Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Front page

Checking indiscipline and professional misconduct:

Mopa Modeste hits hard at corrupt taxation workers
Some over 20 personnel of the taxation department who were found guilty of indiscipline and different professional malpractices have been sanctioned with suspension without salary; others have been sacked and put at the disposal of the dep’t of human resources of the Ministry of Finance.
By Mercy Neba in Yaounde
DGI, Mopa Modeste
From every indication corrupt and fraudulent personnel of the Directorate General of Taxation are in for trouble with their hierarchy, especially as the Director General of Taxation is determined more than ever before to intensify his campaign to identify and sanction all personnel who violate laid down rules of discipline and professional ethics.
                Modeste Mopa Fatoing on 1 December 2016 signed a decision sanctioning over 20 workers of the taxation department who were found guilty of indiscipline, corruption and fraud. The DGI’s decision was pasted on the notice board of the General Directorate of Taxation in down town Yaounde. We are withholding the names of the sanctioned workers for obvious reasons.
                Some of the crimes committed by the culprits included siphoning of collected fiscal revenue into private pockets rather than the state treasury; forgery and issuing of fake taxation documents; sale of fake stamps, desertion of duty posts etc.
                Depending on the gravity of their crimes, culprits were given sanctions ranging from month(s) of suspension from work with temporal loss of salary for the period of the sanction, to outright dismissal from the taxation department. Those dismissed from the taxation department were put at the disposal of the department of human resources at the ministry of finance.

As its Ostrich posturing proves fatal:

Gov’t now on its knees begging lawyers and teachers
Two separate dialogue forums today in Bamenda and Yaounde respectively will examine Anglophone teachers’ grievances and the concerns of common law lawyers, with a view to seeking lasting solutions to problem raised. In its characteristic arrogance and insensitivity, the government had let a bad situation to degenerate, in the hope that it would simply pass away with time. Now she is caught in her own trap.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
PM Yang must address the problems of Anglophone lawyers and teachers, if only to save his face
PM Yang must address the problems of Anglophone lawyers and teachers, if only to save his face
The representatives of Common Law lawyers appointed by Prime Minister Philemon Yang to take part in dialogue with government have indicated they will be part of the deliberations, when the Adhoc Committee created to examine grievances raised by the lawyers begins meeting for its first session today, Tuesday 27 December 2016, in Yaounde.
                The lawyers confirmed their participation to this reporter after the government responded positively to their request for more leaders of common law lawyers to be included in the Adhoc Committee. When the Adhoc Committee for dialogue with lawyers was first created only one among the four leaders of the lawyers’ associations that called the strike was included in it.
                By unilaterally picking only Barrister Bobga Harmony to represent the striking lawyers, the lawyers feared the PM had a hidden agenda to split their ranks with a view to weakening their firm resolve to see things change for the better.
                But being the wise man that he is known to be, Philemon Yang quickly admitted his error and hastily co-opted Barristers Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla from FAKLA and Eyambe from MELA into the Adhoc Committee.
                Yet, even as the lawyers have accepted to travel to Yaounde for the dialogue, there is no guarantee the deliberations of the Adhoc Committee will proceed peacefully and smoothly. For one thing the Common Law lawyers will not entertain or submit to any condescending posturing by those on the government bench, especially the chairman of the Adhoc Committee, who incidentally is a Francophone Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Justice.
                As it is traditional in Common Law practice, there is the likelihood that the lawyers will raise some preliminary objections that may only make the chairman of the Adhoc Committee uncomfortable, especially given that being a Francophone, he is not used to situations where participants in a meeting try to dictate methods of procedure on the Chairman.
                But these not withstanding, it is the hope of many that parties to the dialogue would demonstrate maturity, sincerity and frankness so that much-needed consensus and especially lasting solutions are arrived at by the time the curtains are drawn on the dialogue forum.

Closing speech

Closing speech by H.E. Paul BIYA on the occasion of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State of Central Africa on the economic and monetary situation of the sub-region
Your Excellencies, Dear Brothers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,
                In my opening speech, I clearly noted that our sub-region was going through a difficult period due to external shocks that may slow down its growth and, hence, undermine its development goals.
                However, I also expressed my firm conviction that if, together, we were prepared to take the decisions required by the situation, we could, with the support of our partners, return to the path of economic progress.
                I believe this special summit has enabled us to clearly assess the challenges we have to meet and to, in a concerted manner, adopt solutions which can help us to sail through these stormy waters.
                I believe it is necessary to underscore this momentum of active solidarity encouraged by our traditional friends, which seeks to pull our sub-region out of its current difficulties. Seemingly, our discussions have clearly shown that joint action would ensure greater efficiency in the current context.
                Of course, this will not mean that we should not take targeted measures to address the specific problems of each of our countries.

FCFA: CEMAC Heads of State reject IMF imposed devaluation

CEMAC Heads of State met in Yaounde last Friday
The President of the Republic of Cameroon, His Excellency Paul BIYA, has joined forces with regional leaders to stabilise the economies of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC.
                Six Heads of State of the Central African sub-region met in Yaounde on Friday 23 December 2016 in an extraordinary summit, convened by the Cameroonian Head of State.
                21 resolutions were made at the end of the conclave. The most outstanding resolution was the outright refusal to devalue the currency, the Franc CFA.
                In his opening remarks, the Head of State appealed for a quick response to a looming economic crisis in the sub region, caused by a drastic drop in oil prices, the upsurge of insecurity, and the political instability in the CAR.                                                President BIYA said an immediate and common solution must be sought to avoid worsening repercussions on the livelihood of the populations.
                BIYA’s address was followed by the holding of an in-camera session with the following heads of state participating: Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic (CAR); Idriss Deby Itno of Chad; Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea; Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo; and Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon.

Christmas tree lighting ceremony:

Chantal BIYA lavishes over 1,000 underprivileged kids with xmas gifts
Chantal Biya and underprivileged kids at Christmas tree lighting ceremony
The First Lady, Mrs. Chantal BIYA, has distributed Christmas gifts to over 1,000 vulnerable and underprivileged children in Yaounde. This was during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Chantal BIYA Foundation (FCB) on Thursday 22 December 2016.
                Nearly 100 beneficiaries stood at the main entrance of the foundation, and waved mini flags of the FCB upon the arrival of their benefactor, who was welcomed by Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, Mr Andre Mama Fouda. This was combined with uniform dance steps in the sweet melodies of a budding artist called Ben Martins.

Kumba III sub-division:

Mary Clara Centre donates to Mabanda kids
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Mary Clara center donates to children
Some over 50 children from Mabanda in Kumba III sub division have benefited Xmas gifts from the Mary Clara Center for teenage mothers. The gesture was done this December 19 at the premises of the center, on the occasion of the 2nd edition of Xmas party for vulnerable, needy and orphans of the area.
                All the over fifty children were drawn from Mabanda, and with most of them being residents of the center.
                The event which took place in the presence of some parents, guest artistes from kumba and invitees, was aimed to put smiles on the faces of the needy children, most of whom are born of teenage mothers.
                While addressing the population, the founder of the center, Mrs Mary Clara called on the population to join hands in supporting the works on the center. She equally called on teenage mothers who have been thrown out of homes as a result of early pregnancy to register in the center so as to acquire some entrepreneurial skills and talents in a bid to becoming more productive in the society.

Arrested B’da strikers ‘disappeared’ to unknown destination

Local reporters and Human Rights NGOs in Bamenda say the whereabouts of some 29 persons arrested during the deadly riots in the NW regional capital cannot be immediately ascertained. Speculations are that they have been ferried to Bafoussam or Yaounde
By Nestor Ndjodzefe in Bamenda
At least 50 persons were arrested during the riots in B’da
Some 29 persons arrested during the recent violent protest riots in Bamenda have been declared missing by family members and Human Rights NGOs. A list containing the names of the disappeared persons is presently circulating in Bamenda.
                According to reports, the disappeared persons were arrested on 6 December 2016, when the populations of Bamenda, mostly the youths, took to the streets to violently protest the holding of a CPDM rally in the town.
                At least four persons were shot dead and several scores others wounded including four gendarmes, four police officers and two CPDM militants. A district police station was also burnt down by the violent protesters.

vox pop

What do you expect President Biya to say in his traditional state of the nation address on 31 December?
As the nation anxiously awaits the head of state's traditional year-end address on 31 December, and given the ongoing uprisings in the Anglophone regions, marked by unending teachers’ and lawyers’ strikes, that led to the premature closure of schools in NW and SW regions, and popular calls for a return to the pre-reunification federal arrangement, The Median went out to the streets to get the expectations of Cameroonians as to what the President should say. We brought back the following reactions: 

He will replay thesame deja entendu
Ekonde Daniel
                The end of year address message of the president over the years has become routine, with each one not sounding different from the other. So we should not expect anything different from the president, apart from the usual promises and perhaps some fake statistics about the performance of government in fighting unemployment and poverty. No doubt, the president will talk about the successes recorded by the army in checking the Boko Haram insurgency in North Cameroon. Then of course, he would hail the forces of law and order for their efforts in bringing the deadly riots in NW and SW under control. But I fear he will not mention the towns of Bamenda and Kumba where several deaths were recorded. He would also avoid talking about the brutal treatment visited on UB students by trigger-happy police and gendarmes, during the peaceful protest of these students on campus. Yet, even as I expect him to pronounce solutions to Anglophone grievances, there’s the likelihood he would not dwell on it; if anything he would only emphasize on the point of Cameroon’s unquestionable unity and indivisibility.

I don’t expect anything good from the address
Marvelous Ngale
                I don’t expect much from the president this time around just as I have hardly expected anything good from him before. We have been waiting on him since to talk about the recent disturbances in the country, especially the strike action by teachers and lawyers that has crippled schools and courts in Anglophone Cameroon, but he has not said anything. Perhaps he might use this opportunity to talk about it, especially if something good comes out of the meeting in Bamenda of the inter-ministerial Ad hoc committee put in place to look into the problems.

He will avoid burning issues as usual
                It's a good thing the president will address us next Saturday and of course we'll want to hear him talk about the marginalization of Anglophones in Cameroon. In many interviews with ministers, we've heard them say there's nothing like an Anglophone problem; so we are hoping to hear him say otherwise. But like in previous years when he avoided mentioning some alarming situations in the country, I reserve my fears the President's address on Saturday will touch only on New Year wishes and maybe the 2017 budget.

He should focus on Anglophone problem
Shing Timothy
                I want the president to focus his address on Anglophone grievances, spelling out effectively how he plans to solve them. He should also focus on the economic trauma and high unemployment amongst university graduates. But I know he will divert attention from the biggest threat to peace and stability in this country which is the Anglophone problem and focus on the fight against Boko Haram, the insurgency at the borders with the Central African republic. If anything he would barely touch on the real issues. Cameroon has many problems but the worst of them that can define the destiny of this country is the Anglophone problem. The president should address this problem.

He should tell us about the laptops
Bambot Valentine
                The president should first of all start by addressing the laptops he promised University students that has not yet come to fruition. Then he should condemn the brutality invited by the police and army recently in the NW and SW and also tell us where Cameroon is with vision 2035.

He should answer to calls for a return to federalism
Beng Emmanuel
                I am looking forward to hearing the president saying something concerning the Anglophone problem and the calls for a return to federalism. But I know he would insist that Cameroon is one and indivisible.

He should dwell on recent events in the country
Elvira Matong
                I am expecting the president to stress more on the recent happenings that has rocked the municipality of Buea in recent times and especially the NWR. Yet I know that in his characteristic evasiveness, he will hardly dwell on these issues; preferring rather to spend time on the successful hosting of the female AFCON and preparations for that of 2019. I would also not be surprised to hear him congratulate the police and gendarmes for the brutality they visited on armless Cameroonians in Bamenda, Buea and Kumba.

I don’t recognize him as my president
Mr. Fossung Henry-Farmer
                I don't expect anything from President Biya on 31 December because to me he is the president of a foreign country called La Republic; even though he has trespassed and is now also ruling Southern Cameroons. I do not recognise him as the president of my country, Southern Cameroon. As such for peace to reign he should understand he is ruling another country. So let him just be himself.

He should apologize for the killings in B’da and Kumba
                What i expect from the head of state’s speech is very simple. He should admit that there is an Anglophone problem and release all those people arrested and taken to Yaounde. He should apologize for the killing of those Anglophones during the strike and assure the public of investigations to bring those military people to book. Also,  he should  start  making arrangements for Federalism

Governor assures of calm in Bamenda

NW Governor Adolf Lele L’Afrique has had no sleep for months  
Governor Adolf Lele Ladrique of the North West says the region is “under control” following more than four weeks of strikes and deadly protests that left four people dead and many injured.
                Bamenda, the regional capital and heart of the protests, will soon return to normal, the governor said in Yaounde Tuesday, at the start of a routine conference of regional governors.
                Ladrique said authorities had taken steps to restore public order and protect citizens and property, refusing the region has been militarized,  in spite of heavy troop presence still visible in the streets Bamenda.
                Schools and universities are still crippled while courts have been seriously disrupted in the region and in the South West, where teachers’ and lawyers’ strikes have entered the fifth week.
                Lafrique gave no assurances, talking to the state radio, that schools will reopen. He said the closure of schools was “deplorable” and feared students may miss the academic year.

Towards a one and indivisible Cameroon:

An Anglophone President in 2018 is imperative
By *Ngwain Colbert in Bamenda
Biya should consider handing over to an Anglophone
The lawyers and teachers strike that has been rocking Cameroon right to its very foundations for the past two months and counting…has demonstrated in triumphant detail that the policies articulated by the two successive francophone-led regimes of Ahidjo and Paul Biya have failed.  What this means is that our East Cameroon-inspired leadership should be honest enough to admit that beyond the public discourse, they have failed to build the kind of ‘one and indivisible’ country they claimed they were building. In societies that profess to be democratic, when leaders fail in implementing a public policy that has consumed tax payers’ money even for a Presidential mandate, they throw in the towel. That is the only thing that is left for the CPDM regime to do come 2018.
                The criminal stupidity and the stupid criminality of the francophone-led regimes of Presidents Ahidjo and Biya has for the past 55 years pushed the nation further apart rather than pulling it together. The leadership’s arrogant and adamant refusals to benefit from the rich experiences of the political culture of the Anglophones so as to reshape the crooked form of state that Cameroon inherited in 1960 and 61 only distanced Anglophones from central government.
                The francophone-led regimes’ refusal to remind themselves that West Cameroon and East Cameroon came into the UNION as equal partners with equal rights as agreed in Foumban and that before the UN’s two-options for Southern Cameroon’s to become independent by either joining La Republique or the Federal Republic of Nigeria, came after Southern Cameroons had already started experiencing self rule for over four years during which period six democratic elections were organized with an effective change of leadership, has made Anglophone Cameroonians in today’s arrangement look like a captured and marginalized people.
                Failing to realize that the triangular patch-up called Cameroon has only had a semblance of a ‘one and indivisible’ nation because of the crucial wedge offered by the Anglophone factor, is failing to understand the bare simple fact that if Southern Cameroons did not choose to becoming independent by joining La Republique du Cameroon, that entity called La Republique would have been embroiled in an internecine war between the traditional Moslem Northern parts of Cameroon and the traditional Christian Southern parts of La Republique du Cameroon in much the same way the Central African Republic has been.  The Kenya-based International Crisis Group, ICG, has over the years been articulate on this point.
                Given La Republique’s brutal culture of civil wars leading to their independence from France and the subsequent massacring of freedom fighters in the Bassa and Bamilike lands with support from France, there is enough jurisprudential evidence to support the fact that it has been the uphill task and challenges of taming Anglophones considered by the francophone leadership over the years as a common enemy that has put them patched together than the fact that innately, they have the patriotic feeling of being ‘one and indivisible’.  Proof positive is that ever since the 1984 abortive coup, Northern Cameroonians have never been in the good books of the ruling elites from the South and that only the Anglophone factor continues to keep them together.
                There is no gain saying the fact that if the current francophone-led Yaoundé regime continues with its official policy of adamancy and arrogance toward the people of West Cameroon who joined the UNION as an equal partner under international law, Southern Cameroonians would have no choice than to restore the nationhood as obtained before 1961. It will be at this time that La Republique and the rest of the world would realize what a critical wedge the Anglophone factor was and remains in the unity of Cameroon.
                As the campaigners for an Anglophone for Presidency 2018 have for the past two years been articulating, supporting an Anglophone for Presidency 2018 by the majority francophone electorate, would not only be an act of poetic justice but a balancing act after 55 years of francophone leadership. As it was stated then and now, an Anglophone Presidency from 2018 would be the beginning of the inauguration of a rotatory Presidency between Anglophones and francophones.
                The current ‘divide and rule’ system where the Presidency is reserved for francophone elites and where the Prime Ministry is being wielded as a bait and a prized jewel between the North West and South West, is not only diabolic in its nature but a deliberate attempt by the francophone-led leadership to permanently reduce Anglophones to second class citizenship. Even if this worked out with the older generation of bellicose North Westerners and Southerners who permanently discredited each other to gain the francophone leadership’s favours, the current events in Anglophone Cameroon, are proof positive that the youths would not settle for such cheap gimmicks. Reason-why they have been unanimous in rejecting the demeaning post of Prime Minister and have resolutely set their eyes on the Presidency in 2018. No more, no less.

National Interpools:

Bang Bullet ascends to League 2, Opopo crash out
Opopo will not play in League 2 next football season
It was a historic day for Bang Bullet FC of Nkambe as they were able ice their good run of form in the on-going National Interpools tournament after their 3-1 win against AS Menoua saw them booked a place in League 2 next year.
                The boys from Nkambe have put on an excellent show since the beginning of the tournament that have seen bookmakers predict better days for them. Their qualification ticket game after they have recorded three wins and a draw against Victoria United of Limbe.
                Created some five years ago, Bang Bullet FC although debutants in the National Interpools, definitely wrote their name in the history books.
                They qualified for League 2 football next season alongside Avion FC de Nkam that also picked a ticket in Group A. Bang Bullet FC of Nkambe will join National Polytech of Bambui and PWD of Bamenda to represent the region in League 2 football next footballing season.

Africa Cup of Nations:

Liverpool's Joel Matip among seven to snub tournament
German-born Joel Matip (right) has not featured for Cameroon since the 2014 World Cup
Liverpool's Joel Matip is one of seven Cameroon players who have said they do not want to go to the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on 14 January.
The defender cited a "bad experience" with the previous coaching staff, according to a Cameroon football association (Fecafoot) statement.
                West Brom full-back Allan Nyom is also among the seven.
                Fecafoot can ask Fifa to suspend the players at club level for the duration of the three-week tournament.
                Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said:          "These players have put personal interest above those of the national team and the federation reserves the right to take action against the players in accordance with Fifa regulations."

Women's Afcon stars on the move

Two of the stars of the recent Women's Africa Cup of Nations have earned moves to new clubs.
Nigeria's Francisca Ordega has signed for Australian side Sydney FC for the remainder of the W-League 2016/17 season from USA's Washington Spirit.
                South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk, 29, moves from her homeland to the US as she joins Houston Dash.
                Ordega helped Nigeria win an eighth continental title in Cameroon as Van Wyk's Banyana Banyana finished fourth.
                The 23-year-old Ordega becomes the first African to play in the Westfield W-League and is looking forward to her new challenge.
                "I'm really pleased to be signing with a club of Sydney FC's stature," she told the club website.
                "I've played against the Matildas [Australian national side] and I know the quality of players Australia produce.
                "I know it's going to be a challenge playing in the Westfield W-League but it's one I'm looking forward to."
                Head coach Dan Barrett said he was excited by the qualities Ordega brings to the squad and hopes to play her in Friday night's home clash against the Brisbane Roar at Lambert Park.
                "Francisca is an exciting player who is going to bring a lot of attacking flair and speed to our team," he said.

After seven lions snub Hugo Broos:

General Pierre Semenge proposes 23 local players
The president of the professional league of football in Cameroon, General Pierre Semenge has proposed a list of 23 players to the head coach of the national team, Belgian born tactician Hugo Broos. The list of players which comprises of players from clubs in the professional league in the country comes after seven players out of 35 have rejected the call to join the national team to begin preparations for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations billed for Gabon.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Front page

The Anglophone problem and the case for 15-state federation

By EkinnehAgbor-Ebai, Boston USA
The violent crackdown on peaceful Anglophone protests that has resulted in the death of innocent civilians is yet, another blight on the toga of Cameroon’s battered international image, that speaks directly to the intransigence of a government which continues to deny itself the opportunity to dialogue to address the Anglophone problem. But Cameroon as it is; is not working and while there are justifiable reasons to be cynical and incredulous over comments by Anglophone problem-deniers, all Cameroonians must summon the courage to frankly examine the moral questions of justice and equitable distribution of resources, even as they discuss the basis and terms of their coexistence. The nation has reached saturation point in the groundswell of Anglophone marginalization, but quick fixes like a two or ten state federation cannot fully resolve the Anglophone problem; which to say the least, is a Cameroonian problem.
                As an urgent national imperative, President Paul Biya should call a national conference which would afford an opportunity for aggrieved parties in the polity to table their grouse. As it is, Cameroonians should look in the direction of a federal system of government and a fiscal policy that grants control of resources to federating units on whose land the resources are located. Such a federation will be a veritable starting point for the journey to a just, prosperous and united Federal Cameroon that allows all the component units to run as far as they can go. History is beckoning on Paul Biya and giving him a chance at self-redemption and national rebirth; and he should understand this is by far more fundamental than seeking a continuation in office. He should grab the opportunity for statesmanship and greatness with both hands, while there is still time.
                A new Cameroon is possible; but it must be a federal Cameroon with a new constitution on the basis of a 15-State federation which, though not perfect, will nonetheless be a good enough template in the quest for a true Cameroon. The 15-States will emerge from a holistic realignment of the existing 10 regions, and structured in a way as to have less friction and tension between the central government and the federation units. Any effort at tinkering with the currently skewed “feeding bottle” system with two operational constitutions is a non-starter. It is supremely perplexing that 20 years after the 1996 constitution became law; the government has failed to fully implement its provisions, especially those related to regional decentralization. This speaks directly to a lack of political will. Thus, the country is in dire need of a federal structure.
                To be sure, such a new federal structure is fraught with obstacles because the present structure has produced people with deeply entrenched vested interests, especially in the executive and legislative branches of government. Therefore, the change will not come easily. But with iron political resolve by the president to do what is right for the country; coupled with a united coalition for change comprising Anglophone and Francophone political and opinion leaders, civil society groups, the media and the general citizenry, genuine federalism can be achieved.
                Hypothetically, one of the new states can be created from the Far North region where the Fulani make up a large portion of the population and have dominated the politics of the region; much to the chagrin of smaller groups like the Kirdis, Kanuris, Mundangs and the Tupuris, who have been marginalized by the Bororo-Fulani. The Mundangs and Tupuris whose territories lie adjacent to one another can easily be granted their own state.
                The second new state should be a Bassa region. It is unacceptable that a major ethnic group like the Bassas should be scattered across four different regions wherein they have little political clout to articulate and defend their interests. The UPC uprising, the political expediency that informed the decision to divide and align the Bassas to the Centre, Littoral, West and South regions, where they remain eccentric minorities is over. To many Bassa politicians disenchanted with the status quo, the UPC remains their political platform of choice in the present dispensation. A Bassa region will save the nation such monumental embarrassment as when Omer Betow; a UPC Parliamentarian from Tiko, South West region, stood on the floor of the national assembly to campaign for a Bassa province. It will also remove such politically incorrect labels as “Eleven Province” and “Bassa Victoria” from our political lexicon.

Anglophone Unrests:

Amnesty, UN urgeYaounde to investigate Rights abuses in NW & SW
Anglophone Unrests
International organisations are calling for an investigation in Cameroon after four people were killed during unrest in the country’s English-speaking regions.
Tensions have been brewing for the past month in Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions, where people say they are being treated as second-class citizens.
                What began as protests by lawyers against the use of French in courts quickly spread to schools and universities after teachers agreed to strike over the dominance of the French language.
                In Bamenda, the country’s largest Anglophone city, at least four people were killed last week when security forces fired live ammunition in the air and launched teargas into a market despite no evidence that there was a protest taking place.
                Amnesty International described actions as “excessive and unnecessary”, and urged the Cameroonian government to find out who was responsible.
                IlariaAllegrozzi, Amnesty’s central Africa researcher, said: “Responding to incidents of violence during protests with unnecessary or excessive force threatens to further inflame an already tense situation and could put more lives at risk.”
                Local journalists say they have been harassed by the authorities and that the plight of local communities has not been given coverage by state-controlled media. On Monday, ZigotoTchaya, a reporter working for France 24, was arrested and held for a day after he interviewed Barrister Bobga, a prominent activist based in Bamenda.
                Nearly 200 miles south of Bamenda in Kumba – Cameroon’s second biggest English-speaking city – schools, markets and transport systems ground to a halt last week as angry residents took to the streets.
                “Southern Cameroonians do not benefit anything from the French Cameroon. We want this to end this year,” said Enow John, who had joined the protest. Fellow protester Ni Achu said the movement was “ready to die for the future of our children”.

PM Yang inaugurates FCFA 24bn Limbe Vocational Training Centre

By AminatehNkemngu
Prime Minister Philemon
Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Saturday 17 December inaugurated the 24 billlionfcfa worth Limbe Advanced Vocational Training Centre. The centre which was constructed with financial support from the Republic of South Korea is expected to train Cameroonians in various income generating disciplines.
                In his remarks at the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Philemon Yang told the population of Limbe that the centre belongs to them and as such they should manage it well and make maximum use of it especially in acquiring job creation skills as well as picking up jobs in other companies.
According to the Prime Minister, the centre which is one of three, alongside the Douala and Sangmelimacentres, is a concrete translation of President Paul Biya’s determination to create jobs and equip young Cameroonians towards Cameroon’s emergence by 2035.
                PM Yang lauded the population of Limbe for their legendary hospitality as exemplified during the just ended female AFCON; urging them to continue to maintain peace and protect public property.

After over two months of confiscation:

Buea DO begins restituting lawyers’ wigs and gowns
By Doh Bertrand Nua
Buea DO, KouamWokam Paul
After serious pressure mounted on the government and administrators in the Southwest region, the divisional officer of Buea, KouamWokam Paul has in a communique signed early this December revealed that the confiscated robes and wigs of common law lawyers will be restituted. According to the communique, the DO of Buea is calling on all common law lawyers whose wigs and robes were seized by security forces on 10 November 2016 within the Buea municipality to pass by his office from December 14 for identification and collection of the said wigs and gowns.


“Anglophones shall never be slaves of La Republique”:
Opposition MP stuns Cameroon Parliament         
-Tells parliament Southern Cameroonians will resist to the last man all attempts by Yaounde to enslave them.
Hon. JospehWirba, SDF MP for Jakiri
An opposition lawmaker has castigated parliament and the government over the “oppression” of Anglophones in Cameroon, in the wake of recent security forces’ brutality against unarmed protesters in the South West and North West regions.
                Hon Joseph Wirba (SDF, Jakiri) said Francophone administrators sent to English-speaking regions worked like “armies of occupation”. He referred to the Francophone-led administration and military as “oppressors” and part of a “master plan to finish our culture, our people.”
                It was a rousing speech, delivered in the National Assembly during the just ended session of the House, which has fired up strong sentiments throughout the Anglophone community, with many taking to social media to praise his courage and brilliance.
                Wirba referred to the North West and South West regions as West Cameroon, the name of the territory between 1961 and 1972, when Cameroon was organized as a federation of two states. Through out the speech, he referred to two Cameroons, a notion that has repeatedly been denied by pro-Government politicians and academics.
                The MP’s choice of words resonated both as a show of defiance as well as an endorsement of recent calls for a return to the pre-72 federation. He fell short of advocating secession, an old demand that has also picked fire during the past weeks. Separatists are “correct” in the light of recent happenings, he said.

We the people of West Cameroon will resist you and if you want to take that territory by force, you will kill to the last man before you take it
– Hon. JospehWirba

                The Anglophone Problem is at the center of the recent wave of strikes and demonstrations against what is viewed as French language dominance and the dismantling of the Anglo-Saxon institutions and values that give Cameroon’s English speakers their identity.
                Unlike many public figures who have commented on the issue, Wirngo was direct, rash at times. He used expressions like  “oppression”, “armies of occupation”, “slaves” and “colonial masters” to convey Anglophone marginalization sentiments.
                “The people of West Cameroon cannot be your slaves,” he said. “The people of West Cameroon are not. You did not conquer them in war. If this is what you are saying we should live in, I say no. It would not work.”
                The speech was in response to clashes between protesters and armed security forces across the South West and North West in which four people died. Scores of people were either injured or arrested. The government says two people died in Bamenda and denies the Anglophone Problem.

Anglophone protests:

SDF condemns “oppressive” & “repressive” handling of protesters
Fru Ndi
The Social Democratic Front has called the government “oppressive” and “repressive” in the wake of the deadly December 8 clashes between armed security forces and protesters in Bamenda.
                In resolutions at the end of its National Executive Committee meeting on Saturday in Bamenda, the SDF denounced the “disproportionate use of force and troops against [unarmed] and helpless, poverty-stricken youths [haunted] by a compromised and uncertain future.”
                Several people died after police opened fire at protesters trying to disrupt a rally billed for the city by the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement party to call for calm after weeks of strikes and to denounce calls for federalism and the independence of the former Southern Cameroons.
                The violence in Bamenda followed clashes weeks before between security forces and students of the University of Buea, during which dozens were kicked, hit with batons and forced to lie in mud. More than 200 were arrested and detained for several days.

Fallout of Anglophone protests:

Gov’t bans Radio/TV debates in SW region
-Governor OkaliaBilai visits threats, intimidation on prying journalists
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Okalia Bilai
With increasing calls for a return to federation following the endless protest strike by Anglophone teachers and lawyers in the Northwest and Southwest regions, the regional delegate of communication for the Southwest region, Rosette Bih has signed a decision banning all debate programs and discussions on public and private radio and TV stations in the Southwest region.
                In the Mincom Delegate’s decision that was purportedly signed on 1 December 2016 but published on 12 December 2016, she is compelling all owners of radio and TV stations to suspend all debates and round-table discussions having to do with the ongoing Anglophone struggle. 
                Rosette Bih urged broadcasters to respect strictly government social communication and editorial policy.
                Commentators said the SW Mincom delegate’s action is misdirected and smacks of abuse of office. They argue that it is not within the ambit of the delegate’s powers to impose and/or dictate the editorial policy of news channels within her jurisdiction.
                Yet, it is understood that the delegate was acting on instructions from her hierarchy, notably the SW Governor, who has easily transformed himself into a military commander since the upsurge of Anglophone protests in that part of the country.

Press Release

Withdraw your obnoxious decision
- CANPA urges SW Governor and MINCOM Delegate
CANPA Condemns South West Governor, OkaliaBilai Bernard Attempts to Stifle Press Freedom in Violation of Constitutional Provisions
The Governor of the South West Region, Bernard OkaliaBilai on the 13th of December, 2016 at the premises of the Regional Administrative Office in Buea, verbally threatened the freedom and by extension the lives of three English Speaking journalists; Buddih Adams, Kum Leonard and AtiaTillariusAzonwi following a press release they published on Saturday the 10th of December making known their intentions to storm out of every event and maintain a blackout on same if all press documents were distributed only in French in an Anglophone Region where English is the predominant language of expression. Cameroon’s constitution confers equal status to the English and French languages.
                The Governor warned the journalists to immediately dissolve a trade union they formed to protect their rights and interests in the face of so much injustice, marginalization and other attendant discrepancies that make the discharge of their duties not only difficult, but complicated and risky. Several journalists have found themselves in trouble in the recent past because they did not fully understand what was said at public events mainly in French, in an area where the great majority of the population speaks English.
                As if the public threat in the presence of top officials of the forces of law and order were not enough, the Governor reportedly instructed the Regional Delegate of Communication in the South West Region to issue an injunction on Monday the 12th of December, back-dated to read the 1st of December, 2016 ordering that;  “Owners of Private Radio and TV Stations are called upon to stop all round table discussions  on their networks concerning the current political atmosphere in the South-West Region....Government’s social communication and editorial policy should be highly respected by broadcasters and users of radio and TV Stations”.
                It is important to note at this point that Governor Bernard OkaliaBilai who is aware of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing, promoting and protecting freedom of expression and of association, coyly pushed a delegate who has no powers to take such a decision, into the error of moving onto troubled waters. The intention behind such an unfortunate, callous and irresponsible outing is clearly to further provoke the already embittered Anglophone population still aggrieved by the unacceptable torture, humiliating treatment and rape meted out on their kith and kindred by police and gendarmes at the behest of the same tyrant of a governor! 

L’be City Council votes whopping FCFA 7 bn as budget for 2017

-Creates football club to maximize use of Omnisports, Bota and Centenary stadia
By AminatehNkemngu
Andrew MotangaMonjimba
The Limbe City Council has adopted an ambitious budget of FCFA 7 Billion for the 2017 financial year and also created a football club to maximize the use of the ultra-modern stadia put in place ahead of the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations that the city co-hosted. The colossal sum was adopted during the Budgetary Session of the Council that took place on Friday 16 December 2016.
                Speaking at the conclave, the Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council, Andrew MotangaMonjimba explained that the 2017 budget was designed to improve on the quality of life of the denizens of Limbe through the provision of basic social amenities as well as to sustain the reputation of the city which has been greatly boosted after it successfully hosted the Female African Cup of Nations.
                While presenting the budget proposal, Mr Andrew Motanga pointed out that the budget which is balanced in income and expenditure at the sum of FCFA 7 Billion is the same like that of 2016. He said out of this amount 52 % will go for recurrent expenditure while 42 % will be used for investment.
                In a constant bid to improve on the living conditions of the population of the city, Motanga Andrew Monjimba said the council will in the course of 2017 embark on the tarring of the Towe road, as well as the construction of gutters and culverts on the road linking the Regional Hospital through the Unity Quarters to the Public Security Police Station. Several other roads in the municipality will also be improved while the sum of 200 million fcfa will be used to give the Limbe Regional Hospital a facelift.

Consortium of journalism associations - SW region

Mindful of the fact that a majority of journalists exercising in The South West Region are English speaking;
                Taking into cognisance the fact that Cameroon is constitutionally bi-jural, bi-cultural, and bilingual;
                Mindful of the fact that the South West Region is essentially Anglo-saxon with majority English speakers;
                Considering the need to transmit credible information to the public, void of nuance;
                 Aware of the Prime Ministerial Decree for all official documents to be in both official languages;
Proud of our unity in diversity;
                Committed to preserve our nationhood for posterity;
                We journalists practising in the South West Region observe with dismay, the continuous slaughtering and annihilation of the English Language in almost all public gatherings and communiqués.
                We have observed with utter dissatisfaction the non-translation of important documents into English during seminars, workshops, meetings especially when chaired by administrative officials. This is in violation of the high instructions of the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
                We note that this turn of events has frustrated many journalists who find it difficult to translate and communicate effectively to their audience.

Clean up campaign:

Limbe II Council collects over 2000kg of banned plastics
By AminatehNkemngu
Duncan Molindo
As part of ongoing effort to keep its environment clean and safe from any form of degradation, the Limbe II Council, Mokundange recently collected about 2000 kilograms of banned plastics from around the municipality.
The quantity of banned plastics collected was made public during a ceremony to hand over prizes to participants in a clean up campaign that took place in the council chambers on Wednesday 15 December 2016.
                Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the mayor of the Limbe II council, Duncan Molindo said the council has been working in partnership with a company known as NAMe Recycling to make sure that all the non biodegradable plastics in the municipality are collected and properly disposed of. He said the action is to keep the environment clean especially at a time when the government, through the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection has given firm instructions for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure that banned plastics do not litter the environment.
                To this end, Mayor Duncan Molindo said through decentralized funds received from the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, the council engaged NAMe Recycling to mobilize the community and ensure that all banned plastics are collected.
                Besides the close to 2000 tons already collected from other parts of the municipality, the Mayor further disclosed that another 900 kilograms were collected from the inner bowls of the LimbeOmnisport Stadium during the just ended Female AFCON, given that the stadium is located in the Limbe II municipality. Another 1000 kilogrammes were collected from around the stadium during the competition.

Enforcing laws protecting the pangolin

Arrested pangolin scale trafficker in Bertoua, bags of seized pangolin scales and ivory tusks
The Court of Appeal, East Region, shall review a case on the 10th of January 2017 against a certain Anthony NwabuNwanne, a Nigerian national who was sentenced to 75 days imprisonment by the Bertoua Court of First Instance for trafficking in pangolin scales. Nwabu was found with five bags of pangolin scales weighing over 200 kg and 12 elephant tusks. The operation that enabled the arrest and prosecution of the trafficker was carried out under the framework of the wildlife law enforcement  programme of the Ministry and Forestry and Wildlife that was launched in 2003 to track and prosecute those breaking the wildlife law. Under the same programme three other pangolin scales traffickers were also arrested and tried in 2016.
                Early in December, NwanaDoh Felix and Ndjoheu Jean Marie were given a 3-month imprisonment term for trafficking in over 128 kg of pangolin scales. They had been arrested in Ngaoundal in August 2016 as they attempted to sell the scales.
                The trial that was followed by many in Tibati, in the Adamoua Region, lasted 3 months and many feared the case could be seriously undermined by the popularity of NwanaDoh alias Eto’o, who is said to be well connected and has strong links with the local administration especially law enforcement officials. 
                But the presiding judge stood firm and made a decision which although not very stern, provided some acceptable punishment for the two criminals.
                These two cases illustrate the problems with conservation measures geared toward the pangolin that is also widely consumed as food in the country. While it was never in doubt as to the guilt of the Nigerian trafficking in pangolin scales, the court that tried the matter seemed not to have successfully evaluated the damage done to the species by Anthony and observers say this could have jeopardized the chances of giving a commensurate punishment to the trafficker by the court. 
                At least 50 giant pangolins must have been slaughtered to provide the over 200 kg of scales and at least 6 elephants killed to obtain 12 elephant tusks, although it could have been more because the tusks were not all in exact pairs. An elephant has two tusks.

As Aglophone teachers’ strike continues:

“There will be no late GCE Registration in GBS Molyko"
- Principal warns
By Boris Esono in Buea
Mrs Hannah NgotoEtondeMbua, Principal BGS Molyko
With the recent upheavals that has rocked the country and Buea in particular, the principal of Bilingual Grammar School, BGS Molyko, Mrs Hannah NgotoEtondeMbua, has called on students who wish to register for the 2017 GCE Examination to do so before the 20 December 2016 deadline elapses. Hannah Ngoto threatens that there will be no late GCE registration in BGS, notwithstanding the ongoing strike called by Anglophone Teachers’ trade unions.
                In an exclusive interview granted The Median on Friday December 16, 2016, Mrs Hannah NgotoEtondeMbua noted that though the registration deadline for the French Baccalaureate has been pushed forward from 2 December 2016 to 27 January 2017 that for the GCE has not been extended.
                She noted that the registration deadline for the Bac was extended even though about 90% of the Francophone students of BGS continued to attend classes and with the various teachers coming to school and carrying on with teaching.
                MrsEtondeMbua however regretted that the Anglophone section of the school has virtually gone dormant with barely less than 20% of students in attendance.
                “The few teachers who even come to school do so not to teach but to fill in their first term examination marks,” the principal observed.
                On the issue of a prospective low percentage score of students in the GCE, the principal called on the students to study at home and make good use of recommended textbooks. 

Poachers kill forest guard in East Region

Forest guards
Armed poachers opened fire on patrolling forests guards and soldiers in the East region last Wednesday, killing one and wounding another.
                The poachers left behind nine elephant tusks as they fled the shooting scene inside Lobeke National Park, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said.
                “The fallen ranger was in a joint anti-poaching patrol alongside three of his colleagues and two soldiers of the Cameroon army when they come under fire on December 7, 2016,” WWF Central Africa said in a Facebook message.
                WWF identified the slain ranger as Ngongo Bruce Danny and the wounded as Ngozo Martin, a soldier.
                The poachers had Kalashnikovs, WWF added.

Southwest region:

Inadequate capacity of contractors hampers projects
By Boris Esono in Limbe
Officials pose with workshop participants
The construction sector plays a key role in the economy of Cameroon and therefore impacts the development of the country. This impact can go as far as influencing the banking sector. However, the lack of appropriate maintenance of these infrastructures negatively affects the population which thereby affects the society, reducing economic growth and limiting employment possibilities.
                It is as a result of the above analysis that the National Employment Fund, NEF, in collaboration with the Regional Delegation of Public Works, ARMP, MINMAP, and private companies on Thursday, 15 December 2016 in Limbe organized a training workshop on the theme: “The impact of construction and maintenance of public works infrastructures on the development of Cameroon”.
                Opening the one day workshop, Mr. Lokombe Vincent, 1st Deputy SDO for Fako called on the various participants to take the workshop very seriously especially as Limbe has been chosen as one of the venues to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
                “Limbe can boast of magnificent infrastructures such as the Omnisport Stadium, Middle farms stadium, and other facilities created, but care has to be taken if these structures must stand the test of time.
To Mr. Nkwanyuo James, Deputy Manager       AMA Consultants, in the past, knowledge for studies was vital and the budget to carryout visibility studies was significant to aid the construction process. But today the situation is different as projects are poorly surveyed with others not even going through the survey process and little or no money made available.

EkondoTiti council votes 800m as 2017 budget

By Doh Bertrand Nua
The Ekondo-Titi Council has held its second and last ordinary session for 2016. The session was aimed to examine, deliberate and adopt the 2017 budget which stands at 800 million francs CFA balanced in revenue and expenditure, as against 700 million last year; an increase of 14.28%.  The session proceeded under the watchful eyes of the SDO for Ndian, ClamberlinNtou’oNdong.
                According to the mayor of EkondoTiti council, Mbongo Alfred Ngoe, the council will in the days ahead start experiencing some setbacks as FEICOM will begin deducting the loan which the council took for water projects to the tune of 25 million francs. He therefore appealed to the general public to exhibit maximum understanding and collaboration by paying their taxes to help the council in generating revenue.


Revenue collection is our major challenge
- Mbongo Alfred Ngoe, Mayor Ekondo-Titi
*Which are some of the revenue sources of Ekondo-Titi council?

Mbongo Alfred Ngoe   
-We have several sources of revenue, but I will first mention the local sources that I prefer to classify as recurrent revenue and investment revenue. For recurrent revenue, we have small businesses that pay some levies to the council. That is the principal source of local revenue. We also have building permits and packing fees (stationnement in French) that is a quarterly collection from vehicles. We also have incidental revenues from the beach, investment revenues from council asserts like rents for market stalls, buildings and town hall. So basically these are the sources of local revenue for the typically rural Ekondo-Titi council. Then we also have other revenues that come from the state most especially the quarterly additional council taxes that we get from FEICOM. So, in all, these are the basic sources of revenue that we use to carryout our expenditures at the council.

Uneasy peace:

Calm returns to Kumba ahead of Christmas
-Business activities gradually gathering steam as festive period approaches
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
An uneasy calm now reigns in Kumba, capital of Meme Division of the Southwest region after two strike actions last week that paralyzed activities in most parts of the town.   The strike actions were led mostly by bikers, in a show of solidarity with their brothers and sisters of the Northwest region, who were being brutally beaten and even shot dead by trigger-happy forces of law and order.
                Most parts of Kumba remained calm throughout last week enabling city dwellers to go about their businesses without fear.
                “I am happy that the markets have opened again and business is picking up again,” said Chukwudi, a trader at the Kumba main market.
                The education sector is also gradually coming back to life despite the ongoing teachers’ sit in strike in this part of the country. Students in examination classes could be seen in some government secondary/high schools in Kumba trying to register for their final year examinations. Even though, only a handful of staff, mostly administrative staffs were found on the various campuses.

Press release

CJA- Cameroon frowns at the use of excessive force against striking Cameroon Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers

Members of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Journalists Association, CJA- Cameroon met in Limbe on Saturday the 17th of December, 2016 in an Extra Ordinary session and examined among other issues, the current strikes by Cameroon Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers in the two English Speaking Regions of the country.

Immediate Origin
CJA- Cameroon notes that what has become known today as the Anglophone problem has lingered, but what led to the escalation of the situation on the ground is a strike action started by Cameroon Common Law Lawyers on the 8th of November and Anglophone Teachers on the 21st of November, 2016, demanding the respect of the bi-jural nature of Cameroon as well as the protection of the values enshrined in the Anglophone sub system of education; which industrial actions were and are still being brutally repressed by security and defense forces. Worse still, the Regional Delegate of Communication in Buea and the Senior Divisional Officer for Meme have signed anti-constitutional decisions aimed at stifling press freedom and the free speech in the region.

BidoungMkpwatt handshake lights up internet

There was the Ice Bucket Challenge, then there was the Mannequin Challenge, now from Cameroon comes the BidoungMkpatt Challenge.
By Boris Esono in Buea
The issue of greeting a top personality has never been so controversial as the one of the minister of sport and physical education, Mr. BidoungKpwatt Pierre Ismael. Cameroonians of all works of life have taken to social media to demonstrate their interpretation of what they call the “bidoungmkpatt challenge”. According to the author of this challenge, Mr. Nfor Hanson of Equinox TV, it was meant to show how top government officials adore the president of Cameroon to the extent of regarding him as a god.
                Recently, Cameroon’s minister of sports and physical education Pierre Ishmael BidoungKpwatt met President Paul Biya and bowed rather unusually low (about 90 degrees) to greet him. This was during the party hosted by the Presidential couple in honor of the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, vice-champions of the 10th edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Bamenda Olympic Stadium ready in May 2017

Tombi A RokoSidik
In a recent communique from the Cameroonian football federation, FECAFOOT, released on December 12, the country’s football body made it clear that the Bamenda stadium and other stadiums will be available by May 2017.
                FECAFOOT in a communiqué “The Executive Committee of FÉCAFOOT is pleased to note that the construction of the stadiums in Bamenda, Bafia, Bangangté and Sangmelima is progressing well within the framework of the FÉCAFOOT / Prime Potomac partnership.
                It confirms FECAFOOT’s commitment to make these stadiums available latest May 2017, “reads the communiqué.

Gabon AFCON 2017:

Hugo Broos calls 35 players to camp
Hugo Broos
After a sit up call from Cameroon football federation, FECAFOOT for Broos to see that the Indomitable Lions shine in AFCON 2017 in Gabon and also qualify for Russia 2018, the Belgian tactician has named a 35-man squad in order to select the best.
                In drawing up is 35-man list, Broos brought in five new players to add to the initial 30 he told pressmen he has been working with.
                These are goalkeeper Georges Bokwe (Coton Sport), two defenders Ernest Mabouka (Zilina of Slovakia), MaximePoundje(Bordeaux), and two midfielders ZamboAnguissa (Marseille), Amadou Ibrahim (Lille)
                Broos’ list also include players whose allegiance to the Cameroon national team is a doubt.
                These are the cases of JoëlMatip. The Liverpool defender recently announced that he will stay with the English giants as they continue their quest for their first English Premier League title.
                His opinion is not a surprise since the former Schalke 04 player had declined all summons for several months.