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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

Falana promised to institute a legal case of contempt proceeding against the NSA and Nigerian government if they failed to return the deported refugees within the stipulated time.

Femi Falana (SAN), foremost human rights lawyer, has given the Nigerian government two weeks to bring back refugees and asylum seekers deported to their countries by the National Security Adviser (NSA).

In a letter dated March 20, 2019, Falana informed Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney-General of the Federation, of the court judgments against the NSA.

Judgments were given in two suits; FHC/ABJ/CS/147/2018 by Wilfred Tassang and 50 others against the NSA and FHC/ABJ/CS/85/2018 by Mr. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and 10 others against the NSA.

Falana stated that refugees and asylum seekers are guaranteed legal protections according to 1999 Constitution, the National Commission for Refugees (Establishment Etc) Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations on Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Commission. 

Falana wrote: “In view of the foregoing, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to advise the Federal Government to comply with the aforesaid judgments of the Federal High Court without any further delay.

“In particular, you may wish to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the case of the Minister of Internal Affairs v. Alhaji Shugaba Darman (1982) 3 NCLR 915 where the respondent who had been illegally deported to the Republic of Chad by the Federal Government was brought back to Nigeria in compliance with the orders of the Borno State High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice Oye Adefila of blessed memory.”

Falana promised to institute a legal case of contempt proceeding against the NSA and Nigerian government if they failed to return the deported refugees within the stipulated time.

Falana had on March 1, won a case he instituted against the government when Justice Anwali Chinkere of the Federal High Court ordered that deportation of refugees and asylum seekers is illegal and unconstitutional.

A key Cameroonian separatist leader, Julius Ayuk Tabe, and 46 others were deported from Nigeria after their arrest in Abuja.

Ayuk, President of a self-declared breakaway state made up of the Anglophone regions of majority-Francophone Cameroon, was one of 15 people whom Cameroon issued an international arrest warrant for in November 2017.

Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary approved the move, saying “a group of 47 terrorists, among them Mr. Ayuk Tabe, has for some hours been in the hands of Cameroonian justice, before which they will answer for their crimes.”

He also praised Nigeria for joining Cameroon in “never tolerating their respective territories serving as a base for activities that destabilise one or the other”.

Source: saharareporters

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 leaders of Ambazonia abducted and illegally deported from Nigeria to Cameroon, have said faced with their current trial, they have only two choices; Independence or resistance to the last man standing. This decision is contained in a letter signed by the leaders currently locked up at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde.

In the letter obtained by CNA, the leaders of the former territory of British Southern Cameroons, now preferred Ambazonia, seeking a break-away from Cameroon, said they are tired of being tossed from one place to another by whom they described as colonizers.

They promised that the State of Ambazonia will be unique, free and will have concern for the weak, the less privilege, women, children among others.

They apologised for not being there to stop the massacre perpetrated by Cameroon Soldiers but promised that they will rebuild their nation , eliminate tribalism and encourage good governance.

The letter comes few days to a crucial court session on March 7, 2019 when the kidnapped leaders are expected at the military court in Yaounde.

It also comes barely days after the Nigerian Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Nigerian Government to bring back the leaders from Cameroon.

The court ruled that, their kidnap and deportation did not respect international laws because the deportees were duly registered or in the process of having refugee status.

“The Ambazonia Freedom Protocol:” defines the nature and values of the society the Ambazonia movement envisions to a global audience. The anonymous person who leaked the document pointed to the fact that it also contains the minimum acceptable terms for any negotiations to end the conflict between Cameroon and the former UN trust territory of Southern Cameroons under UK administration now christened Ambazonia, after the 1st of October 2017 declaration of the restoration of their statehood by the leader Sisiku Ayuktabe.

Source: cameroonnewsagency

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Nigeria court demands the return of H.E. Sisiku AyukTabe and Co. For detail report and analysis click here

The Abuja High Court ruling today, in favour of Sissuku & Co is a land mark precedent which puts to test the Independence of the Nigerian Judiciary against the Executive branch of Government.

I can say here without a blink of an eye that Sissuku & Co shall be ‘re extradited to Nigeria.
The Abuja ruling has triggered the imminent collapsed of the Trial at the Yaounde Military Tribunal.

Let’s look at the merits of the imminent collapsed of the Trial at the Yaounde Military Tribunal;

1) Jurisdiction; Because the defendants were transferred to Yaounde incommunicado, the Yaounde Military Tribunal has no jurisdiction to trial Sissuku & Co.
Yaounde will need to proof to a higher International Court what due process they followed to extradite the accused.
The Abuja Ruling has already indicted the Executive Arm of the Nigerian Government for violating the rights of Sissuku & Co. and for violating Nigerian Laws and The Nigerian Constitution.

2) UNHCR Docts The fact these same documents have been upheld by Abuja, Yaounde can’t turn around to say they are fake.
Both Cameroon and Nigeria are members of the U.N. and must respect the U.N. Conventions applicable in this case.

3) Nigeria’s International Reputation and Democratic Credentials; Nigeria is gunning to be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. If Nigeria fails to uphold it’s own laws and Constitution how then will other African countries respect her. South Africa who is competing with Nigeria for the position in UNSC will be keeping a close look to exploit any false move from Nigeria.

4) Higher Courts If the Nigerian Government fails to enforce the Abuja High Court ruling then the case will simply move to higher courts (Nigerian Supreme Court) then to Banjul, then HRC (Human Rights Committee) etc.
But I don’t think we will get to Banjul HRC.
The Nigerian Judicial System will settle the matter.
There is no way Buhari can overide the Nigerian Courts.

Case Precedent

Abu Hamza Vs The UK Government.
In their quest to get Abu Hamza extradited to the US, the UK Government suffered continuous defeats at the British Courts for 9 years continuously. The case went all the way to the European Human Rights Courts.
Yes the UK is an advanced democracy as compared to Nigeria. However The Nigerian Government will have to proof to the International Community it can respect The Rule of Law especially it’s own laws as she Nigeria is gunning to be a Big Boy in the International Community.
Big Boys respect the Rule of Law, else the world will be a jungle and anarchy will prevail.

Albert Womah Mukong Vs Cameroon [Communication No 458/1991, UN Doct. CCPR/C/51/D/458/1991 (1994). Human Rights Session – Firty First Session.

After having been unlawfully detained in prison without any convicted crimes in a court of law, Albert Mukong upon release from prison sued the Government of Cameroon for unlawful imprisonment.
Mukong won his case at the Human Rights Committee (HRC) against the Government of Cameroon who were ordered to pay Mukong compensation. The Human Rights Committee (HRC) ruled that the Government of Cameroon couldn’t infringed upon the rights of Mukong upon the justification of safeguarding the Unity of the State of Cameroon. The Government of Cameroon respected the verdict and paid Nuking hundreds of millions Fcfa.

There is substantial case precedent to corroborate the arguments for Why Buhari and the Government of Nigeria will be obligated to uphold the ruling of the Abuja High Court.

Conclusion
I therefore conclude, Sissuku & Co shall be ‘re extradited from Yaounde to Abuja.
Upon arrival in Abuja they shall be set free and compensated financially for unlawful imprisonment.

The Rule of Law shall prevail over the Executive machinations of Buhari and Biya.

Author: Oswald Tebit

The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Paul Kaba Thieba, has resigned from office along with his entire cabinet.

No reason was given for the move, which was announced in a televised statement by the country’s president.

Mr Thieba, a former economist, had held the position since January 2016 when he was nominated by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

His government has faced growing pressure over a rise in the number of kidnappings and jihadist attacks.

Recent high-profile disappearances of foreign nationals have led to direct calls for Mr Thieba’s resignation, as well as that of his defence and security ministers.

In his statement, President Kabore expressed his gratitude for their service. He said he hoped to form a new government soon.

A 34-year-old Canadian woman, Edith Blais, and an Italian man, Luca Tacchetto, 30, have been missing in the country since mid-December.

The pair were travelling to Togo to work with an aid group when they disappeared.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met with the 34-year-old’s family on Friday, one day after the announcement another missing Canadian had been found dead.

Kirk Woodman, a geologist, was abducted by gunmen on Tuesday night from a mine exploration camp in the country’s north.

Collage of photograph of couple, along with Canadian found dead last week
A photo of missing Luca Tacchetto (left) and Edith Blais (centre) and Kirk Woodman (right) who has been found dead

No one has so far claimed responsibility for his murder, but groups linked to al-Qaeda are known to operate in the area.

Burkina Faso, a poor land-locked nation in Africa’s Sahel region, has seen a surge in Islamist militant activity in recent years.

There have been deadly attacks on a cafe and the French embassy in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou.

Several northern provinces in its border regions have been under a state of emergency since 31 December.

Source: BBC


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has learned with great concern of the forced return by Nigeria of 47 Cameroonians, who were handed over to the Cameroonian authorities on 26 January 2018.

Most of the individuals in question had submitted asylum claims. Their forcible return is in violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which constitutes the cornerstone of international refugee law.

The returns were carried out despite UNHCR’s efforts and engagement with the authorities.

UNHCR reminds Nigeria of its obligations under international and Nigerian law, and urges the Nigerian Government to refrain from forcible returns of Cameroonian asylum-seekers back to their country of origin.

We also urge the Government of Cameroon to ensure that the group is treated in accordance with human rights law and standards.

Source: unhcr.org

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