising by itself the credit that a world-renowned organization should have.
Authorities in Cameroon appear to want to postpone October's general election to a later date.
The Median has obtained a copy of a letter from President Paul Biya to the president of the senate, requesting that it debate the possibility of postponing elections for a year.
This follows last week's news that only 3% of new voters registered since the start of the year are from the two Anglophone regions, although English speakers account for about 20% of the population.
Separatists in Cameroon's two mainly English-speaking areas - the North-West and South-West regions - have taken up arms and are demanding their independence.
Tens of thousands of Anglophone Cameroonians fleeing violent clashes with Francophone security forces have crossed into neighbouring Nigeria in recent months. Thousands others are living in the bushes or as internally displaced in towns across the country.