Some traditional rulers in Buea, in protest to Governor Okalia’s belittling comments and threats, ordering them to march on 20th May with placards or be dethroned, staged a protest march, led by a traditional dance group.

The chiefs marched from Bwassa village, to Buea Independence Square, and to Buea Town.

In an Interview granted Hi TV, HRM Ewome Eko aka Moja Moja, Chief of Bwassa Village, talking in reference to Governor Okalia’s utterances said: “We can march even at night. He is not the one to tell us when to march with our peers, with placards. Mr. Governor, can you say that to your Chief? Give us a bit of respect, we also respect you. I am in Bwassa, I am sleeping there. If you come and pick me tonight, my villagers are still going to call me Chief. Frankly speaking, you have to withdraw your statements. Even if you don’t withdraw it, even call some of the Chiefs, even in your office, and tell us that might be…,  but I am sure the Mayor was by your side, and he wanted to sit there and watch us the Chiefs marching in front of him. Is that normal? I am sorry, if am going out of hand, but it is from the bottom of the Fako people, from our hearts.”

Talking about the masquerade dance, Chief Moja Moja said it was out to appease the gods who were already angry.

Click here to listen to Chief Moja Moja

Source: atlanticchronicles

Hundreds of people, most of them youths, Saturday marched and sang in the streets of Cameroon’s economic capital city, Douala, calling for Cameroon President Paul Biya to step down immediately.

Bosco Etoundi, a 23-year-old university graduate, says protesters believe Maurice Kamto, of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement political party, who ran against Paul Biya in Cameroon’s Oct. 7 presidential election actually won. Kamto was declared runner-up, with 14 percent of the votes.

Etoundi says he wants Kamto to immediately take power because he is tired of having a president who does not provide for residents’ needs.

Etoundi says young people make up more than 70 percent of Cameroon’s population, but Biya has never involved the younger generation in decision-making. He says that after students complete their studies, they remain jobless because Biya is not creating jobs. He says a change is needed.

Maurice Kamto, a presidential candidate of Renaissance Movement (MRC), reacts as he holds a news conference at his headquarter in Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 8, 2018.
Maurice Kamto, a presidential candidate of Renaissance Movement (MRC), reacts as he holds a news conference at his headquarter in Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 8, 2018.

Protesters arrested

Cameroon police reported the arrests of more than two dozen protesters Saturday. Witnesses say some protesters were beaten and dragged through the mud.

However, Kamto’s Cameroon Renaissance Movement said 42 people, including some of its party officials, have been arrested and are being detained.

Among those arrested is Michele Ndoki, a lawyer who defended Kamto at the constitutional council, where they alleged massive fraud and ballot-stuffing in favor of Biya’s ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) party.

The constitutional council rejected Kamto’s petition and Kamto, who had earlier claimed victory, announced what he called a national resistance program in regard to Biya’s inauguration ceremony in December, although no date has yet been chosen.

Ivaha Diboua, governor of the littoral region of Cameroon where Douala is located, says he will never tolerate any disorder in his administrative area and anyone who creates disorder will face police action.

Diboua says Cameroon respects people’s freedoms, but that no one should abuse the freedom by denigrating, insulting and stigmatizing others claiming that they felt cheated.

Besides Douala, minor protests were reported in the cities of Yaounde and Bafoussam but were quickly contained by police.

36 years of Biya

Biya, who has been in power for 36 years, was declared the winner of the Oct. 7 presidential poll, winning 71 percent of the vote. His runner-up, Kamto, who won 14 percent of the vote, has rejected the results.

In 2008, Biya removed term limits from the constitution, allowing him to serve indefinitely.

He is now the second-oldest president in sub-Saharan Africa. When his new term is finished, he will be 93 years old.

Kamto’s MRC party has vowed to continue with the protests until Biya steps down. In a statement Saturday, Kamto called for police to release those who have been arrested, stating that they were simply expressing their discontent at the election.

Author: Moki Edwin Kindzeka

Source: voanews

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Incumbent Paul Biya has won Cameroon’s presidency for a seventh time, taking a reported 71 percent of the vote. DW’s Fred Muvunyi says it’s another seven years of pain that Cameroonians will have to endure.

Now that Paul Biya has been declared the winner of Cameroon’s presidential election, the country will continue on its downward trajectory, with the possibility of increased violence and the same sort of audacious impunity that has long characterized his 36-year rule.

For me, it’s another missed opportunity to get rid of a dictator. A missed opportunity to give hope to the majority of young Cameroonians who have not seen any other leader in their lives. The opposition says the October 7 vote was rigged in favor of the incumbent.

After failing to oust Biya through the ballot box, opposition politician Kah Walla told me that she would stage protests to take down Africa’s second longest-serving leader. It’s a risky option to remove Biya by force, but given the anger and frustrations of Cameroonians, this seems to be the only left option. However, they should also expect a heavy-handed response from the man who has ruled with an iron fist for nearly four decades.

When I touched down in Douala early on the morning on October 5, Biya’s high-elevated billboards were all over the town, shamelessly proclaiming “La force de l’experience” — loosely translated in English as “the power of experience.” When I asked people what message he had been selling on the campaign trail, the answer was “nothing.”

The 85- year-old managed to show up only once in Cameroon’s far north, one of the country’s most impoverished communities. One opposition leader told me that Biya had no reason to campaign because the voters’ choice doesn’t matter. What matters is Biya’s well-positioned allies that rig the election for him.

Who else can win the election by merely showing up on the ballot paper without campaigning? Biya never bothered appealing to Cameroonians to vote for him. He is arrogant and has lost touch with ordinary citizens in the country. Now he claims to be the winner with 71 percent of the votes. What a joke!

Corruption is rot

Although I had valid documents to travel and work in Cameroon, I had to pay money to be allowed to pass through every police and military checkpoint. Even at the international airport in Douala, staffers there extort money from passengers. I’m not recounting a story of someone else: It’s my personal experience. Bribes are evident in most African countries, but Cameroon is on another level. An anti-corruption organization, Transparency International, puts Cameroon among the most corrupt nations in the world, taking the 153rd spot out of 175 countries.

Biya is taking the lead. He himself has spent at least four and a half years in total on private trips in the 36 years he has been president, according to research supported by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. Biya has made himself at home in Geneva’s five-star Intercontinental hotel, paying the total bill and chartered jet costs of around $182 million (€156 million).

Violence all over the country

While in Cameroon a few days ago, I saw how the central African nation is sliding into a terrible civil war that the world will only wake up to when nobody is left to save.

The worsening crisis is mostly the result of the Biya regime, using brutality and indiscriminate violence as a first resort, instead of dialogue, to address valid grievances from the country’s English-speaking minority. In silencing them, soldiers have killed about 4,000 Anglophone civilians, according to the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, a nongovernmental organization based in Buea, the capital of southwestern Cameroon. Around 500,000 people are displaced — many live in forests fearing government soldiers.

There are no signs the violence will stop anytime soon.

While I was in the war-ravaged regions, guns could be heard day in and day out. Bodies were scattered on the streets, and most places were completely deserted, instead occupied by heavily-armed government soldiers.

I come from Rwanda, a country that went through civil war and genocide two decades ago. I lost my close relatives when the international community looked away, abandoning minority Tutsis who were being slaughtered at the time. I’m afraid that Cameroon is taking the same path Rwanda took 24 years ago.

I’m not pleading to the international community to stop the violence and the rogue regime of Paul Biya, because I’m already disappointed with the West. I’m merely asking Cameroonians, both English and French speakers, to stand up for their country and take down selfish leaders who are tearing them apart. Thirty-six years of pain and anguish is too much to endure. Don’t take it anymore and don’t let Biya play over your life again.

Author:  Fred Muvunyi

Source: allafrica

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Amnesty International says its experts have verified two videos from Cameroon’s Anglophone regions that, two years after peaceful protests were met by military force under President Paul Biya, now demonstrate escalating violence in the West African nation.

The first video shows the decapitation and mutilation of a gendarme, presented by someone claiming to be a member of the Amabazonia armed separatist group. The second video is connected to the first and adds information about the seizure of the gendarme’s AK Chinese Type 56 weapon.

“Amnesty is not yet in a position to independently confirm the exact location of where the videos were shot, but analysis suggests it might be in the area of Belo, in the North West region which has been badly affected by the crisis,” the international NGO said.

Amnesty also documented attacks on ordinary citizens and students, and appealed to the armed separatists to stop.

“With the upcoming elections in Cameroon, we have reason to fear a further upsurge in violence,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “We may well see an escalation in the number of security incidents and increased activity by armed separatists threatening to disrupt the electoral process at all costs in the Anglophone regions.”

Some 400 people have now been killed by either government forces or the separatists. Many Anglophone leaders also remain in detention. Cameroon’s crisis has sparked tensions with neighboring Nigeria, and is a regional stability concern as well as an international security issue.

“The situation is reaching a critical threshold and the risk of mass atrocity crimes occurring in the immediate future is very high if effective preventive action is not taken,” warned the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect on Friday.

Author: AT editor

Source: africatimes


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