Tag

UN

Browsing

The United States demanded an immediate end to violence in Cameroon on Thursday and a speedy start to talks between the government and Anglophone separatists without preconditions.

U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council that security and humanitarian conditions in Cameroon’s English-speaking North West and South West regions “have significantly deteriorated.”

October was the most violent month on record in recent years — and November is likely to surpass it, he said.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions in months of fighting between the military and separatists who claim they are marginalized in the largely French-speaking country.

“The violence must stop now,” Cohen said. “The United States calls for an immediate and broad-based reconciliatory dialogue, without preconditions. … We urge all sides to foreswear violence, to restore peace, and to resolve their grievances through political dialogue.”

He said the escalating violence is obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to over 430,000 internally displaced people as well as education and health access to children in rural areas.

Reena Ghelani, director of U.N. humanitarian operations, warned that Cameroon is “one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa,” saying that in addition to those who have fled their homes and remain in the country over 30,000 Cameroonians have crossed the border into Nigeria seeking refuge.

The majority of internally displaced Cameroonians “are hiding in dense forests, without adequate shelter and lacking food, water and basic services,” Ghelani said. “Schools and markets are also disrupted and there are alarming health needs.”

“We note with great concern the deteriorating situation with respect to the protection of civilians, including reported killings, burning of homes and villages, extortion and kidnappings in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon,” she said, adding that there have been multiple attacks on schools and threats to students and teachers.

British deputy ambassador Jonathan Allen said the United Kingdom takes Ghelani’s warning very seriously and announced a $3.1 million contribution from the government to the U.N. appeal for the Anglophone regions to address immediate humanitarian and medical needs.

This represents 20 percent of the U.N. appeal, he said, urging other countries to contribute.

Both Allen and Cohen stressed Cameroon’s important role in fighting against the Boko Haram group and other Islamic State extremists.

Cohen noted Cameroon President Paul Biya expressed confidence in his inaugural address on Nov. 6 that “there is an honorable way out in everyone’s interest.”

The United States encourages Biya “to make good on his commitment to accelerate the decentralization process” and implement recommendations of a Cameroonian commission on bilingualism and multiculturalism, Cohen said.

Allen said that “words alone will not improve things” and strongly urged Cameroon’s government to take urgent action to start a dialogue, undertake confidence-building measures, allow humanitarian access throughout the country, and ensure “accountability for all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.”

Source: Foxnews

Get all latest Ambazonia, Africa and World News, Click here to follow SCBC TV on Twitter

The UK is to supply new emergency aid to help tackle a humanitarian crisis in Cameroon, as the Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin calls for full humanitarian access to save thousands of children’s lives.

Fighting between Anglophone separatists and Cameroon security forces has displaced almost half a million people since tensions flared more than a year ago in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. The humanitarian situation on the ground is deteriorating, food supplies are critical and thousands of children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

The much-needed new UK aid funding, delivered through UNICEF, will:

  • treat 1,300 children who are most at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition
  • provide essential drugs to treat 5,700 children for deadly diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory infections
  • deliver water and sanitation kits, non-food items and dignity kits to 10,000 people
  • provide 2,000 mosquito-nets to prevent malaria
  • vaccinate 3,500 children against measles
  • identify and support many unaccompanied children.

Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin said:

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in desperate conditions in Cameroon. We call on all parties to provide full humanitarian access to ensure more lives are not put at risk.

It is the most vulnerable, particularly young children, who find themselves on the front line of this humanitarian crisis.

UK aid will make sure the most vulnerable can get the medical treatment, food, water and support they so desperately need.

The new funding will go towards a $15 million (£11.9m) emergency appeal launched earlier this year by the UN.

Notes to editors

  • UK aid will be providing a £2.5m contribution to the UN’s response to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, with £2m to be disbursed immediately through UNICEF. The remainder will be allocated in 2019 to support the coordination of the international response through the Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE).
  • The total number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) has now reached 437,000. 30,000 refugees have been registered by UNHCR in Nigeria and an unknown number of people have been forced to migrate to other regions of Cameroon. More than 10% of the population of the Anglophone regions has been uprooted.

Get all latest Ambazonia, Africa and World News, Click here to follow SCBC TV on Twitter

Source: gov.uk


Security

Cameroon is a linchpin both in the global war on terror and in support of UN and African Union peace operations.

The United States has trained the BIR (Bataillon d’Intervention Rapide) for operations against Boko Haram and continues to maintain a significant presence, but the BIR is now active in the west, operating from its large base in Ambas Bay, near Limbe with the same impunity as it does in the far north.

Concerns have also been raised in Israel about its past training and equipping of the BIR.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic depends on the port of Douala and Cameroon’s road network to transport needed supplies to the landlocked country, in addition to the 1,000 troops, Cameroon deploys there.

Besides the historically strong security ties with France, China is becoming a close defense partner.

The African Union selected Douala as the site for its AU Continental Logistics Base.

Economy

Large investments by French, U.S., Chinese and U.K. firms further insulate the Biya regime against international censure.

The Chad-Cameroon pipeline, which luckily for Yaoundé does not transit the western regions, ships crude oil for landlocked Chad produced by two major international producers: ExxonMobil and the China National Petroleum Company.

U.K.-based New Age LNG Ltd finalized an agreement in June with the Cameroon government for its offshore natural gas production near Limbe in the Southwest region.

Ambazonia groups raised alarms about the nature of this deal with New Age.

Early in 2018, Kribi Port was officially commissioned, a deep-sea container terminal built and financed by China and operated by a Franco-Chinese consortium.

The fees, taxes, and royalties from these projects and others fund administration, military expenditures and Biya’s frequent travel, but they don’t incentivize the government to build the foundations of an inclusive political and economic system or worry about falling cocoa production by small-scale producers, mostly in the west.

These factors clarifies why the government is not heeding to any calls and the UN and AU are liptied.

Only the people of Cameroon can decide their future.

Source: thepostnewspapercameroon

Get all latest Ambazonia, Africa and World News, Click here to follow SCBC TV on Twitter

Among the many French and British African colonies which achieved independence in the early 1960s, Cameroon seemed destined for greatness.  A diverse reflection of peoples from across Africa, Cameroon has both Christians and Muslims, and French and English-speakers. The country enjoys substantial natural resources, as well as excellent agricultural potential.

Sadly, greatness has eluded the Cameroonian people. The country’s governance over the past six decades has been deficient in practically every respect. Weak democratic institutions are largely to blame; there is no doubt that Paul Biya will be the winner of the just-completed elections. Like every election in Cameroon since 1982, the 2018 polls were most certainly rigged.

Cameroon’s current turmoil is an inevitable consequence of the illegal 1972 referendum to unify the country and relegate anglophone Cameroonians to minority status, and decades of authoritarian rule by Paul Biya and his Beti minority, who comprise just 10% of the country’s population. Because of minority rule – and the inevitable corruption historically concomitant with such governance in Africa – Cameroon has not made as much progress in economic development as neighboring countries, especially Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The abolition of the federal system deceived the Anglophone community

Cameroon achieved independence as a federation of the former French Cameroon and part of the former British Cameroon.  The people of the former British Cameroon voted in a UN-organized referendum to join with the former French Cameroon in a federal system. The English-speaking part of the Federal regime became West Cameroon, with its own legislature and its own President. The elected President of West Cameroon was designated de facto Vice President of the Federation under the constitution.

Decline began in 1972, when then-President Ahmadou Ahidjo  decided to hold a nationwide referendum on abolishing the federation, replacing it with a unified government.  Not surprisingly, 75% of the Francophone population voted to end the semi-autonomous status of English-speaking West Cameroon.  Cameroon became a unified state.

From the beginning, the political leadership of anglophone Cameroon considered the unification an illegal violation, under international law, of the original UN referendum to establish a federal system with equal political status for the francophone and anglophone regions. Only the people of West Cameroon had the right to decide whether or not to end their status as a member of this federation. The 1972 referendum made them into just another minority.

English-speaking intellectuals from West Cameroon began traveling to western capitals, including Washington, in the 1980s to call attention to their people’s unhappiness with this illegal move.

IsabelleEbanda40.jpg

After 1982, the Cameroonian Government entered an indefinite period of minority rule

In 1982, the founding President of Cameroon, Ahmadou Ahidjo, decided to retire after 22 years in power. He was succeeded by his Vice President, Paul Biya. This change added to the unhappiness of anglophone Cameroonians: Biya inaugurated a long period of minority rule, arranging for his ethnic group, the Beti, to hold a monopoly over political and economic power. To this day, the Beti continue to rule the country, as Biya continues to rule as President.

Violent protest among Anglophones became inevitable

As frustration mounted, incidents of anti-regime violence within Anglophone Cameroon grew in frequency and intensity to the point of quasi-civil war. The government’s security problems were multiplied by Boko Haram, which began attacking the northern region near Lake Chad from its main territory in northeast Nigeria.

The Biya administration has attempted, unsuccessfuly, to repress the anglophone rebellion with a harsh crackdown. The anglophone community’s resilience may be strengthened by significant ethnic support on the Nigerian side of the border.

Despite its economic potential, Cameroon has lagged in development thanks to these basic issues with fair representation and democratic institutions. As for the immediate future, the Cameroonian government will not find peace unless it negotiates a new relationship with its anglophone community. Another Biya term will not represent progress towards a solution to the country’s crisis. A return to the pre-1972 federal system would constitute a major step forward.

Source: cohenonafrica

With a seminarian killed in Cameroon, the Bishop of Mamfe Diocese has called on the government to stop wiping out its young people and seek dialogue to end the crisis in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.

“This is the cream of the country you are wiping out like that. It is not some foreign country you are fighting or some foreign enemy. These are children of the house. Instead of taking guns and wiping them out, look for a way to dialogue because only dialogue will lead us onto the way of peace,” says Cameroon’s Bishop of Mamfe Diocese, Andrew Nkea. The Bishop of Mamfe spoke earlier to Vatican News on the crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. Bishop Nkea is attending the Synod of Bishops on Young People currently happening in the Vatican.

Bishop also urges young people to embrace dialogue

The Bishop has also urged young people in the Anglophone regions to embrace dialogue. “My message to the young people who are in the bush fighting and attacking soldiers is that they should also look for a means to dialogue,” he said.

This week, Agenzia Fides reporting from Yaoundé carried the story of a seminarian killed in one of the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon. According to a statement signed by Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of the Archdiocese of Bamenda, the young seminarian called Gérard Anjiangwe, 19 years old, was killed by a group of soldiers on 4 October in front of the parish Church of Saint Theresa of Bamessing, a village near Ndop in Ngo-Ketunjia.

Eyewitnesses said soldiers arrived at the parish and started shooting and in the process sent parishioners scampering into the Sacristy where they barricaded themselves. Gérard remained praying the rosary outside as soldiers approached him. He was then shot three times in the neck.

The United Nations says the situation is worsening

Last month, September, the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed worry over the worsening security situation in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.

According to the UN, there is now a pressing humanitarian situation in the regions.

Source: Vaticannews
The election of Cameroon, in particular, irks local activists who cite that nation’s violence against its own people.

UNITED NATIONS — The UN General Assembly voted in 18 new members to its Human Rights Council on Friday, but several of the nations, critics said, have well-documented records of violating human rights themselves.

The countries voted in are Argentina, Austria, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, the Philippines, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay.

The election of Cameroon irked local activists who said the central African country of about 25 million people has a long history of marginalizing and committing violence against its own people — and is right now embroiled in an escalating humanitarian crisis bordering on civil war.

“The day that a country where a genocide is actually happening as we speak is elected to the Human Rights Council is a very sad day,” said Patrice Nganang, a Stony Brook University literature professor who was detained in his native Cameroon for three weeks in December after he wrote articles critical of the country’s president, Paul Biya.

The 85-year-old Biya has been in power since 1982 and ran in the last election Oct. 7 for another seven-year term. Election results probably will not be available until later this month.

John Chichester of Northport, who is raising money for refugees from the two-year crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, said it is hypocritical for Cameroon to serve on a panel that will monitor the human rights records of others.

“In my estimation, they have no right being on the Human Rights Council,” said Chichester, who runs the Ambas Bay Refugee Foundation, adding “but neither do so many other really bad actors.”

The vote was open to all 193 member states of the United Nations. India was the top vote-getter, with 188 votes cast in its favor. The countries ran unopposed for the three-year slots, so each member that sought a seat was successful.

One vote was cast for the United States — a write-in, though the United States withdrew from the council this year citing the incongruity in the fact that some members of the council are deemed violators of human rights themselves, and the stated mandate of the body is to monitor human rights.

Monica Grayley, the spokeswoman for UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garces, said the members vote by secret ballot, so she could not say which country cast a vote for the United States.

“Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested,” said Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN. “This lack of standards continues to undermine the organization and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year. The United States will continue to support reforms that would make the Human Rights Council credible. More importantly, the United States will continue to be the world’s human rights leader regardless of the suspect composition and poor decisions of the Human Rights Council.”

The UN General Assembly itself acknowledges the glaring contradiction on its website, where it spells out the council’s duties including “launching fact-finding missions and establishing commissions of inquiry into specific situations.”

The group “meets three times a year to review the human rights records of all UN Member States, in a special process designed to give countries the chance to present the actions they have taken, and what they’ve done, to advance human rights.”

Author: Zachary R. Dowdy

Source: Newsday

The United Nations has caused controversy by appointing countries including Bahrain, Cameroon and the Philippines onto their Human Rights Council.

Bahrain, Cameroon, and the Philippines were among a number of nations controversially elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday, sparking sharp criticism from rights groups and the United States.

Around a third of seats on the 47-member council, based in Geneva, were open for slots lasting from 2019-2022. A 97-vote majority from the 193 nations that make up the UN’s General Assembly is needed for approval.

For the first time since the council was created in 2006, each voting region agreed in advance on 18 candidates to be in the running for 18 seats – removing any competition.

New members Bahrain, Cameroon, the Philippines, Somalia, Bangladesh and Eritrea were elected with between 160 and 178 votes – and immediately drew criticism from activists in Europe and North America dismissing them as “unqualified” due to their human rights records.

“By putting forward serious rights violators and presenting only as many candidates as seats available, the regional groups risk undermining the council’s credibility and effectiveness,” said New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Louis Charbonneau, the group’s UN director, called the vote “ridiculous” and said on Twitter it “makes mockery of (the) word ‘election.’”

At the start of the voting session, the General Assembly’s president, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, noted that every member state is allowed to apply for a seat.

Her spokesman later declined to directly address the criticism, but instead noted: “It’s clear that the world expects that members of international bodies will abide to a certain set of standards of behavior consistent with the bodies they have been elected to.”

Five of the new members were from Africa, five from Asia, two from eastern Europe, three from Latin America and the Caribbean, and three from western Europe.

The United States pulled out of the council in June, calling the organization a “hypocritical” body that “makes a mockery of human rights,” in particular in regard to its stance on Israel.

Nikki Haley, who this week announced her resignation as US ambassador to the UN, said Friday’s vote demonstrates why the US was right to withdraw.

“Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested. This lack of standards continues to undermine the organization,” she said.

“The United States will continue to support reforms that would make the Human Rights Council credible.”

Source: citizen.co.za

Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame told delegates at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that Africa’s global position must change in response to recent positive developments on the continent.

Kagame, who is also the African Union chairperson, was the first African head of state to address the UNGA General Debate on Tuesday.

He cited key milestones across the continent over the past 12 months including signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, cessation of hostilities among countries in the Horn of Africa and the progress made by Zimbabwe to deal with political and economic challenges.

The current two-track system of governance where some players are more important than others is not sustainable.

‘‘The trend on our continent is toward closer and more productive cooperation both through the African Union and our Regional Economic Communities,’‘ Kagame said.

‘‘The United Nations Security Council must work with the African Union to monitor progress made by countries in the Horn of Africa.’‘

Kagame pointed out that while progress has been made to mitigate conflict on the continent, work still needs to be done to ‘harmonise overlapping initiatives’ and ensure that ‘signed agreements are respected’.

He asked the United Nations to continue working with the continent to resolve crises in Central Africa Republic, Libya and South Sudan among others.

Security Council

Kagame, who said the three representatives of Africa at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would be presenting a resolution shortly, asked delegates to work towards reducing the imbalance of power at the United Nations.

With only five permanent members at the powerful UNSC including United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, the rest of the members of the UN have always called for more equal representation.

‘‘The current two-track system of governance where some players are more important than others is not sustainable,’‘ Kagame warned.

Similar sentiments had been earlier shared by the Turkish president who told delegates at UNGA that the system of giving more power to countries that contribute more financially cannot achieve true justice.

The UNSC which has 15 members, including 10 non-permanent members who are elected to serve two-year terms by the General Assembly, is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions and has the power to impose sanctions and authorize the use of force.

U.N. Security Council hails Eritrea’s diplomatic efforts in Ethiopia, Djibouti

error: Access Denied!