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Barrister Charles Taku, President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association says the Regime of Paul Biya, President of the Central African country of Cameroon has committed Genocide in the the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, National Telegraph has gathered.

Barrister Taku dished out this position on the sideline of statements from Cameroon’s Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute after he claimed at a point in his visit in Cameroon’s restive North West that dialogue has started.

Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions have been in war-mood since October 2016 after a disagreement in language and government’s mismanagement of the crisis turned it into a demand by majority of Anglophones for a separate state called Ambazonia.

Dr Dion Ngute is among many government officials to have been dispatched to the restive regions to bring peace messages to the affected populations but many have seen all of Biya’s envoys as hypocrites because they preach peace but move with heavy military presence and in most cases, the Cameroon military carry out killings in nearby precincts while they preach peace.

Provoked by a recent post from the Prime Minister in which as many say openly lied that dialogue has started while he was in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon’s restive North West, Barrister Taku penned down a well-written letter in which he openly called out the Biya Regime for committing Genocide. He writes;

“Dr Dione Ngute was the agent representing LRC at the hearing of the case brought on behalf of the Southern Cameroons by Dr Gwang Gumne and others in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Judgement in the case was rendered in Banjul, the Gambia during the 45th Ordinary Session that held from 13 – 27 May 2009. 

In the Judgment that was subsequently endorsed by the General Assembly of African leaders during the AU conference in Sirtre in Libya, the African Commission unequivocally called for dialogue to resolve the crisis and offered its services to facilitate the dialogue.

It gave LRC 180 days to comply with its Judgment. It is on the records of the African Commission that LRC asked for an extension of time to comply with the Judgment.

Mr Prime Minister, true to itself, LRC did not comply with that Judgment and did not respect the decision relating to dialogue facilitated by the African Commission, even after the expiration of the extended timeline it sought and obtained. What a reckless display of bad faith!

In its characteristic exercise of impunity, LRC intensified its systemic and widespread violations of the protections afforded Southern Cameroons in international law.

These violations have been ongoing since an unprecedented conspiracy facilitated the breach of the UN Charter and UN Resolutions paving the way to the annexation and colonisation of Southern Cameroons by the LRC.

The escalation of the violations has led to genocide, also called the mother of crimes on the watch of a slow to act civilized world. This is unacceptable.


The Government of Cameroon considers these atrocity crimes as its legitimate exercise of impunity with arrogant alacrity. Its civilian and military commanders have in publicly available and well documented statements taken responsibility for these crimes.

They have consistently praised the professionalism of its military for conducting a war of genocide in which more than 200 civilian settlements have been torched with shocking charred remains of vulnerable children, women, the old and the sick left in the debris.

The Prime Minister Dr Dione Ngute himself on this so-called dialogue with the dead, praised the professionalism of these soldiers. During his visit there perpetrated egregious violations even in the neighbourhood of Bambili which he visited.

There, they massacred in a cold blood, a mother and her baby. Mr Prime Minister, this is genocide and not dialogue. I did not hear you order the arrest and prosecution of the criminal soldiers who massacred that mother and her baby.

The massacre of that woman and her child a few metres from where you visited indeed symbolizes the fate of hundreds of thousands of Southern Cameroonians for no reasons other than that they are Southern Cameroonians. That again sir, is genocide.

I began this piece by making a reference to the Judgment of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights which LRC accepted and asked for time to comply with but reneged on.

LRC in contempt instead intensified its 58 year old campaign of intimidation, humiliation, dehumanisation, indignity and death.

As the representative of LRC during the entire proceedings and judgment, you were and are better placed to advise your government to the hard reality that international legality may be slow but effective.

When Justice catches up with the arrogant exercise of impunity and criminality, its impact may devastate the soul of conscienceless predators of human life.

Differently, stated, a time comes when the victims of atrocious crimes are given a voice from their unmarked lonely graves to seek justice on their own behalf. That time sir, will come, sooner or later, here or in the hereafter. This truth sir, is sacrosanct. 


Therefore, sir, I beg to ask. How do you feel conveying the concomitant message of conditional dialogue and genocide from your President to his victims?

Does the said message not greatly contradict the dialogue decided by a respectable continental justice mechanism the African Commission which was endorsed by continental leaders?

Was it not obvious from the Judgment of the African Commission that an international facilitator would be required to oversee the dialogue? And was it not for this reason that it offered to play that role?

In your so-called ongoing dialogue, sir, I did not hear you regret the massacres, the genocide, the crimes against humanity, the war crimes etc. Why?

I did not hear you talk about a transitional justice mechanism to prosecute civilian and military commanders responsible for these atrocity crimes in the Southern Cameroons.

I did not see you feel the pain and suffering of millions of civilian victims of the atrocity crimes. Rather, I heard the evocation and rendition of the typical and resentful CPDM sycophantic war cries and slogans praising the god-president for his promise of mercy for those who lay down arms.

Laying down arms to facilitate the atrocity crimes sir? Those you alleged laid down arms, have the locations from which they allegedly defected been spared the visit of your angels of death and the mayhem they bring to the civilian population? Have they sir? I bey to ask. 

There is a common and recurring position taken by the international community on this war that was declared by LRC. That position is that there should be an inclusive dialogue with no pre-conditions, to tackle to the root causes of this conflict.

From where then did you come about with the exclusion of the so-called secession or separation? Is this pre-condition not a distraction and an attempt to obviate the mandatory root causes of the conflict?

Are the root causes not the umbilical linked violations that eviscerated the Southern Cameroons right to external self determination under the UN Charter guaranteed by UN Resolutions which LRC opposed and opted for annexation and colonial rule? 

The right to resolve this conflict through an internationally organised dialogue in which negotiations will hold sway was obtained through a legal process before a Continental legal mechanism and endorsed by African Leaders.

The international community has overwhelmingly taken the same position with renewed vigour. That position is therefore, not subject to a unilateral modification by LRC.

That sir, is an unacceptable diktat. This unacceptable diktat tantamount once more to a disregard for the international rule of law on the basis on which international legality, peace and security are founded.

Mr Prime Minister, sir, as you pursue this futile adventure to insult the memory of victims, permit me to remind you that the informal meeting of the UNSC on this crisis on 13 May 2019, apart, the celebration on the 23 May 2019 at the UN of the 70 th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions which LRC is a state party, should be a shock reminder to LRC that the spirit of that multilateral treaty and many others is alive.

That LRC place on the radar of the Geneva Conventions will soon be guaranteed, not for the right reasons, but for its atrocity crimes in the Southern Cameroons against civilians who are protected by the convention.

The anniversary ceremony of the 23 May 2019 of the Geneva Conventions 1949 and the ten anniversary of the UN Resolutions for the protection of civilians in armed conflicts should be an opportunity for LRC to seriously consider, calling off this genocidal war and withdraw its soldiers for peace to prevail.

Its military misadventure and atrocity crimes have failed and will continue to fail to tame the spirit of Southern Cameroons freedom seekers who are inspired and emboldened by the justice of their cause, international legality and the pursuit of legitimate self-defense. 

History sir, provides you and the government you serve another opportunity to listen to the voice of humanity and the international community and get to the negotiating table while there is time. Stop the callous slaughter and the genocide now. Your present tour is a celebration of genocide and not dialogue”

Source: nationaltelegraph

A separatist conflict in Cameroon that has forced half a million people from their homes is in danger of worsening, the head of a major aid agency has warned, condemning what he called the “international silence” over the crisis.

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), said the world had underestimated the impact on civilians of the violence that has gripped Cameroon, where entire villages had been burned to the ground.

“I’ve been all over the world, dealing with humanitarian work for many years and I was really shocked by the unbelievable extent of this emergency that is underestimated, underreported and neglected by the international community,” said Egeland.

“There are atrocities every single day against civilians … and the world doesn’t seem to know or want to know about it,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone during a visit to Cameroon.

Long-running tensions in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon erupted into conflict in late 2016, prompting crackdowns by security forces and leaving 1.3 million people in need of aid, according to the United Nations.

Egeland said the violence had pushed tens of thousands into hiding in the bush without access to food or medical help, and meant nearly a million children could no longer go to school.

But he said there was a danger the situation could worsen.

“I really, really hope there will be mediation efforts, that there will be an outreach and an interest in dialogue on both sides that will lead to talks which can end this before it is too late,” he said on Thursday.

“I’ve seen too many places which started with a smaller conflict … and ended up in a war that no one could stop.”

Cameroon’s English speakers have felt increasingly marginalized by the French-speaking government in the capital Yaounde and in 2017 thousands took to the streets to demand a breakaway state.

The military stepped in and thousands of Anglophones fled the ensuing crackdown, which Cameroon authorities described as an anti-terrorist operation.

In a statement Egeland, whose organization is distributing survival kits to victims including food, tools and materials for temporary shelters, said there had been little pressure on the parties to stop attacking civilians.

“The international silence surrounding atrocities is as shocking as the untold stories are heart-breaking,” he said. 

A U.N. human rights committee in February criticized the “heavy-handed approach” of the security forces to the crisis, which saw medical facilities, schools and entire villages destroyed.

Allegra Baiocchi, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator in Cameroon, said the violence was hampering relief efforts, and also blamed a lack of funding from other countries.

“The violence has been characterized by massive human rights violations. Attacks against schools and health providers have reached an alarming scale,” she said.

“Negotiating safe humanitarian access is extremely complicated and it is slowing us down.”

Source: reuters

“If I don’t see my brother again, they themselves shall not see the light of day. This is not the Anglophone course”.

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) Party in Cameroon was reacting after kidnappers took his brother and two workers into captivity.

Taken in the night of Saturday April 20th around Fru Ndi’s cattle range in Bafut Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, Kingsley Azeh (brother to Ni John Fru Ndi) and two other workers were in search of stolen cows when they were abducted by unknown individuals. Ni John Fru Ndi has stated.
“The boys are demanding me to pay six million francs cfa or provide five guns as ransom», he adds.
He states that the kidnappers are accusing him of having commissioned elements of the rapid intervention battalion (BIR) to fight them when his residence got burnt months ago.
To Ni John Fru Ndi: “people in high government positions in Cameroon have created and are sponsoring parallel ambazonia fighters that are there to attack, kill and destroy innocent civilians”.
Provoked by the kidnapping of his brother and two workers, Ni John says the activities of the parallel Ambazonia group are contrary to the ambazonia course. “I call on the real ambazonia fighters to be focus and identify armed robbers hired by some members of government to kill the population”.

Material loses:
“In the past six months, I have lost more than one hundred cows. I had forty cows in Babanki village but today just less than eleven are left». According to Ni John Fru Ndi, the cows have been stolen by bandits who present themselves as Ambazonia fighters.
He mentioned his houses set ablaze in his village by persons he suspects are fake fighters sponsored by personalities in power.
Ni John Fru Ndi judging from what he called ‘continuous atrocities’ committed against innocent population by ‘fake amba boys’ warns that famine might soon befall the troubled Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
He laments that the planting season is almost over in Bamenda and other places in the North West with women not given the possibility to cultivate crops as insecurity has become the order of the day.

Source: mimimefoinfos

Humanitarian needs in Cameroon are at their highest level ever following an upsurge in violence and insecurity in several regions of the country. Around 4.3 million people need emergency assistance, marking a 30 per cent increase compared to 2018.
The violence and forced displacement have dramatically affected the lives of women and children. Gender based violence is on a sharp increase. In some regions up to 80% of children are out of school.

Funding for the response is however at an all-time low.

In February, the Government and the humanitarian community launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, requesting for US$299 million to assist 2.3 million people. As of 22 April, 11 per cent of the funds has been received.

Some 437,000 people have been forced from their homes in the violence-hit North-West and South-West regions, adding to the devastation by the protracted Lake Chad Basin conflict that continues to force civilians from neighbouring Nigeria to seek safety into Cameroon’s Far North region. Cameroon also hosts 275,000 Central African Republic refugees in Adamaoua, East and North region. Cameroon. Cameroon today has the 6th largest displaced population in the world.

“The people of Cameroon deserve a chance. Communities hosting the displaced are sharing the little they have. Their generosity is exemplary”, said UN Humanitarian Coordinator Allegra Baiocchi. “We need to show them the same level of generosity. We need to show them that we care. Funding remains critically low and we simply cannot sustain our activities without donors’ support. It is time to close the funding gap.”

The violence-affected people are struggling to survive difficult conditions, with little food, shelter, water, healthcare or protection from violation and abuse. Aid organizations are striving to deliver assistance notwithstanding access restrictions and lack of funding.

Rising food insecurity

Today, 3 million people are severely food insecurity in Cameroon, 1.5 million in North-West and South-West regions alone. Among them are 222,000 children.

In Far North region, one in two people does not have enough to eat. In 2018, 78,000 children under 5 years were treated for severe malnutrition. Malnutrition is likely to remain high this year or worsen if funding for prevention and treatment programmes is not forthcoming.

Humanitarian organizations have provided food to more than 42,000 displaced people. Around 26,000 people have received emergency food in the South-West region. But more needs to be done.

No health services and clean water for thousands of people

Since the beginning of the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions, local aid organizations have been at the forefront of the relief response, working hard to provide assistance to people forced to flee their homes.

Clashes, shut-down of activities in towns and insecurity have hampered operations in clinics and hospitals, and medical staff have been repeatedly targeted. Humanitarian organizations were able to provide basic health services to 3,700. 14,000 people received potable water and hygiene kits.

A generation at risk

Tens of thousands of boys and girls are deprived of education due to schools’ closure. They are in many cases being exploited and abused, forced to work or recruited. Tens of thousands of people affected by the violence need protection from abuse and violations.

“Cameroon has not witnessed a humanitarian emergency at such a scale, and the causes of the different crises are but intensifying,” said Ms. Baiocchi. “While we may not be able to quickly alter the underlying drivers, we must shift our approach to be able to make a difference in the life of the girl who is missing school due to violence, the displaced mother struggling to feed her children, or the father who has lost all source of income and livelihood.”

The Plight of Internal Displacement

https://www.invisiblecitizens.org/

Tens of millions of people around the world have been driven out of their homes by war, hunger, earthquakes and other perils. Among the most vulnerable, are 40 million people who have been forced to flee, but never crossed a border. Lacking special protection in their darkest hour of need, these largely unnoticed women, men and children may have fled their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They often urgently need essential necessities such as shelter, food and clean water, while stripped of their rights and basic protections.

To draw the world’s attention to the Plight of World’s 40 Million Internally Displaced People, OCHA has launched an innovative YouTube campaign, ‘Unavailable Content’, in collaboration with Ogilvy. The campaign is at the heart of OCHA’s Invisible Citizens Week, which is dedicated to shining a spotlight on this resilient yet vulnerable group of people.
 

Source: unocha.org

A global human rights organisation said on Thursday that at least 170 civilians have been killed since October in fighting in English-speaking western Cameroon between separatists and government forces.

“Government forces in Cameroon’s anglophone regions have killed scores of civilians, used indiscriminate force, and torched hundreds of homes over the past six months,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report.

The group based its findings on interviews with 140 victims, family members and witnesses between December and March, it said.

Government forces in Cameroon’s anglophone regions have killed scores of civilians.

“Since October, at least 170 civilians have been killed in over 220 incidents… according to media reports and Human Rights Watch research,” it said.

Security forces killed

Another 31 members of the security forces were killed in operations between October and February, it said.

“Given the ongoing clashes and the difficulty of collecting information from remote areas, the number of civilian deaths is most likely higher,” it added.

Who is to blame?

HRW did not explicitly blame government forces for all 170 civilian deaths.

It said armed separatists assaulted and kidnapped dozens of people during the same period, executing at least two men.

The government sent a letter to HRW denying “extortion” by the army described in the report, the group said.

The International Crisis Group has said the death toll since the start of the fighting has topped 500 for civilians and more than 200 for members of the security forces.

Anglophone crisis

The conflict broke out in October 2017 when the anglophone separatists launched an armed campaign.

English speakers, who account for about a fifth of Cameroon’s population of 24 million, have complained for years at perceived discrimination in education, law and economic opportunities at the hands of the francophone majority.

The anglophone movement radicalised in 2017 as the authorities refused demands for greater autonomy for the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

On October 1 that year, separatists declared the creation of the “Republic of Ambazonia” in the two regions, named after the local Ambas Bay. The declaration has not been recognised internationally.

“Cameroon’s authorities have an obligation to respond lawfully and to protect people’s rights during periods of violence,” said Lewis Mudge, HRW’s Central Africa director. “The government’s heavy-handed response targeting civilians is counterproductive and risks igniting more violence.”

Some 437,000 people have fled the fighting, according to the United Nations, which called Tuesday for $184 million to help the displaced.

Source: Africanews

THE US PUTS OUT MORE TROUBLING STUFF

The Human Rights Report card on Cameroon by the US State Department could be the same smooking gun the US could use to “refer the separatist conflict in Cameroon to an international forum”, (ie the International Criminal Court or UN Security Council).

You can read damning excerpts of the US State Department Report on Cameroon for 2018 here.

  1. “Government security forces were widely believed to be responsible for disappearances of suspected Anglophone separatists, with reports of bodies dumped far from the site of killings to make identification difficult.
  2. According to credible nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the government did not readily account for some of the activists arrested in connection with the Anglophone crisis.
  3. Family members and friends of the detainees were frequently unaware of the
    missing individuals’ location in detention for a month or more. For example, authorities held incommunicado Ayuk Sisiku Tabe, the “interim president” of the so-called Republic of Ambazonia, along with 46 other Anglophone separatists, from January 29 until late June when they were allowed to meet with their lawyers and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  4. “There were credible reports that members of government forces physically abused and killed prisoners in their custody. In its July report, Human Rights Watch highlighted the case of Samuel Chiabah, popularly known as Sam Soya, whom members of government forces interrogated under harsh conditions and killed, following the killing of two gendarmes by armed separatists at a checkpoint between Bamenda and Belo in the Northwest Region. A video widely circulated on social media featured Sam Soya sitting on the floor and being questioned about the killings, along with one other suspect. In the video Sam Soya could be heard crying in agony and denying participation in the killings. Photographs were released on social media that showed members of security forces in uniform using a bladed weapon to slice open Sam Soya’s neck and the leg of the other man, both of whom were lying face down on the floor and in handcuffs.”
  5. To read complete report, please, open this link:https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/289187.pdf

NO CRIME IS PERFECT. THIS COULD BE THE SMOOKING GUN THAT WILL BE USED TO REFER THIS MATTER TO AN INTERNATIONAL FORUM. SO STAY TUNED.

DR. DAVID MAKONGO

The top United States diplomat to Africa says perhaps it’s time to take the deadly separatist crisis in Cameroon to an “international forum.”

An exasperated Tibor Nagy told reporters on Tuesday that “my heart breaks for Cameroon … I just don’t understand why this crisis goes on and on and on.”

Some half a million people have been displaced as Cameroon’s government battles an Anglophone separatist movement in the largely French-speaking country. Weary residents in the middle have pleaded for peace.

Nagy, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, called for “open, unlimited national dialogue.”

Cameroon’s government in a strongly worded statement last week criticized Nagy’s earlier comments on the Anglophone crisis, accusing him of misunderstanding the situation and interfering in the West African country’s internal affairs.

Source: nytimes

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This year’s edition of the Cameroon Film Festival, Camiff has been cancelled due to the growing insecurity in the Anglophone regions.

The festival was initially take place in Buea from the 22 – 27 April but the security situation in city has now forced organisers to cancel the event.

The founder of Camiff said the event was cancelled after proper consultation with local Government authorities, the police and Embassies and it became clear the crisis affecting the Anglophone regions will make it difficult for participants to access Buea.

“Our International celebrities have been advised by their governments and security teams to avoid visiting Cameroon at this time,”Agbor Gilbert Ebot said.

“We did attempt to come up with an alternative date but sadly we were advised that this would be too impractical for both sponsors and partners as we cannot foresee a break or an end to this ongoing saga in 2019.

The event has thus been postponed to April 20-25, 2020 with all submissins for this year carried forward to next year.

Source: journalducameroun

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The European Union has called on the government of Cameroon in engage in an inclusive dialogue with all parties as the only solution to the current political and security impasse in the country.

In a statement released by Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU, the body tasked the government of Cameroon to free all the supporters of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement arrested and detained over a month ago.

“The arrest and prolonged detention of several leaders of an opposition party, including its leader Maurice Kamto, and a large number of protesters and supporters, as well as the opening of disproportionate proceedings against them military justice, increases the political malaise in Cameroon. The rule of requires fair justice and the release of detainees against whom (incriminating) evidence can not be presented , ” Federica Mogherini said.

The EU representative also touched on the violence in the North West and South West regions of the country describing the situation as unacceptable.

” The persistence of violence and human rights violations in the north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon has resulted in an unacceptable number of casualties and a heavy impact in humanitarian and economic terms.

” The emergence of ethnic-based hate speech by some media and political actors, most recently a member of the government, is an additional factor of concern.

” The response to the important challenges facing the country can only be achieved through an inclusive political dialogue and in a context of respect for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. This is also the foundation for the partnership between Cameroon and the EU, for the benefit of all Cameroonians. The EU will support any initiative in this direction.

Source: journalducameroun

The Vatican has offered its services to help mediate in the conflict that has been ravaging the North West and South West regions of Cameroon since 2016.

The offer was made on Monday by the Secretary in charge of Relations with State at the Vatican Mgr Paul Richard Gallagher during an audience granted him by the Minister of External Relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Vatican said it was deeply concerned with the situation in Cameroon and is ready to help the country seek a lasting solution to the crisis.

The audience that lasted for 45 minutes also saw both men discuss the relations between the two states as the Vatican promised to continue to help Cameroon in the sector of education.

Source: journalducameroun

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