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.
Kumbo Town is the second largest town in the North West Region of Cameroon, one of the restive English-speaking regions clamouring for autonomy. In recent times it has become an epicentre in the on-going conflict between Cameroon military forces and restorationist forces of the putative Republic of Ambazonia, often known as the Amba Boys. An unprecedented wave of violence has taken the town captive and is rooted in the New Year’s message of President Paul Biya as he approaches his 86th birthday, to use crude military force to quell the uprising if the terrorist/rebels do not lay down their arms.
In the early hours of January 1st, at 00.05am, to show allegiance to Biya (now in power for over 26 years), there was a deafening and frightful salvo of gunshots in all military facilities in the town causing the inhabitants flee to safety. The war had started.
The Score Board
In this month of January 2019 areas of the town such as Mbev, Ndzenji, Squares, SAC Junction, Mantum, Ber, and Meluf have been deprived of the right to own and live in decent houses. The conflagration of military fire has reduced many houses to ashes and forced many people to flee to unknown destinations, paving the way for mass looting from the forces of lawlessness and disorder. Many doors of houses are standing ajar after their crude acts. Soldiers come in waves and depart with looted material, especially Android appliances and food items. This probably is a well orchestrated and planned tool and strategy in this war of attrition. Target killings, extra-judicial execution, disappearances and abductions have become the hallmark of their presence.
In Mbve on January 18th, a pregnant nurse on her way to resume work at Shisong General Hospital was mercilessly gunned down by soldier from a rooftop.Two days later an early dawn raid was effected by the military within the premises of Shisong Hospital causing double trauma for the hospital patients as well as the Cardiac Unit. A young Internally Displaced boy of 17 who had never witnessed heavy military presence ran into the house where he was hosted for safety, but was unfortunately pulled out and riddled with bullets beyond recognition. Shisong, which hosted many IDPs, is experiencing a re-displacement, making a bad case worse. There is almost daily military presence and shooting around the hospital in the night and the IDPs plus their hosts have all flocked into the wards. No one can be certain of what is to come. There is an atmosphere of foreboding.
Everyone seems resigned to their fate. The military units making their entry from the West Region into Kumbo are leaving behind a trail of destruction of houses beyond imagination. Food stuff for people’s consumption is set ablaze. This is scorched earth policy. The civilians must pay the price.
January 21st a young bike rider at Squares-Kumbo round-about, who had just dropped off a passenger, ran into a military convoy returning from Shisong and was pulled off his bike and slaughtered with impunity. In Tankum Quarter, the story was no different; two young boys in their teens had their throats slit open by the military on allegations of being Amba affiliates. Minutes later military canisters were directed to another quarter, Kongir, setting a house ablaze, killing a two year old child therein, and wounding the sister and mother, who were lying in bed. Also, women have been raped with impunity. Goats and chickens have equally paid a price with their lives for roaming freely in town. They are shot and packed into military vans possibly for consumption. Beer parlours with stocks of beer that have been locked are invaded by these unfriendly visitors who consume the stock to excess and then shatter the remains into bits and pieces, thereby ruining the business of a proprietor.
Kumbo Town which used to be bustling with activity has become a dead town, a ghost town, a town abandoned to fate. About seven out of every ten houses have been abandoned. Frequent electricity black-outs or cuts are alarming. The cost of petrol and diesel has risen to absurd heights. The prices of basic foodstuffs have risen considerably. Getting water for use and consumption has become a Herculean task. Many people die in homes because they cannot afford the means to reach hospital. Many pregnant women have escaped into the bushes and far off villages for safety, disregarding anti-natal checks and clinics.
Commercial activities are at a standstill, with a gross shortage of basic commodities – even those that are available are sold at unbearable prices. Educational facilities are completely shut down and unemployment has soared. Dead IDPs are buried in the absence of relations by people of good will. Houses along the main road in the town are branded with bullet holes. Civilian farms within the precincts of military facilities have been torched and destroyed in order to create a buffer zone. Fugitives and IDPs moving into other regions are not free from harassment and death-threats. In Douala, IDPs are forced to pay a tax before being accommodated. Some are demeaned through innuendo and ethnic slurs. Many people wearing clothing of certain colours have become targets for the military. Wearers of black, the classic icon of tough guys, and red the emblematic insignia of Amba Boys, have become targets for elimination by the military. Bike Riders have not been spared from this fate.
On the other hand, Amba Boys that shoot for restoration forces, though defending and fighting for the marginalised, have equally left their own mark. Government sympathisers and those critical of them are whisked-off to unknown destinations where they are tortured beyond recognition and released only when a ransom is paid. They have frequently interrupted the little attempted commercial activity with death threats. Any Amba critic or sell-out receives the crown of brutality from the Amba Fist of Fury. Transit fees/fares demanded by Amba affiliates are heartbreaking. Moving from one Administrative Division to another is a nightmare with numerous check-points for both Amba and military forces. Having identity papers with a Cameroon Government Logo is nauseating and acrimonious to Amba Boys and a lack of them at Cameroon Government checkpoints is an occasion for arrest, torture, incarceration and death. This is the predicament of the inhabitants of Kumbo.
Reflection: “Actions that are designed for the methodical extermination of an entire people, nation or ethnic minority are always to be condemned as horrendous crimes” (Gaudium et Spes 79). “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation” (Gaudium et Spes 80). The obligation of preventing war lies on all nations. A world organisation that has Supreme legitimacy and authority seem to be the most apt means of preventing war and promoting peace.
Conclusion: Pride which is the spurious feeling of superiority leads to errors of judgment with the consequences of disgrace, destruction, opposition, and downfall. There is the need for upgrading the call to the international community to intervene and force the warring parties to the bargaining table in an inclusive dialogue; for the pen is mightier than the sword. If the present trend of events continues unabated, there will surely be a replay of the Rwandan episode, plunging the entire Central African Sub-region into a morass. A stitch in time saves nine! For now, “as wanton boys are to the flies so are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport.” Source: Independent Catholic News.
Cameroon summoned French and German envoys to protest “violence and vandalism” during opposition demonstrations at the central African nation’s embassies in Paris and Berlin.
The two European host governments failed to provide ample diplomatic and consular protection during the Jan. 26 protests by backers of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, in violation of international conventions, Cameroon’s Communication Minister and government spokesman Rene Emmanuel said in a statement Tuesday in the capital, Yaounde.
While the United Nations condemned the violence at the Cameroonian embassies, it also expressed concern about alleged use of force by security forces during demonstrations in Cameroon’s port city of Douala in recent days, and the arrest of opposition leader Maurice Kamto, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ office said Tuesday in an emailed statement.
“The UN calls on Cameroonian authorities to respect the freedom of assembly, association and expression and stress the need for restraint by all political actors,” according to the statement.
Prof. Maurice Kamto, Cameroon’s main opposition leader has reportedly been arrested, his party and rights activist in the Central African country confirmed on Monday, January 28.
Kamto who is leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, has been taken to an unknown destination according to a lawyer in the Anglophone region, Agbor Nkongho.
Even though government has yet to comment on the development, it is largely believed that arrest which took place in Douala is linked to a peaceful protest by Kamto’s part over the weekend.
Reports indicate that he is not the only one detained but that other members of the party have also been held and are due to be sent to Yaounde for questioning.
He came in second in October 2018 presidential elections which were won by the incumbent Paul Biya.
The former Biya-appointee led an opposition coalition that involved renown lawyer Akere Muna, the pair struck a deal with about 24-hours to the opening of votes.
He was the first to declare himself winner of the vote following which security was deployed to his party offices and his residence. He was briefly put under house arrest but all measures subsequently withdrawn.
He was also at the heart of a legal challenge seeking the annulment of the presidential result. His team, however, saw their petition dismissed by the Constitutional Court which affirmed the seventh straight mandate of Biya.
One netizen reminded him that it has been almost a week since the incident at dusitD2
The attack at 14 Riverside claimed 21 lives but the number could have been higher were it not for the swift response by security personnel
Cameroon President Paul Biya on Monday, January 21, extended his condolences to Kenya and President Uhuru Kenyatta over the recent terrorist attack at 14 Riverside but his message was not received kindly by some netizens.
Some slammed him for sending his message too late while others asked him to put his house in order first.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to President Uhuru Kenyatta over the terrorist attack at the DusitD2 hotel and office complex in Nairobi.
“I wish strength and fortitude to the victims’ families, loved ones and everyone affected, as well as health and speedy recovery to those injured,” read a post on Biya’s official Facebook page.
One netizen reminded him that it has been almost a week since the incident at dusitD2 and Kenyans have already gone back to work.
Numvi Destain: Are you just hearing of it today? Even Pdt Uhuru has already forgotten about it.
Yao Son Ibrahim: Kényans have already forgoten the incident you are just reminding them.Too late!!!
Prisco Herman: First remove the stick in your own eyes, why do you keep on consoling others without taking care of your own affairs at homeS
The attack at 14 Riverside claimed 21 lives but the number could have been higher were it not for the swift response by security personnel.
On Monday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i heaped praises on Douglas Kanja, the GSU Commandant who led the security operation with distinct diligence and professionalism.
He further directed all National Government administrators to step up the “know your neighbour” campaigns and ensure coordination, information-sharing and joint security actions in their areas of jurisdiction to ensure the safety of all citizens.
The Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria has today opened a hearing between the ten Ambazonia leaders and the government of Cameroon.
Lawyers of the detained Ambazonia leaders seized the court to order their return to Nigeria where they were arrested a year ago and extradited to Cameroon
The lawyers say their clients are not Cameroonians and should be returned to Nigeria, their place of residence where their matter can be heard in a civil court.
Thus lead counsels Barristers Fru John Nsoh and Ndong Christopher are in Nigeria where they have joined their Nigerian counterparts Femi Falana and Abdul Oroh to plead their case.
In Nigeria, they will equally be seeking to prepare documentation to prove the detained leaders have refugee status when they arrested in Nigeria.
The detained leaders had rejected the Cameroonian nationality at the Yaoundé military tribunal during the last hearing forcing the court to adjourn the case to February 7 when they are expected to show prove of their status.
SCBC, after having followed the dynamics that led to
the uncivilized killings of some prominent Ambazonian freedom fighters and
innocent souls in Guzang in the Southern Cameroons, vehemently condemns the act
as a heinous crime against humanity and as one that has attempted to
delegitimize our God-ordained struggle for liberation from French Cameroun,
after almost 60 years of annexation, militarization and political subjugation
of the autonomous State of Ambazonia with its clear-cut territorial demarcations
as recognized by International Law.
SCBC, faithful to its mission as the “Voice of
Ambazonia”, to cover the state of the struggle for the benefit of giving
impartial information both to the Ambazonian people and the international
community, decries and denounces the selfcentered narcissistic propensities of
some Ambazonian resistance movements and their leadership, to undermine the
collective efforts of the majority of Ambazonians only for self-gain and
personal aggrandizement, to the point of sacrificing the lives of the very
people they are purporting to liberate from the tentacles of French Cameroun.
Ambazonians of many facets and ramifications have
fought so hard to avoid any in-fighting in this revolution by organizing
themselves to finding common grounds, but some rogues have slipped in, with
very personal agendas attempting to destroy an edification sealed with the
blood of innocent civilians, seeing they have lost any force of argument and
popularity, have resorted to gangsterism and creating terror in the counties
and Local Government Areas in the land of Ambazonia.
believe in the locution of Vox popoli Vox Dei, and therefore, demand that the
perpetrators of the Guzang massacre, who according to the Ambazonian Interim
Government and many activists and investigators have the name and title of AGC
and ADF to surrender all their activities to the Ambazonian people and hand
themselves over to justice. They should seize all defense activities, dissolve
their operations and place themselves under the recognized command of true
Ambazonian self-defense forces. Every
resistance must be guided by the rule of law, including the respect and
allegiance to the people’s will. We must recall that the Ambazonian people, though
forced into self-defense by the President of French Cameroun, are generally a
critical but peaceful people who respect the right to life and the right to
defending themselves honorably complying with the convention of Geneva.
Following these sad and undesirable developments and
events, we need to take certain steps to preempt them and prevent them from
ever happening in the future. Time has come for all stakeholders in the
struggle to gather for an indepth assessment of how far we have gone, to
evaluate the state of the union and see where we have gone right or wrong in
order to remodel and consolidate our structures while sharing a strong
commitment to meeting specific goals and milestones. We definitely need a
renewed spirit to help us stay true to our original principles for which we think
it is imperative and maybe overdue to call for a General Ambazonia Conference
that will help in conflict mitigation, indicate the way forward for the
Self-declared state of Ambazonia and prepare the scenery for imminent
negotiations with French Cameroun under the mediation of the international
SCBC seeks to play a key-role in the definition,
organization and coverage of such a conference to give all Ambazonian and
Southern Cameroonian representatives the opportunity to exchange ideas,
determine a better vision for the struggle and affirm an undisputed common
leadership framework to bring the hopes of our people into fruition without
unnecessary and further shedding of innocent blood.
While the year 2018 was a transitional year for some countries, which changed their leaders through the ballot box, some other countries like Cameroon and Mali decided to renew their allegiance to their presidents.
The third part of the 2018 elections review gives a brief insight on how election was carried out in Cameroon and Mali.
Biya secures 7th term after 36 years in power
The 2018 presidential elections in Cameroon witnessed some happenings which completely changed the traditional system; election-proclamation of result, to feature a heated court exchange between the state and the opposition.
A lot of people wished this election could be the end of the 36 years rule of President Biya who took over from Ahidjo in 1982, but all hopes were dashed when he announced his intention to run.
The elections took place in a tensed atmosphere with security threats in the North West and South West regions which has plagued the country for over two years.
Barely two days to the polls, two opposition candidates, Akere Muna and Maurice Kamto formed a coalition after several failed attempts by all opposition leaders to come together to unseat Biya, marking the very first time the country has witnessed a coalition.
Amidst growing tension, the election was conducted hitch free but massively boycotted in the restive Anglophone regions due to security threats.
Twenty-four hours after the polls, Maurice Kamto declared himself winner during a press conference in Yaounde stating that figures he received indicated that he had majority of the votes. Such claims were watered down by the government stating that only the constitutional council had the right to proclaim results.
18 petitions were filed before the constitutional council by individuals and parties including Maurice Kamto and Joshua Osih seeking partial or total cancellation of the process. These petitions were termed unfounded and dismissed by the constitutional council.
The Constitutional Council later declared Paul Biya winner with 71% of votes,and he was sworn in for another 7 years term on Tuesday, November
*Ibrahim Boubacar Keita garners 67% votes in election run off
Unable to secure an all out victory in the first round, Ibrahim Boubacar was declared victorious in the presidential race, after amassing 67% of the votes in a run off with main oppostion leader Soumaila Cisse.
The constitutional court in the country gave a green light for a run off to take place on August 12 after results of the first round indicated that no candidate was able to reach the 50% threshold to be declared winner.
Meanwhile several opposition candidate rejected result tallies and called for recounts of some ballots, but the president of the court declared such petitions “inadmissible”.
Despite the fraud allegations filed by Soumaila Cisse, Keita’s major challenger in the elections , Ibrahim Boubacar was declared winner of the elections by the apex court and was sworn in on September 4,2018.
However, Mali’s vote was marred by insecurity which caused many of the voters to boycott the run-off presidential election.
TUMI and CO: The ShortSightedness of the AGC. “Mafia or Foolishness?”
APOW Takes A Stand
His Eminence, Christian Cardinal Tumi,
The Anglophone General Conference Convenors,
We the Ambazonian Prisoners of War (APOW) express shock and disdain to the distasteful way with which the AGC is trying so hard to sabotage the southern Cameroons independence restoration struggle.
In all God fearing and intellectual honesty, APOW, as a backbone of the Ambazonian struggle for the restoration of her independence want you to answer the following questions with the fear of God that you (TheAGC convenors) represent.
What has happened to all the preconditions that were tabled to be met by the La Republique du Cameroon government
The release of all Ambazonians kidnapped in connections with their independence restoration struggle?
The has intensified of the Ambazonian territory
The granting of amnesty to all Ambazonians on exile
The bringing back and complete rehabilitation of all the internally displaced person(IDPs) and externally displaced persons (EDPs)
Contrary to the expectations of the preconditions mentioned above, la Republique du Cameroon government and their Neocolonialist mastershave rather
Reenforced their military presence in the Ambazonian territory.
La Republique du Cameroun is employing the use of chemical weapons killing thousands of Ambazonians
The genocide carried out by la Republique du Cameroun on Ambazonians has intensified
La Republique du Cameroun is rather throwing more Ambazoniansinto jails, detention centres and execution centres
La Republique du Cameroun intensified the burning of villages and as such creating a tremendous increase in internally displaced Persons and externally displaced persons.
Worthy of note is the
fact that Maitre Ndocki and 45 others French Camerounians arrested after the La
republique du Cameroun post elections protest
have been discharged and acquitted of the same charges which Ambazonians
are currently serving jail terms for.
Does it means that, His Eminence and the AGC covenors have completely forgotten about the preconditions for the AGC to hold and have given a blind eye to all the atrocities being carried out by La Republique du Cameroun on Ambazonians and honestly see that the solution is the online polls with two evils (federation or decentralization) to choose from?.
APOW, haven critically
examined the AGC and their intentions have concluded that His Eminence, the covenors
and the AGC itself are a nuisance and a distraction to the Ambazonian
Independence restoration struggle.
We therefore call on you and the AGC to reexamine the objectives of the AGC in line with our questions above. We also demand that any convening that you steward makes room for theoption of the restoration of the independence of Ambazonia, which representsthe conviction and motivation of the vast majority of Ambazonians.”