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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

Parliamentarians for Global Action, PGA have welcome the adoption of the European Parliament Resolution on Cameroon and are now calling for the immediate release of opposition leader Prof. Maurice Kamto and all political prisoners.

In a statement over the weekend, the PGA observed that the European Parliament adopted on 18 April 2019, in its last plenary of the 2014-19 legislature, a pivotal resolution condemning the gross human rights violations perpetrated in Cameroon against opponents and dissidents. They say the resolution that condemns “the politically motivated arrest of members of the opposition, starting with former presidential candidate Prof. Maurice Kamto, an eminent jurist who served as Judge at the International Court of Justice and member of The Hague Academy of International Law”, came upon the proposal of all political groups,.

“The text of the resolution reects language tabled by PGA Members Ms. Judith Sargentini (MEP, The Netherlands), Ms. Barbara Lochbihler (MEP, Germany), and Heidi Hautala (MEP, Finland) on behalf of the Greens group, and by Ms. Marietje Schaake (MEP, The Netherlands) on behalf of the ALDE group. European Parliament Vice-President, Mr. Fabio Massimo Castaldo (MEP, Italy; PGA member), co-tabled the nal text on behalf of the EFDD group,” the PGA said in a release.

The global PGA network calls all relevant bodies of the International Community “to take action to restore democracy and human rights under the Rule of Law in Cameroon”. In particular, PGA calls upon the African Union, the United Nations and all partners of Cameroon, including the European Union within the framework of the revised Cotonou Agreement between the Africa-Caribbean-Pacic (ACP) and the EU, to request the Government of Cameroon “to refrain from interfering with the independence and autonomy of Judges and Prosecutors”.

“The authority of Judges and Prosecutors shall not be abused for the purpose of eliminating political opponents of the Government and conning them in detention,” they said.

In respect of all political actors within Cameroon, the President of PGA, Ms. Margareta Cederfelt of Sweden, stated:

“I urge the Presidency of the Republic and all the constitutional actors in the Republic of Cameroon to open a new phase of peaceful dialogue with the political opposition and minority-groups with the view of bringing about democratic renewal for the benet of all peoples, communities and individuals living in Cameroon. The immediate liberation of Prof. Maurice Kamto would be a clear demonstration that the Republic of Cameroon is ready to be a peaceful and trusted partner of the International Community in the joint struggle for peace, democracy, sustainable development and human rights under the Rule of Law.”

Cameroon gives clarifications

In a media outing, Monday, Cameroon’s Communication Minister and Government Spokesman gave clarifications on the arrest and detention of opposition leader Maurice Kamto, President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), apparently justifying why he would not be freed.

“…The Government recalls that it was on January 26, 2019, that these people, in small groups, took to the streets in the cities of Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, Bafang, Bangangté and Dschang, to carry out marches there, in violation of the ban on public demonstrations which had nevertheless been formally notied to them by the competent administrative authorities.

“At the same time, on that January 26, 2019, hordes of demonstrators claiming to belong to the CRM invaded and ransacked Cameroon’s Embassies abroad, particularly in Paris and Berlin. It is in this regard that 151 people were arrested in the hours and days following these events and taken to security units in Douala and then in Yaoundé.

“14 These persons were taken into police custody, in accordance with the charges brought against them. Brought before the Investigating Judge, the 151 persons arrested were charged with insurgency, hostility against the homeland, rebellion, degradation of public property, public demonstration, crowding and contempt of the President of the Republic.

“These acts are provided for and punished by the Cameroonian Penal Code. Should I say it again, the charges on which Maurice Kamto and his supporters were arrested and remanded in custody are therefore clear and in accordance with Cameroon’s laws and regulations, as well as with the international conventions that our country has freely endorsed,” Sadi said.

Responding to allegations that the Cameroonian authorities systematically oppose the freedom to demonstrate publicly, he said the Government wishes to make it clear that “the regime of public demonstrations is set by law, and any person or group of persons wishing to hold a public demonstration must make a prior declaration to that effect. As in all countries, it may happen that, for reasons of threat to public order, a demonstration is not authorized. In this case, the organizers of the said demonstration must refrain from going against the law.”

Source: cameroon-info.net

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

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.

Author: Pius Lukong

Source: bloomberg

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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.

Source: journalducameroun.com

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Authorities of the Kondengui Maximum security prison in Yaounde on Thursday January 10 turned down humanitarian aid destined for inmates detained as a result of the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

The aid offered by the Ayah Foundation was rejectted at the prison on ‘instructions’ from hierarchy, the Ayah Foundation said.

The Foundation decried the attitude of the prison authorities whom they said had given clearance for the relief to be brought in only to later backtrack on their decision.

Though prison authorities have not made any statement regarding the incident, a source at the prison confirmed the incident to Journalducameroun saying the prison guards had acted on instructions from the prison administration.

“The prison is not a refugee camp,” the source said while saying the decision was taken due to the fact the relief was coming from the Ayah Foundation.

The source at the prison also added that it is the sole responsibility of the prison authorities to accept or reject relief brought in.

Source: journalducameroun

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What began as a civil protest by some disgruntled English-speaking lawyers, teachers, and students from Southern Cameroons, against the marginalization of the French-speaking majority in 2016, is now gradually degenerating into a brutal civil war. Since President Paul Biya declared war on the secessionists after they attacked and killed two policemen in 2017, villages have been burnt down, thousands of people have fled their homes and more than 40,000 have fled to Nigeria as refugees according to the United Nations. In fact, there are even allegations of genocide in the region.

In the light of this situation as well as the following reasons, Nigeria has a duty to rescue the Southern Cameroonians from the claws of Paul Biya before he sends them into geographic extinction.

First, Southern Cameroonians were formerly Nigerians until the plebiscite of 1961 allowed them to join Cameroon. Despite this, they have been grossly marginalized and treated as minorities by the Francophone government in Yaounde. Hence, the reason for their agitation. There is nothing wrong if Nigeria supports Southern Cameroons in their quest for freedom since they share historical and cultural relationships.

Second, if Nigeria does not help Southern Cameroons broker peace, the spillover effects of a potential civil war will definitely affect the former. Currently, over 40,000 Cameroonian refugees are in Nigeria. The number may increase if Nigeria keeps folding her hands and watch as the Biya led government continues to lay siege on Southern Cameroons.

Third, if not anything but good neighbourliness. Africa has always been the centrepiece of Nigerian foreign policy. Since Nigeria became independent, she has helped many African countries through her good neighbourliness policy.

The anti-apartheid black movement in South Africa readily comes to mind as one of the examples of Nigeria good neighbourliness gesture. Hence, Nigeria must extend this gesture towards the Southern Cameroonians, especially as they were formerly Nigerians.

Fourth, Nigeria stands a chance of reclaiming the Bakassi Peninsula if she supports Southern Cameroons. On August 14, 2008, Nigeria handed over the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in the latter’s favour. Before then, Nigeria and Cameroon had disputed over the ownership of the land. If Nigeria helps Southern Cameroon actualize her independence dream, she can revisit the Green Tree Agreement.

Fifth, genocide and state-sponsored terrorism are not acceptable in the post-Westphalia order. From reports, it is as if the war against secessionists has turned out to be a genocide and state-sponsored terrorism against the Anglophone Cameroonians, given how villages have been burnt down, and how about 160,000 thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.

If this is the case, the post-Westphalia order strictly forbids state-sponsored terrorism and genocide in Southern Cameroons and elsewhere. In fact, they could be strong reasons for the superpowers to invade Cameroon. But while it is as if the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is asleep over the conflict, Nigeria can assist Southern Cameroons on humanitarian grounds. No country will chide Nigeria for this, knowing full well that the post-Westphalia order prioritizes humanitarian concern over a country’s sovereignty.

Nigeria will be the one to bear the brunt at the end of the day if war erupts in Cameroon. The number of refugees that she would have to host both in the south and north is unimaginable, a big threat to her security and resources. In order to avoid this, she must act fast either through the initiation of dialogue or openly declare support for Southern Cameroons.

Author: Ibitoye Olukosi

Source: qwenu.com

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The detained Ambazonian leaders today rejected their Cameroonian nationality at the Yaounde military tribunal as their case opened on Thursday, December 6.

Appearing before the President of the military tribunal for the first time in public, the ten accused all turned down the Cameroonian nationality when their names and nationalities were read out.

Their leader Julius Ayuk Tabe set the ball rolling when he stood in the accused box but the magistrate could not find any nationality against his name.

Then stepped Nfor Ngala Nfor, who rejected the Cameroonian nationality read against his name and stressed that he is a Southern Cameroonian.

“That country does not yet exist,” the President of the court, Col. Abega Mbezoa epse Eko Eko was quick to hit back but this did not dissuade the other detainees from rejecting the Cameroonian nationality.

This heated start to proceedings was a sign of things to come as the defense counsel composed of about 47 law firms held the court to task on the composition of the civil party as well as the submission of the list of witnesses by the State Prosecutor.

According to the defense counsel led by Barrister Fru John Nsoh, they only received the list of witnesses from the Prosecution on Wednesday, December 5 at 17.39 in violation of article 414 of the Criminal Procedure Code which warrants the prosecution to present the list of witnesses to the accused five days before hearing starts.

After objections and counter objections from both parties, the magistrate was obliged to suspend the hearing only to resume two hours later to finally adjourn the matter to January 10, 2019, to pass a verdict on the issue and open the case proper.

“We are not disappointed with the adjournment. We just had a technical ruling which said the case has not yet even opened,” Barrister Fru John Nsoh, lead counsel of the defense said.

Before the case came to a close, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho prayed the court to facilitate access of the lawyers to their clients as well as family members which were welcomed by the magistrate.

It should be noted that the charges were not brought before the ten accused today but the notice board of the court states that the accused are charged with secession, promoting secession, acts of terrorism, financing acts of terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, creation of armed groups, propagation of false information, undermining internal and external security of the state, non possession of national identification card.

H.E. Sisiku AyukTabe. We miss you our great leader. God shall prevail.

Posted by Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation – SCBC on Thursday, 6 December 2018

 

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Source: journalducameroun

The detained Cameroon Anglophone separatist leaders arrive court at about 11: 25 am today and headed straight into the magistrate office.

Going by our reporter on the ground, the ten leaders were in high spirit as they were seen smiling and waving at family members.

Going by the report, Tassang Wilfred and Sissiku Ayuk Tabe, have shaved the grey moustache they had during their last appearance.

Five Minutes later,  Sissiku and others were immediately bundled into their bus as the Cameroon court rejected their habeas corpus plea.

It would be recalled that the habeas corpus motion was filed in by their lawyers.

After making their first public appearance at the Appeal Court in Yaounde on November 1, the detained leaders had the opportunity to tell their story in court as their lawyers pleaded for their immediate release on grounds they were illegally extradited to Cameroon.

The fate of the Ambazonia leaders is still unclear with today’s court decision.

Source: journalducameroun.com

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