Sunday, 23 April 2017
Ben Muna fires, GnieKamga hits back
The lead defence counsel in the case pitting Nkongho Felix Balla, Dr. Fontem, ManchoBibixy and 74 others against the state of Cameroon, Senior Barrister BenardAchoMuna, has accused the Bar President, Jackson GnieKamga of being a double-edged sword in his manoevres to convince striking Anglophone lawyers to go back to the courts. He said Gnie Kanga was playing two conflicting roles that is, at once pretending to defend Balla in court and saying nothing to ensure his release. Reacting to Muna’s outburst, the Bar President fired back, saying the Bar never mandated Muna to lead the defence of their colleague, AgborBalla, and so Muna should mind his public utterances about the Bar President.
By Akwi Mavis Annoh in Yaounde
|Former Bartonnier and Balla’s lead counsel, Ben Muna|
The Cameroon Bar is Council is now divided as to whether Anglophone lawyers should return to the courts on 2 May 2017 or continue with their sit-in strike until government satisfies all their demands.
Barely days after the President of the Cameroon Bar, Barrister Jackson GnieKamga, issued a release stating that after due consultation with a conclave of senior advocates of the NW and SW, the striking Anglophone lawyers have accepted to adorn their wigs and gowns once again and resume duty as from 2 May 2017, the lead counsel for Barrister AgborBalla, Senior Barrister Ben Muna (himself a former Bar President), organized a press briefing in Yaounde during which he faulted the Bar President for trying to play a double game.
“We distance ourselves from the steps taken by the President of the Bar Council within the framework of the unrepresentative entity styled the “Conclave” as outlined in a press release issued by him on 9 April 2017 without prior consultation with the detainees and the team of defence lawyers; hereby clearly state that neither they nor the detained persons whom they defend are bound by any promise given or commitment made by the Bar President,” stated a press release read by Ben Muna at the press briefing.
-Being President Biya’s remarks at the graduation of 35th batch of EMIA students
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For several years now, our country has been grappling with various threats at its borders: maritime piracy, incursions of armed groups from neighbouring countries, hostage-taking with ransom demands and, above all, the atrocities of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
As everyone knows, Cameroon is a peaceful and hospitable country. Hence, it would have preferred a more serene environment which is more conducive to the harmonious development to which it aspires.
It must be admitted that such is not the case in the sub-region.
As a proud, united, mutually supportive, and courageous people, Cameroonians have always found and will always find the wherewithal to face every threat and meet every challenge.
In this regard, our defence and security forces are an example which I would like to commend on this solemn occasion. They are admirably performing their duty of defending the fatherland. Thanks to their devotedness, bravery and sense of sacrifice, maritime piracy has been significantly curbed. Hostage takers are relentlessly tracked down. Boko Haram has suffered severe routs and is now reduced to merely launching sporadic assaults on civilian populations or attempting cowardly attacks.
In this fierce war against our country’s enemies, many of our sons and daughters have fallen in the field of honour; others have been wounded. I would like here to pay them glowing tribute on behalf of the entire Nation.
Also, I would like to say loud and clear that their sacrifice was not in vain. Indeed, not an inch of our territory has fallen into the hands of the enemy. Our brave and hardworking people have continued to ply their trade. As a haven of peace and stability, Cameroon has witnessed an influx of thousands of refugees from every conflict area in the region, fleeing for their lives and in quest of a sanctuary.
Biya regime irritated by pro-gov’t Magazine
|1982 to 2012: From Biya to Biya, 30 years already, so captioned JeuneAfrique|
Government spokesman, IssaTchiromaBakary, last week convened the national and international press at his office and castigated French weekly magazine, JeuneAfrique, over what he described as the magazine’s repeated and sustained bashing of Cameroon and its head of state, Paul Biya. Commentators wasted no time to question why the government should now complain bitterly about a magazine that is widely known to be on its payroll, and which is also well known to be strongly editorially friendly and protective to President Biya and his regime. Observers are wondering what might have caused this turnaround in relations between Yaounde and JeuneAfrique.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
Whenever JeuneAfrique sneezes Yaounde catches cold. This was the conclusion drawn by some pressmen who answered present at a press briefing, in Yaounde, convened by Communication Minister, IssaTchiromaBakari, on Wednesday last week.
Tchiroma who is intriguingly (he is not of the ruling party) the spokesman of the Biya regime, during the press outing, lambasted with unconcealed vexation the repeated and intermittent bashing that President Biya and his regime receives from the French Magazine for several years running now.
The loquacious government spokesman conserved no effort in condemning JeuneAfrique and accusing its management of adopting an editorial policy that only seeks to destabilize Cameroon and bring its president to worldwide disrepute.
Tchiroma observed that JeuneAfrique started her devilish scheme against Cameroon in 2011 and has since not relented. Tchiroma said Cameroon has had enough of the attacks from JeuneAfrique and she is noe poised to take steps to put a stop to the “rubbish”.
“Enough is enough! We shall not continue taking the disinformation and intoxication from JeuneAfrique,” Tciroma said, citing examples of JeuneAfrique’s jaundiced coverage of Cameroon since 2011.
Though Tchiroma made no statements to specify any objectionable facts in the several JeuneAfrique reports that he quarreled, he however left his hearers in no doubt that the government in general, and president Biya in particular, are embarrassed by the bad image that JeuneAfrique is presenting to the wide world of Cameroon and its God-chosen President, Paul Biya.
It is crazy and foolhardy to bring suit against Bishops
-B’da Court bows to pressure, postpones case against sine die
By Nestor Njodzefe in Bamenda
|Catholic Bishops say they are ready to defend themselves|
The Mezam High Court has postponed to a yet to be announced date the case pitting some Roman Catholic Bishops, and Principals against the ‘Consortium of Parents’ initially programmed at the Bamenda Court of First Instance on April 21, 2017.
An announcement from the Court April 19, 2017 said due to the fact that they are bereaved and will be accompanying one of their colleagues, late Magistrate Kilbat Noel to his ‘Journey of no return’ on that day, there shall be no court case as a result.
The announcement read in the St. Joseph’s metropolitan Cathedral on April 19, advised litigants and interested parties to consult the notice board of the court for the next hearing date.
While reacting to the announcement in Church, Archbishop Cornelius FontemEsua prayed the matter to take place soon because once charged to court it is good to be tried and convicted or acquitted stressing that justice delayed is justice denied.
The Archdiocesan director of Communication, Reverend Father Humphrey TatahMbuy in another announcement also dissociated Catholic Archdiocesan Parent Teachers’ Association, PTA from the Consortium of parents whose individuals claim to talk on behalf of the parents of the Catholic institutions of learning. The disclaimer is signed by Richard Ndeh, Salla Ernest, MrsVictorineChamba, Prof. Simon TatahNgenge and NdoforCalembaa.
Stubborn ‘Ghost’ reappears in K’ba, M’fe, Buea, L’be
-Bamenda also crippled by the ghost ahead of Varsity games in UBa
By Boris Esono&Doh Bertrand Nua in Buea&K’ba
The ‘stubborn ghost’ reared its ugly head once again last Monday in most parts of the South West region, rubbishing demonstrations calling for its disappearance. Many shops and market stalls remained closed for most part of the day on Monday, barely days after the populations took to the streets to bar the way to ghost towns and violence.
In Buea, Limbe, Tiko, Kumba, Mamfe and other peripheral towns of the South West region, the streets remained partially deserted, and devoid of the normal hustle and bustle.
In the metropolis of Buea, Kumba, Tiko-Mutengene and Limbe, only some few taxi drivers and motor-bike riders braved the odds and continued plying their trade. The situation was more serious in Kumba, where the populations cursed the Government delegate, accusing him of “lying” to the wider public that Kumba had decided to bar the way to ghost towns.
In the chief town Bamenda, like in the rest of Prime Minster Philemon Yang’s NW region of origin, the ghost was omnipresent and took total command and control of the pace of affairs. Persons who had to commute from one location of the town to another had no option than to ‘pedest’ (go on foot).
The ghost that left Bamenda on Monday evening, resurfaced on Friday morning, with aim to frustrate the University Games that were to start on Saturday at the Bamenda University.
Cameroon conditionally restores internet in NW & SW
Internet services in Cameroon's English-speaking regions have been turned back on three months after they were cut off following protests. People were delighted in Bamenda, NW region when online access was restored on Thursday at around 7 Pm. The joy was the same in the SW region, our field reporter said.
Before the ban, authorities had warned mobile phone users they faced jail for spreading false information.
Communications and the economy were badly affected by the shutdown.
Anglophone Cameroonians make up about 20% of the country's 23 million people. The other regions of the country are predominately French-speaking.
Excited groups gathered in the Bamenda city centre to share the news with each other on Thursday night, as passing cars honked their horns in celebration.
Students, those working in the financial sector, and businesses who sell products online say they suffered hugely during the ban.
Cyber-cafes which were forced to close are now reopening.
“My work and family life were affected. I had to make a four-hour round trip to neighbouring West region every time I wanted to send reports to my editors in Yaounde.
The team of lawyers for the defence of Barrister Felix NkonghoAgborBalla, Dr. NebaFontem, Barrister Abadem Walters, ManchoBibixy and other persons standing trial at the Yaounde military court,
Wishes to inform national and international public opinion that:
In the context of grievances expressed by the population of the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon, many persons have been arrested and taken into custody; some of them, such as Barrister Felix NkonghoAgbor, Dr. NebaFontem, Mr. BibixyMancho and Barrister Walters Abadem, are standing trial at the Yaounde Military Court.
Other persons have been forced into exile, fearing for their safety or their life while others still are forbidden to leave the national territory.
Furthermore, as is well known, the populations of the two regions mentioned above have been deprived of access to internet in the past three months.
Several mediations have been undertaken by and with various national and international actors with a view to bringing the crisis peacefully to an end.
It is in this context that, with a view particularly to securing the release of lawyers held in custody, the special representative for Africa of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ambassador Francois Lounceny Fall, met on 11 April 2017, at his request, with lawyers of the Defence team designated for this purpose by Barrister Felix NkonghoAgborBalla and Dr. NebaFontem.
On the same day, this high-level personality visited the Yaounde prison at Kondengui where he held discussions with Barrister Felix NkonghoAgborBalla and Mr. BibixyMancho.
Following these steps taken by the United Nations Emissary, all lawyers of the Defence team, through the person whose signature is appended hereto, have regard to the general situation:
Being the introductory remarks of the communication minister and government spokesman, at a press conference to “denounce ongoing biased reporting on Cameroon by JeuneAfrique Weekly Magazine”, on Wednesday 19 April 2017, in Yaounde
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In a recent issue, the JeuneAfrique weekly newspaper published the interview of Mr MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA captioned, and I quote: “I advised Paul BIYA not to vie again for presidency, and I’m paying a high price for that”, end of quote. In this interview, Mr MARAFA was echoing his good old song on the status of his condemnation and, subsequently, his detention conditions.
As you are all aware, Mr MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA is currently serving a 20-year jail term for intellectual complicity in the embezzlement of public funds to the tune of 29 million US dollars (about 14.5 billion CFA Francs), an amount which was meant for the purchase of a Boeing Business Jet 2 aircraft to be used for the Head of State’s travels.
This notwithstanding, Mr MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA has kept on proclaiming to whoever wishes to hear him that he is innocent of the facts for which he was convicted, and that he is a political prisoner whose detention is merely arbitrary.
His last press outing goes along to support this same view.
In previous briefings with the press, I had, on behalf of the Government, explained the reason why Mr MARAFA is a prisoner under ordinary law, detained under the conditions that are fully in compliance with the rules and procedures in force under Cameroonian law.
Allow me to refresh your memory on the issue:
While serving as Minister, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Mr MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA, was tasked to carry out the procedure for acquiring an aircraft for the Head of State's travels. To this end, he requested the services of the General Manager of the then National Air Transport Company, CAMAIR, in the person of Mr. FOTSO Yves Michel.
To carry out this mission, instead of directly contacting the BOEING company, the MARAFA-FOTSO pair, requested the services of a company named GIA International, which was till then unknown within the civil aviation world.
GIA International therefore acted as an intermediary with BOEING. As such, it was GIA that, on the order of Mr MARAFA, received the bank transfer of 31 million US dollars (about 15.5 billion CFA Francs) disbursed by the Cameroonian Government.
Alerted by the National Bank of Paris – which made the said transfer – on the lack of seriousness or even the insolvency of GIA International, the Government sent a control mission to the Boeing company. Thanks to this mission, it was found out that Boeing had received only 2 million dollars from GIA.
The questions which to date remain unanswered by those concerned and which have led the different jurisdictions dealing with this case to conclude that Mr MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA and his co-convicts are guilty, thereby raising issues as follows: Where is the plane that was to be purchased and that was never delivered? Or, better still, where are the 29 million dollars entrusted to Mr. MARAFA HAMIDOU YAYA for the purchase of the said aircraft?
The foregoing explanation on Mr MARAFA’s status of prisoner clearly indicates that he is a prisoner under ordinary law, since the offence of embezzlement of public funds of which he was duly convicted is an offence under ordinary law pursuant to Cameroon’s criminal law in any case.
With regard to the continuous claims of arbitrary detention by Mr MARAFA, it should be recalled that he had referred the matter to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, asking, on this alleged motive, for the rescission of his trial and his immediate release.
None of the reasons put forward by the UN Working Group and the requestor, however, resisted the analysis and responses provided by the Government.
was therefore found out that Mr MARAFA's detention did not suffer any irregularity, both in terms of form and substance.
Southwest farmers to benefit 30bn from Islamic Bank
|IDB Officails pose with SOWEFCU members|
Some over one million farmers from the six Divisions of the Southwest region will in no distant future benefit over 60 million dollar (about 30 billion FCFA) being a project funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). This was the conclusion that emerged from recent talks between the government of Cameroon and the IDB. The revelation was made to farmers’ groups in Kumba, when their representatives met with a visiting Islamic Development Bank delegation.
Speaking to reporters on the sideline of the visit, the leader of the IDB delegation, MUR Abdi, revealed that the bank will step in to help the agric sector of the SW region through loans and grants. He explained that the IDB is an old financier of the government of Cameroon but noted that the project in view is the first by the IDB in the southwest region aimed to improve on the value chain of agric products.
K’ba-Ekondo-Titi road project begins
-New Meme SDO confirmed the information after visiting the project headquarters situated at Small Ekombe
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|Installed machines at the construction base|
The Senior Divisional Officer for Meme, Chamberlin Ntou’ouNdong, has assured the population of Meme Division that the tarring of the 60km Kumba-Ekondo-Titi stretch of road will begin in no distant time. He made the declaration recently following an inspection visit he paid to Small Ekombe, the locality hosting the equipment site of the company in charge of the project.
The 60km stretch of road will be constructed to the tune of some FCFA 38 billion by a Tunisian Company, SOROUBAT-CM, with funds from the Budget d’legenceTriemal PLANUT.
On the occasion of the one day inspection visit by the Meme SDO and other administrative officials of the division, the Head of SOROUBAT-CM, Amin Ben Hassen took them on a guided tour through the equipment base while edifying the specificities of the prefect. He also assured the SDO that the project will kick off in less than two weeks.
The visibly satisfied Meme SDO expressed optimism about the imminent start of the project given that the machine pool was impressive. He enjoined the population to throw their total support and collaboration behind the construction company in order that the project is realized within the set time frame.
Ntou’ouNdong assured the population that he will personally see to it that any disputes that may erupt in the course of the construction work are settled.
A two-day-old baby boy cries as his parents take seats in a Cameroonian military truck in the border town of Fotokol. They were being transported home to the Nigerian village of GamboruNgala.
In northern Cameroon, the military says some 7,000 Nigerian refugees have gone back to their towns and villages in the past month as part of a voluntary repatriation program. However, Cameroon continues to face accusations that refugees have also been forcibly removed.
Many refugees fled their homes in that area two years ago as Boko Haram attacked villages, looting, kidnapping and killing locals.
Returnee FadiNaji, 23, says when she arrived in Cameroon, she did not dream of returning home one day because all of her five sisters and brothers had been killed. She says she is returning now with the hope of starting a new life.
K’ba Main Market now managed by caretaker committee
-SDO orders committee to report to him weekly
-Gov’t Delegate’s ability in handling matters within his competence called to question
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
The new SDO for Meme has appointed a caretaker committee to ensure the proper and orderly functioning of the Kumba Main Market. Chamberlain Ntou’ouNdong signed the Prefectoral Order appointing the management committee on 6 April 2017. The committee was put in place to put an end to the chaos and confusion that have characterized the functioning of the market, after an election to designate new members to head the Kumba Main Market Traders Welfare Association, was declared abortive.
It should be noted that traders in the market were left at a loss and in confusion without knowing who to address their problems to this because the mandate of the last executive of their union had expired. The creation of the caretaker committee thus brings to a temporal end a bad situation which had been dragging for weeks unend..
According to the Prefectoral order, the members of the eight-man caretaker committee are neutral persons who were not known to belong to any of the three camps that contested the failed election.
Thus, “pending the organization of the election in view of designating executive members of the Kumba main market traders’ association, the following persons are as from the date of signature of this order hereby appointed as members of a caretaker committee to the Kumba Main market welfare association: They include Mr. EyoMbone as chairperson, Mr. AgienChrysantus as Vice chairperson, Mrs. SiehMalah as Secretary, Mr. AbuahDiuedonneIbiatoh as treasurer, Mrs. Monya Rose Tambe as financial secretary, Mrs. Mbola Martha as 1st advicer, Mr. KovalchouNgassa as 2nd adviser and Mr. TchindaHogus Alexandra as 3rd adviser,” so read the SDO’s order, a copy of which The Median procured.
The order gives the committee the powers to manage the security situation of the market, day-to-day running of the affairs of the market. It shall render weekly accounts to the SDO until fresh elections are organized at the market.
Mayara fled his hometown in northeast Nigeria one year ago, and sought refuge from the slaughter of Boko Haram and military reprisals in Kolofata, in Cameroon’s Far North region.
But three weeks ago, Cameroon soldiers bundled him across the border without explanation, even though the violence and insecurity in northeast Nigeria that forced him and his family out is far from over.
Mayara is among thousands of Nigerian refugees the army has evicted from the Far North in recent months, says Medecin sans Frontiers (MSF), a medical charity treating refugees and displaced people in northeast Nigeria and northern Cameroon.
Cameroon may be violating international law if the reports are true. Authorities have denied previous reports of unilateral and involuntary repatriation of refugees from Cameroon.
More than 87,000 Nigerian refugees live in the Far North, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). The majority are at the Minawao camp and about 27,000 live offsite, according to last year’s estimates.
In May 2016, UNHCR said more than three in four residents of Minawao had indicated the willingness to return home but were still concerned about the violence and insecurity they were likely to return to.
MSF says it witnessed the return of Nigerian refugees accompanied by Cameroon soldiers “on several occasions” in 2016 and 2017, particularly in the town of Banki, on the other side of the border from Amchide.
Returnees say they were neither warned about the repatriations nor given the choice of staying. Most appear to be those living in border towns like Kolofata and out of the UNHCR-run Minawao camp located deeper inside Cameroon territory.
An estimated 50.000 people live in Rann, northeast Nigeria. Newly displaced continue to arrive in the town every day due to attacks by Boko Haram, military operations and people searching for basic food and services. People live in extremely precarious conditions, in makeshift straw huts and without access to essential life-saving services. People have less than 5 litres of water per day, far below recommended standards. MSF provides health care, screens and treats children for malnutrition and pre-natal consultations. Teams also vaccinate children against measles and work to improve the water supply in the town. Malik Samuel
The forced repatriations are complicating life for refugees: breaking up families and putting them in harm’s way, according to MSF in a statement and the testimonies of several affected people.
Mayara says he left behind a pregnant wife already in labour and six children when he was forced out of the country.
“I wanted to go see my wife to know how she was doing but there was no way I could do that because we were gathered by Cameroonian soldiers and were not allowed to leave,” Mayara says in a testimony provided to us by MSF.
Zara, another Nigerian refugee who was returned to Banki last month with two children, had been separated from her husband for one year. He too had been evicted from Kolofata in earlier military campaigns.
|Leopard skin and ivory seized from a Catholic priest|
A catholic priest was arrested on April 20, 2017 after he was found in possession of 2 ivory tusks, a skin and several teeth from a freshly killed leopard. The clergy man travelled from Mvangan to Sangmenlima in the South Region where he attempted to sell the wildlife contraband. It is expected that the suspect who is presently behind bars would be charged on three counts including unlawful possession and commercialization of parts of protected species and the killing of the species – that is the elephant and the leopard.
According to preliminary investigations, the clergy man is suspected to have been trafficking ivory for a long time and a source close to the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity said the catholic priest had been trafficking in ivory for over 5 years and had developed a network of poachers to whom he supplied basically everything they needed for poaching. These items included arms and bullets, clothing and cover. He equally supplied food to the families of poachers who were on poaching expeditions that could run up to weeks.
He was arrested during an operation carried out by the Dja and Lobo Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in collaboration with the Sangmelima Gendarmerie Territorial Brigade. The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA) provided technical assistance during the whole process that involved a thorough investigation into the illegal activity of the prelate. After his arrests, the car he used was immediately taken to the delegation’s office where it is stationed and could be impounded. He drove the car from Mvangan with the products hidden inside.
According to the same sources , he supplies raw ivory tusks to other traffickers based in Sangmelima, Douala and Yaounde and uses his religious status to drive pass through check points unperturbed as few check points officials would dare suspect a catholic priest to be carrying ivory contraband. This is a common routine among traffickers who always use a front profession for the cover needed to effectively carry out trafficking. This is not the fast time a man of God has been arrested for wildlife trafficking. A pastor was arrested on December 16, 2015 as he tried to sell 19 chimp skulls in Yaounde. He had travelled from Meyomessala in the South Region to Yaounde and shortly after he arrived, he hired a taxi which took him to a popular neighbourhood in Yaounde to hook up with a client and got himself picked up by wildlife officials.
Arrested traffickers with lion and leopard skins
Three people were arrested on the 13th of April 2015, in Meiganga for trafficking in a two leopard skins and a lion skin. Also seized from the traffickers were two crocodile skins during the operation that was carried out by wildlife officials of the Mbere Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife working in collaboration with the Gendarmerie Territorial Brigade. One of the traffickers left Garoua with some of the wildlife products on board a grey Toyota car and arrived Meiganga where he got in contact with an accomplice.
The arresting team tracked the car from the moment it arrived Meiganga to a location near a fuellng station and the three traffickers were arrested as they pulled the skins from bags full with grains of maize. According to one of the members of the team, they were about to start doing business when wildlife officials quickly move in and got them. The skins had been hidden among grains of maize to enable the 37-year old trafficker who left Garoua to pass through check points without being discovered as transporting parts of protected species. He equally had supporting documents proving he was travelling with maize.
Prior investigations had established that an illegal sale of lion, crocodile and leopard skins was about to be carried out in the town and wildlife officials teamed up with the gendarmerie to stop the transaction and arrest the traffickers. The operation was carried out with technical support from The Last Great Ape Organization (LAGA). If found guilty the three face up to 3 years imprisonment for trafficking in protected wildlife species. The illegal trade in these species is seriously affecting their ability to survive and the lion is facing serious survival challenges in the country with just a few hundred remaining in the wild in the Northern part of the country.
The trade is trans-boundary with Nigeria being one of the main destinations for the lion skins coming from Cameroon. According to sources close to the case, one of the traffickers has a number of international connections in Nigeria, Chad and beyond, attesting to the international character of their business that is well organized. The Meiganga based trafficker, according to the same sources, is the main buyer of the products while the Garoua-based trafficker is the main supplier and collector. He equally supplies wildlife contraband to clients based in Yaounde and Douala. He is equally suspected of gold trafficking.
|Trafficker arrested in Messamenawith Pangolin scales|
A 37-year old man was arrested in Messamena for illegal possession and attempts at selling over 100 kg of pangolin skins. The arrest that took place at midday on Friday April 14, 2017 was carried out by officials of the Forestry and Wildlife Control Post who were assisted by the Messamena Gendarmerie Territorial Brigade during a crackdown operation that took the notorious pangolin scale trafficker who had been under investigations for some time now.
The trafficker who owns a store is suspected to have been regularly supplying pangolin scales to clients in Yaounde and Douala. He would transport and sell bags of scales and on returning to his base he would buy provisions and supplies for his store, reports of preliminary investigations indicate. But on that day his luck ran out as investigations had provided enough information pertaining to an illegal sale of pangolin scales that was about to be carried out in town. The operation was carried out with the technical support of The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA).
The trafficker who is presently behind bars is expected to be charged with two counts including unlawful possession and circulation of a totally protected wildlife species, this, according to sections 101 and 158 of the 1994 wildlife law and could face up to 3 years imprisonment. Cameroon has three species of pangolins and only the giant pangolin was classified as totally protected but after the last CoP of CITES that held last year in South Africa, all species of pangolins were moved to Appendix I which gives the highest levels of protection under this UN convention that regulates trade in wildlife species. Minister Ngole Philip Ngwesse quickly reacted to the CITES’ decision by issuing a circular letter in January 2017 that says all pangolin species are totally protected in the country.
Fame Ndongo complicates Biya’s Laptop largesse
-Fears rife many students might be left out of the project
Reports say the 500.000 laptops which is within the framework of the “Special Youth Plan” promised University Students for the 2016/2017 academic year by the Head of State, Paul Biya on Feb 2016 will be made available to benefactors in no distant future.
A convention to set the initiative in motion was signed on July 27, 2017 in Yaounde between Jacques FaméNdongo, Minister of Higher Education and Chancellor of Academic Orders, and a Chinese company, Sichuan Télécom Construction Engineering Co.Ltd that is expected to supply the laptops.
The project worth over FCFA 75 billion and dubbed “one student, one computer” according to MINSUP is a move by President Paul Biya to help young university students secure access to modern day digital economy.
More than a year the promise, speculations were rife that the laptops might just remain an empty political promise like others.
Cameroonian woman is first to head UN’s ECA
By Njodzefe Nestor with agency reports
|Dr Vera Songwe, flying Cameroons flag high|
United Nations Secretary General, AntónioGuterres, has appointed Vera Songwe, a Cameroonian economist and banking executive as Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary making her the first woman ever to serve in that capacity.
Dr. Songwe’s appointment by the UN scribe was announced Thursday April 13, 2017.
She is taking over the reins of the organisation at a very critical stage of the ECA, following the departure of the immediate past Executive-Secretary, Dr. Carlos Lopes who served from 2012 to 2016.
While celebrating her appointment, Barrister AkereMuna, another Cameroonian International cadre who is current Sanctions Commissioner of the African Development and Chairperson of the International Anti-corruption Conference in his face book page said Every Cameroonian should rise and salute Vera Songwe.
|Joseph Fabrice Ondoa Ebogo|
Joseph FabriceOndoaEbogo, Cameroon international and best goalkeeper of the 2017 African Cup of Nations considers quitting FC Seville for not having enough play time.
Trained at Fundesport (Eto’oFils Foundation) to Barcelona B and transferred to Tarragone, presently on loan with FC Seville B, Ondoa speaks out to JeuneAfrique after playing only a single game since the Nations Cup in Gabon.
“I desire to play. I expected some consideration from FC Seville as the African Champion with Cameroon. I was designated the best goalkeeper of Gabon 2017, but I am still humble, and think I could have my opportunity. I will see if it is not better to try out in France, Belgium, England or Italy”.
Popular Fanfare electrocutes B’da University Saturday
The hustle and bustle along the Bamenda-Bambili road was unprecedented Saturday, as the dynamic populations of the seven divisions of the North West region abandoned their usual activities and trooped into the Bambili main campus of the Bamenda University, UBa, to witness the official opening of the 2017 National University Games. The popular mobilization and fanfare was not only telling of the enthusiasm of the population but also betrayed the importance they attached to the games, the first to be hosted at UBa, since its creation by President Paul Biya in 2010.
The thousands of enthusiastic watchers had come to also communion with the estimated 5000 athletes and officials that were pulled in from 20 public and private Universities and other Higher Institutions of learning in the country, to showcase their sporting and cultural talents.
The presence in the games venue of emblematic sports stars like Rigobert Song, Sarah LienguEtonge and Yvonne Gwaya only drove the populations and the athletes into uncontrollable ecstasy.
Officially opening the 2017 Games, the Minister of Higher Education exhorted the athletes and officials to demonstrate a high sense of discipline, moral rectitude and fair-play, as they display their talents in sports and culture throughout the 10 days that the games will be staged. Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo, who doubles as the Chancellor of Academic Orders in Cameroon, enjoined the students and officials not to be oblivious of the theme for this 20th edition of the University Games: “2017 University Games: 20 years of promoting talent towards development, peace, unity and the emergence of Cameroon.”
Monday, 17 April 2017
Fearless Akere Muna rattles Biya again, warns of looming genocide
Barrister Akere Muna
-Says the 84-year old is still hanging on to power despite serving at the presidency for 55 years that is, since 1962.
-Says the current situation in the country is such that it suffices for an Anglophone fanatic to kill three or more Francophones, and the retaliation from the Francophones will be anybody’s guess
By Essan-Ekoninyam in Yaounde
Legal icon and anti-corruption crusader of international repute and renown, Barrister AkereTembengMuna, has wondered aloud why President Biya should still be at the presidency despite serving there in different capacities for 55 years that is, since 1962.
AkereMuna was speaking recently during a panel discussion on democracy in Africa. The discussion that brought informed actors, observers and stakeholders on Africa’s democratic process was organized by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Talking about his country Cameroon, Akere said there was a serious problem of management of diversity here and this poor management of diversity is the cause for the present uprising in the Anglophone parts of the country. He said the uprising has potentials to explode and excalate into something more serious if something is not done soon.
UNO, USA pressure Biya to free detainees, restore internet
President Paul Biya
The resident UNO representative for Central Africa last week met with government officials and jailed Anglophone leaders before granting a press conference in Yaounde. Reports say the USA is also threatening to withdraw its troops in North Cameroon if government does not improve on its human rights record.
By Essan-Ekoninyam in Yaounde
Yaounde authorities are not having peaceful sleep ever since the Anglophone uprising started and after they massively arrested some Anglophone leaders and shutdown internet in the two Anglophone regions of NW and SW.
After some opposition parties notably the SDF and MRC have continued urging government to free the arrested Anglophone activists and their leaders, and NW CPDM MPs some time ago also joined their voice to the call for release of the detainees and the restoration of internet in NW and SW it was the turn of international Peace Crusader, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle last week who also took the queue along with other opinion leaders to mount pressure on government to consider granting general amnesty to the detainees.
But if government has since given a deaf ear to all these calls, it is difficult to say whether or not she will do the same for calls coming from international bodies especially the UNO and the USA that have now made their positions known on the Anglophone crisis.
The Special envoy of the UN secretary General for Central Africa was in Cameroon for throughout last week during which time he held fact finding meetings with government authorities and some leaders of the Anglophone struggle now detained at the kondengui prison. Francois Lounceny Fall on Tuesday 11 April met with the minister of Justice, foreign affairs, the SG of the Presidency, British High Commissioner, Canadian High Commissioner, French and US Ambassadors etc. Then the UN envoy also met with leaders and lawyers of the consortium to get their side of the story.
Meme administration sets confusion in Kombone town
-Governor demands explanations, as new SDO plays the Ostrich
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Kombone Town, a village located in Mbonge Sub-Division of Meme Division, Southwest region has been in a state of confusion, tension and separation following a chieftaincy crisis that has rocked the village for the past two years. The village has now split into two camps due to a power tussle between a certain Esue Kingsley Njaroni and Sakwe Daniel Dosa both legitimacy as the rightful chief.
The Median has learnt that the fight which has dragged on since the death of the late Chief Sakwe Daniel in 2014 between the set Esue Kingsley Njaroni and Sakwe Daniel Dosa as to who will finally emerge as chief has been backed and sponsored by two politicians fighting on the background all in a bit to see one of their candidate win.
According to sources Esue Kingsley is backed and sponsored by a powerful elite of Mbonge whose name we are withholding, while the other contestant is sponsored by a certain personality who is also a regime bigwig and an elite whom many belief has frustrated almost all the Bakundu youths.
With both personalities been regime bigwigs and having cash to throw around, Meme administration has equally help in splitting the village by dancing the Bafia dance and passing several prefectoral orders acknowledging the legitimacy of the various candidates while rejecting the other in several different instances all simply because money must have exchanged hands.
History of administrative fowl play in the Chieftaincy Crisis
Following some of the administrative documents that this reporter happened to have stumbled on, several Prefectoral orders have been signed designating either of the candidates with the same high office coming back to repeal the same orders all in a bid to take advantage of the situation and feed fat.
Going by the Prefectoral order No 312/2014 bearing the homologation designating Mr. Esue Kingsley as 3rd Class Chief of Kombone Town Village in Mbonge Sub-Division, ordered considering the minutes of consultative talks held with kingmakers of the village on April 30th 2014 by the Divisional Officer, considering the documents submitted by Mr. Esue Kingsley and transmitted in a letter of 5th May 2014, it gave Esue Kingsley the right to become 3rd class chief replacing late chief Sakwe Daniel.
Barombi Kang natives seize 50% of IRAD land, set experimental farms ablaze
-IRAD Chief of Centre beckons gov’t to take action against irate land grabbers
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|IRAD Barombi Kang officials pose with stakeholders during Open Door day|
The Chief of Centre for the Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, IRAD, Dr. Maurine Atemnkeng has revealed that 50% of land belonging to the institution has been confiscated by land mongers in the Barombi Kang village. She made the revelation during the 2017 Open Door Day of the institution on April 6 under the theme ‘Researchers Stakeholder Partnership in Agric Business.’
Dr. Maurine Atemnkeng is calling on the government to take urgent action and met out sanctions against the encroachers on IRAD land. She regretted that some of the encroachers have resorted to setting ablaze IRAD property and experimental farms once they are asked to vacate the parcels of land that they illegally occupy.
She revealed that during a meeting with the chief and traditional council of Barombi Kang it was resolved that as from the month of August this year no illegal farming shall be tolerated on IRAD lands. She said only recognized farmers’ cooperatives will have access to IRAD land and their activities shall be supervised by IRAD researchers.
According to Maurine Atemnkeng, IRAD Barombi Kang covers a land surface of 291 hectares with more than 50% being occupied by encroachers that are currently farming on the land illegally. She noted that due to the economic crisis that stroke the country in the early 1990s, cereal culture research at the Southern Bakundu Forest Reserve was suspended and today this forest has been invaded by illegal occupants for wood and farming.
K’ba DO bans trespassing on HTTTC land
-Helpless occupants demand compensation from government
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
Occupants on the over 500 hectares of land earmarked for the construction of the Higher Technical Teachers Training College, HTTTC, Kumba, have been asked to quit the area without further delay. The decision was made by the DO of Kumba III, Gilbert GubaiBaldena, during a meet-the-people tour he carried out on Saturday 8 April 2017.
Speaking to villagers who had come to welcome him at the site, the DO told them that he would not tolerate any further construction of houses on the site. He gave those illegally occupying the site up till August to quit or they will hear from him.
The DO however reassured those who have already built on the site and who have land titles that they would be compensated by government. But GubaiBaldena remarked that any further constructions on the site would only complicate the evaluation that would be done by government and which will determine what the beneficiaries of compensation would get.
Situated in Mukonje, between Total Three Corners and Dschang Quarters, the site to harbor the HTTTC Kumba is presently occupied by both built property and farms. Some of those occupying the site have vowed that they would not quit the area unless government compensates them.
What does the Buea Mayor want from ‘B’da people’?
|Patrick Ekema and his collaborators in Bamenda|
-Mayor Patrick Ekema recently embarked on a media offensive in Bamenda, during which he reaffirmed his stance against the politics of hate and division preached by some SW elite. Patrick Ekema used the occasion to also reassure his ‘NW brothers’ that nobody whosoever can ever break the bond between Buea and Bamenda. The mayor who is said to have an incestuous relationship with several NW fons, challenged whoever cares to go and check out how many ‘Bamenda people’ he has recruited at the Buea Council. Commentators have interpreted Ekema’s outing as playing the political Fox. They noted that with 2018 fast approaching, Mayor Ekema is just being clever and clairvoyant enough as to distance himself from the controversial and divisive politics of some SW political elite, who recently converged on Buea and accused North Westerners of master-minding and perpetrating all the subversive acts in the SW region. “Patrick Ekema understands only too well that he must reassure and woo to his side the huge NW population in Buea, who form arguably the biggest number of eligible voters in metropolitan Buea and Fako Division,” encoded an informed commentator.
By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
The Lord Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, has told the population of the North West that he does not believe in politics of hate and division, and that the North West and South West regions will forever remain one and indivisible. Ekema also dismissed allegations that the Buea Council is run on “tribal lines”.
He was speaking to prying journalists in Bamenda recently during a press Conference he convened, on the sidelines of the installation of the new SDO of Momo Division.
Clad in classical North West traditional attire Ekema used the occasion to reaffirm his unalloyed love and respect for the people and traditions of the North West region.
He recalled how in recognition of his proven attachment to and respect for the people and traditional institutions of the NW, some fons of the region in 2014 unanimously elevated him to the dignity of notable and decorated him with the traditional attire that depicts royalty. And this decoration came just when he also received in Bamenda, the Award for the Best Mayor of the year attributed to him by a leading Anglophone Daily Newspaper.
Addressing the battery of pressmen at the news conference, Mayor Ekema said: “I feel really honored to be in Bamenda once again to commune with my brothers of the North West especially given the unfortunate situation in our country since the last several months. Actually I came here to witness the installation of one of my brothers from Buea, MrMomonoAbsolomWoloa, who has been made the SDO of Momo Division. But I thought it important and imperative that like one of yours, I should seize the opportunity and have an exchange with you to clear the air about some developments that have created doubts in the minds of many…..I want to assure and ascertain to the NW people here represented by you (the fourth estate) that we of the Buea Council do not believe in divisive politics. All we know is that we are one and will remain one and indivisible with our brothers of the North West.”
K’ba populations denounce ghost towns, march for peace
They staged a popular march across the town last week, carrying placards denouncing ghost towns and calling for the release of detainees and the restoration of internet
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
The populations of the metropolitan town of Kumba have said they will no longer heed calls by the consortium and other secessionist agitators for ghost towns and civil disobedience. Denizens of Kumba barred the route to ghost towns and civil disobedience in a popular rally organized last week in the Meme chief town.
Organized at the behest of the Kumba government delegate, Victor NgohNkelle, and with the blessings of the new SDO for Meme Ntou’ouNdong Chamberlain and the Meme CPDM political leader, Justice Benjamin MotangaItoe, the rally saw the participation of all the mayors of Kumba 1, 2, and 3, civil society actors, supporters of both government and opposition political parties, and a large, enthusiastic crowd comprising of traders, drivers and other city dwellers.
The rally culminated in a march that saw the enthusiastic crowd marching and chanting protest songs from the commercial avenue through new quarters to the SDO’s office at up-station.
The marchers carried placards bearing such messages as “No to Ghost Town in Kumba”, “No to violence and the burning of schools”, “We want our children back to school”, “Bring back our internet”, “Free our brothers in detention” etc.
They hatched a plan to marginalize Northerners
Being an interview he granted to BBC in 1997, after the publication of the famous Grand North Memorandum. We brought back the interview for your reading pleasure.
Thank you Mr. Minister for accepting to talk to us at so short notice. Sir can you introduce yourself?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity. My name is IssaTchiroma. I have been minister for four years. I am married with three daughters. One of them is married and she is a doctor. The two others are also skilled and qualified. I have been an MP and a former minister. Now I am dedicating my time for the improvement of the life of Cameroonians within the framework of the democratic process which is going on in Cameroon.
Sir one of the things that you have been highlighted recently is your firm backing of the memorandum that was published on the Grand North. Can you highlight the salient points that you people raised in that memorandum?
Well, the memorandum is the outcome of a policy that was conceived in 1984 after the abortive coup attempt. As you know most of those who engineered the plot were the northerners. When the plot was foiled the government conceived a policy which consist of ostracizing and marginalizing the Grand North. Today the situation has become so inhumane and unbearable that it has become a time bomb for this country. As a politician and a citizen of this country and seeing the things that are happening here and there I decided to be part of the writing of this memorandum to let Cameroonians in particular and people of good faith all over the world to know that we are marginalized; that we are being punished for 22 years and now we are fed up and we are saying that enough is enough. And we have to say this clear and loud so that people should know exactly what is happening in the North. And when we conceived and published the memorandum nobody could deny its contents as not happening in Cameroon. It was a wonderful document and we did it to let people know that something wrong was happening in the North and if this time bomb is not diffused in due time they should not be surprised tomorrow if something goes wrong or starts in the North because people are getting desperate and destitute.
You say this memorandum sprang from the abortive coup d’etat, do you have the impression it is some sort of punishment for the Northerners for trying to overthrow the present regime?
It is a conviction. If you have the opportunity to spend some few days in North you will realize that it is in such a disarray, in such destitution that no organized people in this country can accept the kind of hardship and dire conditions in which the Northerners are facing today. I mean it and I say it clear and loud that the situation has become unbearable. If because some northerners at a given time took up arms against the regime, all of them cannot be arrested and court-marshalled. All those who at a given time were part of this coup were arrested. Let me remind you that I spent almost seven years of my life in prison as a political prisoner. So this is a collective punishment which is being implemented and enforced in the North. This is not a fiction, it is reality.
Arguably those of you who wrote the memorandum are all former ministers. Why did you people not act when you were still in government?
You are perfectly right in evoking this remark which is very pertinent. True we were ministers, but I will like you to know that you are a minister for the state and not for a region. You are made minister to solve the problems that fall within the competence of your ministry. In the domain where you are minister you are in charge of that domain throughout the whole country. I am proud of my achievement as minister of transport for almost four years. Facts speak louder than words – I am very proud of my achievement. When you are minister you do the best you can in your own domain. But you haven’t signed a contract with your people to help them. You don’t have the people’s mandate to lead them. So you do the best to help the head of state, improve the economy and develop the country. All what you do is in the name of the head of state who has a contract with the people. As minister you only implement the policies laid down by the head of state; you have no private or personal agenda or program. You are not accountable to the people; you are accountable only to the head of state. So those who are asking why we did not act when we were in government as ministers should know that the magnitude of the problem was such that the combined competence of all the northern ministers could not solve the problem. We could not solve it without the requisite political will. And as I talk to you today that political will is not yet there. We accepted to be ministers in 1992 when FruNdi won the election as the head of state but was deprived of his victory. FruNdi proclaimed himself as the head of state. If you can recall, a state of emergency was declared throughout the country. So, we had to choose between saving the republic which was at the verge of collapse and civil war or to stick by our principle which was to point out to Mr. Biya that he did not win the election and join Mr. FruNdi and allow the country to go up in flames, the consequence of which you cannot imagine or foresee. So we decided to join Mr. Biya to save legality but not legitimacy. And this pushed us to even violate some of our own principles just in a bid to save the peace in our country. This was the motivation for our acceptance to join government in 1992. And we did the best we can in order to help our country to solve its pressing problems. So this criticism that we did nothing as government ministers does not hold water at all.
So you and all the former ministers who penned this memorandum are saying that the problem is the lack of political will to alleviate the problems up North?
It is not me who is saying it. It is something that is obvious and clear. In 1984 after the abortive coup they conceived a policy which consist in marginalizing the Northerners. This resulted in the absence of northerners in the civil service. Though we are above 45% of the population of this country, I challenge you to prove that Northerners form even 2% of the civil service of this country. In Garoua which is my home town for example, there are less than 40 people in the civil service, I mean 40 people including the minister of state Bello Bouba and any other high ranking official in our administration. The situation is so bad.
Mr. Tchiroma the accusations you advancing are really, really tough! Are you saying that in the whole of Garoua there are not up to 40 people in the civil service or are you talking of top government position?
I am a native of Garoua and I challenge anybody to prove to me that we have up to 40 people from Garoua in the civil service of this country, I mean people with what they call ‘Bac plus’. I tell you it is impossible to count 40 people including the ministers, directors or service heads and all of that, it is impossible. And this situation for us is inacceptable. We have to say it loud that we are fed up because the future has ceased to bear any hope for us.
Limbe FESTAC showcases Cameroon’s Unity and Diversity
|Minister Narcisse Kombi with Fako chiefs|
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Prof. Narcisse Mouelle kombi has on Saturday April 15, 2017 closed the 2017 edition of the Limbe Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC at the Limbe community field. This 4th edition of the festival was held under the theme "celebrating cultural diversity and integration".
To the vision bearer, Mr. Andrew MotangaMojimba, Government delegate to the Limbe city council, "Limbe FESTAC is one of a kind. This is because, unlike other such festivals which have been held based on ethnicity, Limbe's own brings together diverse cultures from the SWR and beyond the national boundaries such as Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria.
Mr. Monjimba congratulated the population for having shunned the efforts of individuals who are calling for a total boycott of the cultural fiesta. "Limbe is a town founded on cultural diversity, where diverse people and cultures live together as one and have contributed in building a strong Victoria, now Limbe. Limbe is a melting pot of cultures, which has led people to refer to it as Cameroon in miniature".
Over 300 patients benefit free Eye Screening & Operation
-This was the fruit of a partnership between the hospital and the Spanish NGO, Vision Sans Frontier
By Njodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
|The VSF specialists in action|
Some 300 patients suffering from eye related problems in Bui Division of the North West region have been screened and operated upon for free thanks to the partnership between a Spanish NGO, Vision Sans Frontier and the St Elizabeth General Hospital, Shisong.
The team of five Spanish Doctors made up of two ophthalmologists, one optician and two nurses joined the team from the St Elizabeth General Hospital, Shisong led by DrSiben to carry out the operations from the 9th to the 13th of April 2017.
According to the Director of the Hospital, Sister KinyuyAldrine Mary Baseka, they engaged in the campaign with the Spanish Non GovernmentalOrganisation given the growing number of people with related diseases and also to boast the activities of the ophthalmology Department of the Hospital.
She said they nursed the idea of partnership with Vision Sans Frontier late last year after a team of urologist from Spain came visiting adding that the campaign came to fruition thanks to the desire of the Spanish team to bring sight to those that have difficulties affording treatment and to share experience with the ophthalmology department of the St Elizabeth General Hospital.
Nguti-Akak-Mamfe road cuts-off as bridge collapses
-Obang people now cut-off from the rest of the world by road
By EkumtambeEku in Mamfe
The famous Nguti-Akak-Ossing-Mamfe road that used to serve as the only corridor for commuters travelling to Mamfe from Kumba during the rainy seasons is now impassable. Reports say the road was ligatured when one of the age-old bridges on the road succumbed to the heavy weight of a timber truck and collapsed, dumping itself and the trailer with its contents into the Badi River. No life was lost in the accident, though the trailer suffered serious damages.
Commentators say though the collapse of the bridge will make life even more difficult for the Obang people of Manyu division, who used the road as the only gateway to their enclave villages, it will at the same time also curtail the reckless and impunitous exploitation of timber from the Obang and EjaghamNjemaya forests.
It should be recalled that only few weeks ago, irate villagers set a timber truck ablaze near Kembong in Eyumojock sub-division. The villagers complained that they have not seen any benefits the wanton timber exploitation was bringing to their communities.
By Doh Bertrand Nua in Kumba
|98 yrs old Mukete in his Estate with German visitors|
The General Manager of Mukete Estates, GodfredMukete, has revealed that in less than no time, pineapple juice produced from the Estates will hit supermarkets in the entire Central African sub-region. He made the revelation at the Estates recently while grilling a four man delegation from the city of Sindelfingen on a tour to the Estates.
GodfredMukete revealed that the pineapple juice will be natural and void of chemical additives that may affect its natural nutrients endowments.
Responding to questions from the German visitors who admitted seeing a pineapple farm for the first time in their lives, the General Manager lectured them on the processes involved in pineapple cultivation from the planting stage, nursing, harvesting and selling.