Cameroon:Women Groups Call for six month ceasefire in conflict-ridden Anglophone Regions
September 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
In honour of the International Day of Peace, September 21, five women’s organizations in Cameroon have joined their voices to call for a ceasefire in the conflict-ridden Anglophone regions. Below is the statement.
A CEASEFIRE CALL FROM WOMEN
In early 2020, the United Nations characterized the situation in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon as a complex humanitarian emergency with 2.3 million people in need. This is a dramatic increase from 2019’s 160,000 persons in need of humanitarian assistance. Although estimates of persons killed as of 2019 by the UN stood at 3000 people, this number has since risen, and could today even be doubled or tripled. UNHCR estimates over 600,000 people have been internally displaced, and a further 60-70,000 refugees are seeking asylum in neighboring Nigeria. UNICEF estimates that more than 855,000 children are out of school due to the conflict. The situation since has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic; an escalation of violent clashes; and continued human rights violations as well as the perpetration of many dehumanizing acts on the civilian population. As such:
-Alarmed by significant human rights abuses committed by both security forces and separatist armed groups in Cameroon—including summary or arbitrary killings, forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary detention, repression of fundamental rights, and violence against women and children, as cited in the Department of State 2019 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Cameroon;
-Recognising the loss of thousands of human lives, massive destruction of properties, and displacement of persons occasioned by the conflict;
-Considering the damage to livelihoods, disruption of peace and security to the entire Cameroonian nation and most especially within the North West and South West Regions (former British Southern Cameroons), the loss of human dignity, and:
• Four years of no schooling,
• Increased child and maternal mortality,
• Absence of primary health care,
• Increased food shortages and other basic necessities;
-Determined to encourage and engage parties to the conflict to arrive at a peaceful and lasting settlement through negotiations;
-Convinced that as women, we bear the brunt of this violent conflict irrespective of our historical background, cultural, linguistic and political affiliation;
-Focusing on the provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and basing our call on the AU’s decade of ceasefire in Africa: Silencing the Guns in Africa 2020 as well as the UN Secretary General’s global call for a ceasefire and United Nations Security Council Resolution UNSCR 2532 on cessation of hostilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
We provide a thoughtful suggestion for stakeholders to engage in a ceasefire and eventual peace negotiations.
We, the women, urge parties to the conflict to:
Ø Respect human life and dignity and protect the population to stop the alarming death toll.
-Cease all hostilities by all armed actors immediately. We expect all parties to announce a cessation of hostilities within the next 30 days.
Ø Sign a written ceasefire agreement by November 2020, with each party clearly stating its commitment to making the process a success.
Ø Agree to a pilot ceasefire for six months, during which the parties improve their technical and security policies, with the contribution of civil society representatives. This agreement whose terms are borne out of a mutual respect for each faction must be binding on all parties with a local/international monitoring committee, composed of at least 50% women peacebuilders and religious women groups, put in place for follow up.
Ø Work toward a peace agreement and negotiation that is inclusive and sincere where all stakeholders, and not only those with political interest, are involved. A gender-balanced, inclusive commission should be set up to make the peace negotiation gender-responsive. Each faction should make provision for female participation of at least 50%, while civil society and other interest groups should also ensure gender balance for effective representation.
Ø Cooperate with all the humanitarian agencies in their efforts to provide relief and assistance to the ailing population.
Ø Form a think tank with members of the government of Cameroon and separatists armed factions as well as civil society to serve as a monitoring taskforce, aligned with other local/international bodies, to ensure all parties respect the ceasefire. Local women peacebuilders and women leaders should be prioritized.
We call on the Government of Cameroon to:
• Contribute to confidence-building among the parties to the conflict by releasing all arrested in relation to the armed conflict;
• Agree to a 6-month ceasefire to allow for political space to discuss these points with separatist groups and representatives of Anglophone civil society;
• Speed up an inclusive and sincere peace negotiation to address the root causes of the conflict with all factions for the sake of the ailing population within the conflict-affected areas.
We call on separatists armed groups to:
§ Agree to a 6-month ceasefire to allow for political space to discuss these points with the Government of Cameroon and representatives of Anglophone civil society;
§ Engage in sincere talks to identify measures that will return peace to our land.
This call is put out by women in the affected regions and beyond who—as mothers, aunties, sisters, and daughters—ache for a peaceful resolution to this deadly, violent, and traumatic conflict. It is piloted by the following organizations:
- South West North West Women Taskforce SNWOT
- Southern Cameroons European Women SCEW
3. Christian Women Fellowship CWF (PCC)
4. Cameroon Baptist Convention Women’s Department CBCWD
5. United Methodist Women Association in Cameroon UMWAC
Zimbabwe:Fresh Trouble Brewing For Mnangagwa
September 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe’s political animosity intensifies amid protests plans and demonstrations to un-seat a constitutionally Elected President Mnangagwa comes with hatred on him and unnecessary political avarice for leadership.
Pan-African-Visions notes this through investigations done early this week. This comes after President Mnangagwa addressed a Provincial Co-ordinating Committee Meeting in Gweru, Zimbabwe’s third capital city.
He asked Party Commissar Victor Matemadanda to tell the people that he was still the leader of the country and no-one would or has the power to oust him.
”Party Commissar, chastise party members hungry for power. Tell the people of Zimbabwe that if you dream of being leader of the country, you have had a nightmare.”
”The next morning you wake up and brew traditional beer. Ask your ancestors why they give you such bad dreams.
”It is the people, the mass that constitutionally put me in power and office. I am still the leader of the country. No-One can dethrone me, except the voice of the people” .
President Mnangagwa continues to be exerted un-necessary leadership and political power pressure by his own people surrounding him. Most of these are ZANU-PF members. Some of them are Robert Mugabe’s followers under G40.
Currently there are fresh allegations and fears that Mnangagwa is in bad books with Vice President Constantine Chiwenga whom some party people and opposition claim is hungry for power.
A secret member of the Opposition party confirms President Mnangagwa is under pressure for the power he is holding currently. He adds that most of these are ZANU-PF party members.
” What is causing problems and challenges facing the country is the fact that there is un-necessary power avarice, greedy and hatred on Mnangagwa. We have to wait until 2023 according to our constitution. Remember, He was elected by the people. It’s now the surrounding people causing problems not opposition alone, no ” , he disagrees with many voices against Mnangagwa .
Several political party members are still disgruntled by the removal of President Robert Mugabe who was ousted through a coup in 2017. A number of them like Jonathan Moyo are still twitting in bad and nasty words against President Mnangagwa.
To bring evidence to this President Mnangagwa has survived a Bulawayo assassination where a bomb was thrown at Barbourfields stadium where he was to address a gathering. This was on weeks after Robert Mugabe was out of power.
The other evidence is of tweets and what’s-up messages from Jonathan Moyo formerly of Robert Mugabe side. President Mnangagwa has fired as well two Cabinet members Energy Mutodi who was Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Fortune Chasi who was Minister of Energy and Power Development.
Nelson Chamisa of MDC Opposition Party continues to push for President Mnangagwa’s ouster of which he knows that he lost elections in 2018. Secondly, growing opposition continues to grow and picking fights are still on although Mnangagwa is quiet. There have been mass protest plans. These were thrashed by Mnangagwa on 31 August in Harare and Bulawayo.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Indigenous Manufacturers, retailers and the business community has done economic and business sabotage plans. These strategies have made rise inflation a move that has cause the Economy to bleed. These have been planned secretly except the ZCTU demonstration which is up to now a talk. Its successful demonstration was that of 2019 when President Mnangagwa announced fuel rise on Television .
Nigeria: What Decides Ondo Next Governor
September 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Michael Adeboboye
Ondo state is one of the states in Nigeria the Independent National Electoral Commission would be conducting staggered election. The election holds October 10. Michael Adeboboye pictures the election scenario, political parties’ strength, candidates and electorates behavior pattern in the state.
Ondo State, one of the states in the south west geopolitical region in Nigeria is witnessing governorship election in October 10 as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Although a staggered election birthed by court-proven electoral manipulation in 2007, the oil producing state people are sophisticated when it comes to electing theirs leaders, especially the governor who will manage their commonwealth for four years. Unlike some other states in the political zone largely dominated by Yoruba speaking tribe, the sunshine state (Ondo) seems to have been clothed with ray too hot to capture in the typhoon of god-fatherism; phenomenon where one money bag decides the fate of entire state by appointing his stooge and enthrone him against the will of the people. Election in such scenario is nothing but a mere formality. Since 1999 when Nigeria returned from military rule to democracy, daring Ondo electorates’ political sagacity is like a dangerous voyage into perilous abyss.
The immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimikowas a product of rule of law. After a prolonged legal battle over the authentic winner of the 2007 governorship election in the state in 2007, the court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo state gave the judgment in Mimiko’s favour in February 23, 2009. His predecessor, Late Dr.Olusegun Agagu who was sacked by the Appeal Court was a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Mimiko was the candidate of the Labour party (LP). That scenario fell off the state from the pedestal of general elections timetable in the country. Mimiko governed the state between 2009 and 2017, making him the first governor to have been on the governorship seat for a complete eight years. Mimiko later return to the PDP in controversial manner.
In 2016, Rotimi Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede, both Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) slugged it out for the number one position of the state. Akeredolu contested on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), while Jegede was the PDP’s flag bearer. Akeredolu emerged the winner of the election with a total of 224,842 votes, Jegede came second with 150,380 votes while Bar. Olusola Oke, another senior legal practitioner came third with 126,889 votes.
From 1999 till date, four different political parties have governed the state at different times. Late Adebayo Adefarati was elected on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Agagu (PDP), Mimiko (LP) and presently, Akeredolu (APC). For the 2020 governorship election the state, lNEC has fixed October 10 and announced seventeen political parties that would participate. Following the political trend, it appears only three political parties are to watch. The APC once again presented lt’s 2016 candidate for the election. Also, Jegede who was the PDP’s candidate in 2016 has won the ticket once again. The deputy governor of the state Agbola Ajayi is the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, (ZLP). The election is around the corner and political intrigues are not in short supply. Meanwhile, the question agitating the minds of political pundits is what would influence the decision of the electorate?
According to Hon. Tony Ala who is a PDP leader in the state, he said the PDP as a political party has a track record of achievements that would influence the electorate in the election to vote for its candidate, Jegede as the next governor of the state. He said Jegede emerged the candidate of the PDP through a free and fair primary election, adding that when candidate of political party emerged through a transparent party primary, that would influence the decision of the electorates. He said the candidate of his party (Jegede) is a gentleman politician with credibility and personality that permeated all the nooks and crannies of the state.
̋Eyitayo Jegede emerged as the candidate of PDP in a free and fair party primary. None of the aspirants who contested for the party’s ticket alongside him alleged foul play in his favour. A free and fair primary election which the winner emerged through a transparent party primary attracts the interest of the electorate, even though they are not members of the political party or delegates, they monitor the process. PDP has governed the state before and our party has track record of unprecedented achievements to the benefit of the citizens. This is one of the many reasons Ondo State electorates have pressed their interest in the party for the October 10 governorship election. The people cannot be deceived. They know the governments of the PDP established it̕ s focus on people ̶ oriented projects. They know the party cares for the artisans, technicians, youths, market women, mothers and their children. The score card is there. They are saying it themselves, not achievement they hear only in the media. They all know the PDP run compassionate government. We are not telling all these to them. They are giving us their testimonies.
“The benefit of the PDP touched their lives directly. Talk about education, health care infrastructure, social welfare and all other responsibility of a good government, our party is not comparable to deceptive government. You cannot just continue to fool the people. The people of the state are the one reminding us of our numerous achievements. Everywhere we go, they said our party gave their children education. They said their children received free medical services during our government. The father said their pregnant wives were taking care at the mother and child hospital. They tell us about free surgery, regular supply of drugs, free school shuttle and outstanding facilities. The people of the riverside know that the PDP opened their roads to the land and regularly clear the waterways. They know their children had access to very low tuition fee in the higher institution of learning. PDP ̕ s achievement is too large to compare to the present administration. They tell us all those projects are gone now. The people are asking question which the APC government fails to give any convincing answer. Insecurity, corruption, tribal and religious sentiments are glaring hallmarks of the APC government in Nigerian. Our people are saying it is enough. Our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN is the most acceptable by the electorate. He is representing the PDP; political party which is the choice of Ondo State comes October 10”
In an interview with journalists (not this magazine), a governorship aspirant in 2016 who is leader in the APC, Hon. Gbenga Elebgeleye said Akeredolu has performed creditably well “I am from Ikare and if you go to my hometown, you will see the dualisation and rehabilitation of the roads. What the people desire is good governance. It does not matter who does it. I have just told you how the governor has performed in my part of the state. The projects are physical and visible. It is not something you will require binoculars to see. Akeredolu is giving good governance. In politics, opponent must say something to be relevant. I think the issue of Ondo state governor should be based on quality.
“Go and look at the Benin-Ore road and see a first class flyover bridge, first of its kind in the state built by Akeredolu. See the industrial park in Ore area as well as the vehicle Assembly Plant. Everybody knows that Akeredolu has improved road network in Ondo State. What do people want really? Quality service! People say Akeredolu is not a political person. Do we need a super politician as governor or performer?
“We have seen super “politician” and that is not the kind of politician Ondo needs. We need a super administrator and that is what we have in Akeredolu’’
“Indeed, out of all the top three political parties to be watched in October, the PDP had governed the state and the APC is the incumbent, thus the claim to have surpassed one another in respect to achievements by both is not out of place. However, the veracity rests in individual citizen perspective. And would that even be a major factor that would influence the decision of the electorates? Sadly, Nigerians political endorsement is garnished with don’t “shit” where you “eat” syndrome.
Apparently, Ondo electorate’s behaviour pictures can be glimpse in the 2015 and 2019 elections. Mimiko was the incumbent governor in 2015. And despite that he was the southwest coordinator for the re–election of the then president, Goodluck Jonathan who was seeking re-election on the platform of the PDP, the electorates voted against the PDP. The incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the APC won in the state. Same scenario repeated in 2019 where Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar won in Ondo state despite having Akeredolu of the APC as incumbent. Will power of incumbency and federal might decide who becomes the next governors of Ondo State?
Ajayi the deputy governor whose political ambition led to resigning his membership of the APC, contested in PDP’s party primarily but lost to Jegede. His popularity cannot be cut down with razor blame. Though a third force on the platform of the ZLP, he is a politician with wide influence. He was a chairman of Ese- Odo Local government area of the state, Former House of Representatives member and the deputy governor who survived impeachment Tsunami of the APC even after leaving the party for another political party to contest.
For now, the three top contenders are engaging in rigorous campaign ahead of the election but the fate of who eventually becomes the next governor shall be found in the electorates thumb at the poll.
RDC : La situation actuelle du pays risque d’enlever à la démocratie et au leadership de l’État, sens et vigueur (Alain Atundu)
September 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
»Où allons-nous ? Où va notre gouvernance ? Que veulent nos hommes politiques ? »
C’est entre autres les questions qui ont été au centre d’un point de presse qu’a tenu l’ambassadeur Alain Atundu Liongo ce jeudi 17 Septembre 2020 à Kinshasa.
Au cours de ce point de presse, ce haut cadre du Front commun pour le Congo FCC, a fait une analyse critique des événements politiques du moment notamment sur la question du phénomène »Bilanga » à Kasumbalesa où il a fustigé le comportement des militants du parti présidentiel UDPS, qui se sont substitués à l’État en percevant des taxes.
»Lorsque des militants, se prétendant d’un parti au pouvoir se permettent de percevoir impunément, à l’indifférence bienveillante des autorités, des taxes aux frontières et de poser des actes de commis de l’État, C’est qu’ils ont en tête un projet de dédoublement des institutions avec l’intention manifeste de remplacer les organes de l’État dans un esprit d’anarchie », a-t-il dit Alain Atundu.
A la question de la fameuse milice de Kingabwa, le communicant de la plate forme politique du sénateur à vie Joseph Kabila, n’a pas donné sa langue au chat.
»Bien plus inquiétant, lorsqu’une milice est formée au nez et à la barbe des autorités nationales, en pleine capitale, et qu’au moment où la police prend en charge pour la réduire, il se trouve des complices dans un corps d’élite de l’armée nationale pour défendre armes à la main, ces prédateurs de la démocratie et de la liberté, c’est que la République est réellement en danger de mort’‘, dénonce t-il.
André Alain Atundu a également évoqué la question autour de la proposition du Sénateur Ngoy KASANJI portant sur l’élection du président de la République au suffrage indirect.
»De ce point de vue, la volée des protestations incendiaires contre la réflexion de l’honorable Ngoy KASANJI sur l’éventualité d’un changement du mode de l’élection du président de la République me semble disproportionné et inutilement revanchard », a avalisé ainsi les propos du camarade de sa famille politique.
»Au lieu de rappeler le chef de l’État à annuler purement et simplement les ordonnances incriminées ou l’appeler à la démission ou encore à la destitution, il serait plus judicieux et de l’intérêt national bien compris de préconiser voire d’envisager de les rapporter », a-t-il ainsi conclu son point de presse l’ancien ambassadeur de la République Démocratique du Congo au Rwanda, André Alain Atundu Liongo.
L’article RDC : La situation actuelle du pays risque d’enlever à la démocratie et au leadership de l’État, sens et vigueur (Alain Atundu) est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.
South Sudan: Two Years Already but Feeble Results From Peace Deal
September 15, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – Two year on, the revitalized peace deal is yet to produce tangible results as political crisis violence, food insecurity and economic meltdown continue to ravage the world’s youngest nation.
After five years of brutal civil war, President Salva Kiir and his foe deputy, opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar, including other key groups signed a revitalized peace agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on September 12, 2018, following ten months of intense negotiations, with the aim of ending the devastating civil strife that had crippled the country.
However, the deal provided for a three-year transitional period, followed by general elections.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, but barely two years later, the landlocked nation descended into civil war in December 2013 that has killed nearly 400,000 people.
It wasn’t the first time for President Kiir and Dr. Machar to share power, a peace deal signed in August 2015 failed to contain the violence after it collapsed following renewed violence in the capital Juba in July 2016, forced Machar to flee the country.
The implementation of the revitalized peace agreement has been worryingly slow due to a disputes between the parties to the peace agreement and also financial constraints have been major obstacles to completing the peace process, according to observers.
The parties to the peace agreement formed the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) in February. Despite this, there are many unresolved key issues, including the unification of government and opposition forces, the formation of state government structures and reconstitution of the transitional national parliament.
The initialization of the peace agreement provided renewed hope for a return to peace and stability in the east African country.
The citizens who spokes to this new agency says their hopes and dreams has been distracted by slowly implementation of the peace deal.
The locals blamed the leaders for all this delays, as they only care about their own interests but not the common citizens
“I feel our leaders have let us down because for over two years, we are still suffering and people continue to die – I’m disappointed that nothing much has changed in South Sudan with a current peace deal,” said Sebit Lual, a Juba resident.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), sporadic violence has killed over 600 civilians in the past six months of 2020.
Half of the country’s population of an estimated 12 million people are food insecure, and over four million have been displaced both internally and externally from their homes.
“It is unacceptable for South Sudanese to continue bearing the burden and consequences of this conflict including impunity, rape, severe hunger, displacement and almost complete lack of services,” the Women Monthly Forum, a pressure group that brings together over 40 South Sudanese peace advocates, said in a joint communique on Friday.
Despite the peace deal, the violence, economic hardship and human rights abuses have continued unabated.
The group has also concerned about the recent escalation in fighting between government troops and forces of holdout rebel group, the National Salvation Front of Thomas Cirilo Swaka in Central Eqautoria state and upsurge in inter-communal violence in several parts of the country.
“We note with concern that security is not only the absence of conflict but the guarantee of freedom of movement, access to resources, food, water, shelter and education, and more importantly a general sense of safety,” said the group.
Meanwhile, the Troika’s countries have called on the country’s leaders to demonstrate ‘leadership and clear action’ to address outstanding tasks impeding the implementation of the revitalized peace deal in South Sudan.
The political analysts say while political fighting largely subsided over the past two years, the implementation of the peace deal has been at a snail’s pace.
In a statement to mark the second anniversary of the deal, the Troika countries comprising of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway say there has been some progress but expressed concerns at delays.
The Troika say the finalization of governance structures and the building of a national security apparatus are capable of addressing violence across the country regardless of political or ethnic affiliation.
“This week, during the first visit of all Troika Envoys to South Sudan since 2017, we urged all sides to demonstrate the leadership needed to deliver progress and maintain peace. Despite this, we remain concerned by the violence that has killed hundreds in recent months, further disrupting livelihoods and humanitarian access with more than 50% of the population facing severe acute food insecurity,” the statement said.
“Regardless of the causes of this violence, all sides must accelerate efforts to deliver the R-ARCSS in full and see that the national ceasefire is maintained,” it added.
The Troika also urged those groups who remain outside the peace agreement to demonstrate their clear commitment to peace through effective dialogue and honor their commitment to the Rome Declaration to end violence.
The Troika also emphasizes free humanitarian access across the country and participation of women at all levels of government.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that there is a risk of famine and widespread food insecurity in South Sudan and that the lives of millions of people are in danger.
“The implementation of the peace deal lacks political will, and there is also a lack of trust between the parties to the peace and this could jeopardize the peace agreement,” said Amos Garang, a student of political science in Juba.
The parties to the peace deal are lagging behind schedule in the implementation of the peace agreement as what they are trying to implement now is completely different from what is in the peace agreement.
The observers say the peace deal has not yielded many benefits for the people of South Sudan since key provisions had not been implemented – the two years have been wasted.
The analysts earlier expressed concern that the revitalized peace deal may not be fully implemented within the 36-month timeframe because the parties have wasted 24-months without achieving much yet time is running out.
Political analyst, Dr. Abraham Kuol Nyuon, Dean of the College of Social and Economic Studies at the University of Juba, said the level of confidents of working together between the signatories was extremely very low and that had delayed the implementation process.
“The different interests between the leaders were major obstacles that has stagnated the implementation process,” said Dr. Kuol. “So far, there is a little sense of cooperation among the political parties and I could see this peace have higher chance of holding despite the fact that it has limited capability of bringing the reform that is expected in the peace agreement,” he added.
Atem Simon said that the parties are trying to reshape the political arena through violence rather than focusing on the major reforms stipulates in the agreement like the security and economic reforms.
Rejab Muhandis, Executive Director of South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections (SSuNDE) said “the content of the agreement itself is very excellence; the only problem is the way is being implemented if the parties improve on the implementation, deliver on the task of the agreement – the agreement can deliver peace for this country.”
The civil society said the parties are not really working in harmony to stabilize the country, warning that the country’s path to peace remained bumpy and long.
Dr. Kuol says the current peace parties or regimes are not pro – reforms, therefore new government need to be installed through elections.
“The current government is not pro – reforms so it is only through elections that will be able to bring in issues of check and balance where the concept of reforms that had been outlined clearly in the current peace agreement should be made a reality,” said Kuol.
Both the citizens, civil society called upon the international community and the peace mediators to pressure the parties to implement the peace process in latter and spirit in order to ending a persist conflict.
More so, the revitalized peace deal was seen as a significant milestone that provides a clear roadmap for peace, political transformation, security sectors reforms, healing and reconciliation process, disarmament and compensation in the horn of Africa’s country, its implementation was extremely at the slow pace due to the mistrust between the signatories.
In the sense, the impression to end the political violence remains at reluctant point among the peace parties, South Sudan, tend to be in permanent conflicting mode.
“South Sudan’s leaders have a real opportunity to deliver the foundation of a stable and prosperous nation for all, and to demonstrate their commitment to peace. We urge them to demonstrate this as a matter of urgency and will work with South Sudan to support progress,” said Troika.
RDC : Réformes Électorales, le groupe de 13 personnalités politiques chez Fatshi!
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
Après une longue procession politique du groupe de 13 personnalités auprès des différents acteurs politiques congolais, l’atterrissage était ce lundi 14 septembre à la cité de l’OUA.
Conduit par le député national Delly Sesanga, la rencontre de ce groupe de 13 personnalités politiques et sociales a eu lieu aujourd’hui avec le Chef de l’Etat Félix Tshisekedi pour lui présenter le rapport final bien que la mission n’est pas arrivée à son terme. L’autorité morale du Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC), Joseph Kabila n’a pas pu recevoir ce groupe.
Quelle sera la suite de ce marathon politique après la rencontre avec le président béton ?
Pendant que le FCC ne jure que sur des réformes électorales au sein l’institution parlementaire, une question taraude encore sur les lèvres de l’opinion publique: à l’intérêt de qui roulerait le G13?
C’est une question de temps.
Pour rappel, le groupe des 13 avait proposé la révision de certains articles de la constitution portant organisation des élections présidentielle, législatives, provinciales, urbaines, municipales et locales.
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Cameroon: Major National Dialogue Was A Colossal Failure Of Historic Proportions-Federalist Society Leader -Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung and Ajong Mbapndah L
A few weeks shy of one year since the Major National Dialogue touted by the Yaoundé regime as a panacea to the myriad of problems facing the country, Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme of the Cameroon Federalist Society says the forum was a colossal failure of historic proportions. The USA based medical Doctor who honored an invitation to be at the Dialogue, says Yaoundé has not shown any modicum of good faith and seriousness when it comes to resolving the crisis in the English-speaking parts of the country.
Describing the National Dialogue as a drama, written, directed, and produced by the Cameroon government, Dr Eseme says it was a waste of time, opportunity, and resources for a charade designed to impress the international community.
“There is a reason the people are angry. That reason is not a military one. Therefore, the solution cannot be military. It is the responsible of the government to protect people and property, but it is also their responsibility to ensure justice and fairness reigns,” Eseme says as he urged the government to put country and people above politics .
“There is something fundamentally wrong and sad when a people are pushed to the wall. This is what has happened to us. I am however very optimistic about our future. I have no doubt in my mind that future includes a form of federalism,” says Dr Eseme.
On the way forward, Eseme opined that it was imperative for Anglophones to meet under a broad umbrella that accommodates all views before any future moves to negotiate with the government. Though no details were given, Dr Eseme said there was movement towards this.
Dr Eseme could we start this interview by getting some background information on the Cameroon Federalist Society that you lead?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: I want to start by thanking Pan African Visions for this opportunity to share our vision with the public. The Cameroon Federalist Movement (CFM) is a body of Cameroonians who believe a Federal system of government is best to ensure Justice and Fairness in Cameroon. We have a global membership and are headquartered in the United States of America. Membership is open to all Cameroonians. CFM had its Constitutive General Assembly on October 27, 2018 in Bowie, Maryland. We have released a document called Blueprint to Federalism which we have published extensively in the local media in Cameroon. In recognition of the important role we play, 6 of our members were invited to take part in the Major National Dialogue that took place in Yaoundé from September 30 to October 4, 2019.
How do you situate the relevance of the Federalist Society and what it stands and advocate for in the present political context in Cameroon?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: I believe CFM continues to remain a major stakeholder in the political future of Cameroon. We believe our vision is consistent with that of most Cameroonians. We are not radical, and we think our position is sound, just and fair. If you were to take a well-designed survey of Cameroonians, I have no doubt most will agree with our ideology. Cameroon is an idea and whatever we choose to make of this idea is up to us, but one thing remains indisputable. This idea called Cameroon belongs to all of us, without exception. It does not belong to one man, one tribe or one region. Unfortunately, we have a Head of State who is not only out of sight but out of touch as well, with his citizens. So far, he seems to have succeeded in dividing us but as the saying goes, you can fool some of the people all the time; you can even fool all of the people some time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The Cameroon government has behaved like an Ostrich with its head buried underground for so long that it is not sustainable. Sooner than later, even the Ostrich will have to raise its head to breathe. We believe that time is closer than we all think.
Last year you participated at the Major National Dialogue, could you tell us how the Federalist Society obtained this invitation, and in accepting to honor it, what were your expectations?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: Indeed, six of our members, including myself were invited by the Head of State to participate in the Major National Dialogue. Our invitations were without any lobbying on our part. We believe it was in recognition of the force of our activism. On this note therefore, I have to appreciate the openness of the Head of State to have extended those invitations knowing our established position. Initially, there was no consensus among our leadership regarding our attendance. Eventually, we decided to attend, not because we were expecting the old dog to learn new tricks, but out of a sense of patriotic duty.
At the National Dialogue proper, how active were you in the deliberations, and did you get the impression that the proposals you brought or that the Society had in mind towards the resolution of the political crisis in Cameroon were given due consideration?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: On day one, the proverbial handwriting was already on the wall. The Prime Minister, who played the role of Conference organizer, handpicked all the Commission members with a majority of them drawn from hardliners. At that point we knew it was fixed but we decided to stay to fight because when you believe in something, you don’t give up. You might have seen the interview I gave to CRTV on the first day. I made it known in very strong language how disappointed we were. Interestingly, CRTV who had solicited my interview on the first day, did everything to avoid me the next day. I think they received a warning from the government not to grant me any further interviews. I was part of the Commission on decentralization which was chaired by Mr. Ngole Philip Ngwese who pretended to be fair but was so glaringly biased. On day one, he allowed Professor Joseph Owona, who had no business being there, to speak uninterrupted for about 30 minutes while I was limited to only 3 minutes. It was a shame and a sham.
Was it of concern to you that organizations and leaders with known separatist sentiments were not invited to the National Dialogue?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: To be fair to the government, separatist leaders were also invited. I saw their invites. I am not sure what difference it would have made though, given the tight manner in which they controlled the deliberations.
A year after the dialogue, what would you say has changed from Cameroon, is there any tangible progress that you can point to as a fallout of that forum?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: I am going to very clear here so that I am not misinterpreted or misquoted. In my humble opinion and by any metric measure, The Major National Dialogue was a colossal failure of historic proportions. It was a waste of time, opportunity and resources. The government was never serious. They did it for show and to impress the international community. As I was leaving Yaoundé on October 4, I could not help but realize I had just taken part in a drama, written, directed and produced by the Cameroon government.
In lieu of the Federation that you and many others saw as a solution, the government opted for a special status and for a year now there has not been much progress on that, what is your take on this?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: The Special Status idea was proposed by Mr. Edward Akame Mfoumou, who is by any measure not a proponent for change. So right there I had my suspicions but because they were in charge of everything, they made it seem as if it was a consensus decision. It was not. There is no need for a Special Status for Anglophones. A Special Status is what you give to someone who otherwise does not deserve or qualify for that status. In other words, it is an accommodation. An example would be to grant special seating arrangements or parking to the disabled.
Anglophones are neither disabled nor begging for what is rightfully theirs. I am not surprised the Special Status was not enthusiastically received and has not been the panacea they thought it would be. The letter behind it was wrong but more importantly the spirit behind the idea was very disingenuous.
As we do this interview, Bamenda in the NW region is literally under siege, what message do you have for the Cameroon government which seems resolute on using force to stop the crisis?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: My message to the Cameroon government is to put Country above politics and people before party. There is a reason the people are angry. That reason is not a military one. Therefore, the solution cannot be military. It is the responsible of the government to protect people and property, but it is also their responsibility to ensure justice and fairness reigns. The problem with our government is that they don’t always believe that the authority and power they have, must be balanced by accountability and responsibility.
With everything that has been going on, the human right abuses, the characteristic bad faith of the government, the general insensitivity to the plight of people in the NW and SW regions, how hard is it for you and members of your group to sell the federal option to those who see no future with Cameroon?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: I would be lying if I told you it was easy. The longer this fight goes on, the more desperate people are going to become. Desperate people are going to do desperate things. There is something fundamentally wrong and sad when a people are pushed to the wall. This is what has happened to us. I am however very optimistic about our future. I have no doubt in my mind that future includes a form of federalism.
Based on your experience at the National Dialogue, if the Government decides to hold another forum, under what conditions will you and the Federalist Society consider participation?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: Fool me once, shame unto you. Fool me twice, shame unto me. We have learned a bitter lesson, unfortunately, a very costly one too. Too many lives have been lost. Lives that could have been spared. There is only one condition under which we can discuss again with the government. Anglophones must first meet under a large enough umbrella to accommodate all views. Only after this has been done, can we move to negotiate with the government. I am pleased to inform the public there is some movement toward this end.
We end with a word on the way forward, what recommendations do you have for the government and for the actors from the North West and South West with diverse positions and approaches?
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: My final word is a reminder of what this is all about. It is about the future of our nation. I would advise those supporting the Head of State in his misguided approach to solve this problem militarily, that Mr. Biya is not the future. He is the past. I would also advise my brothers and sisters who are armed and fighting, to drop their arms. Mr. Biya is not a hill worth dying on. Our future is bright, very bright and it is without Mr. Biya.
Thanks for answering our questions
Dr Wilson Lobe Eseme: You bet!
Cameroon:War in NW/SW Not Winnable From Military Perspective-Former Consortium Leader Barrister Felix Agbor Balla
September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The current war in the South West and North West Regions is not winnable from a military perspective, says Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor “Balla,” a former leader of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. Speaking in an exclusive interview with PAV, The renowned human rights lawyer who heads the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, says only by winning the minds and hearts of people and meeting their demands can peace begin to be restored.
“It is not just burning their villages or buying people over or locking them in jail but by opening a veritable dialogue and negotiations with the leaders and the people,” says Balla,a leading actor in the current political dispensation in Cameroon, on the way forward.
While he does not regret participating at the National Dialogue last year, Barrister Agbor Balla believes the sustained pattern of deceit, and characteristic bad faith on the path of the Cameroon is not helping at all. Citing the example of the Special Status agreed upon at the Dialogue, Balla says it is despicable that even on such a proposition which fell way below what most Anglophones expect, the government has not been able to deliver.
Consistent with his believe in a two states federation as a solution to the crisis in Cameroon, Barrister frowned on the name calling and attempts to bully others into positions that are not necessarily theirs. Before going to prison, in prison, and after prison, I was for a two states Federation and I stand by that says Barrister Agbor Balla.
“We do not need to be friends to the government or the separatists but we are friends to the truth, justice, and respect of human rights,” says Barrister Agbor Balla in touting the ground breaking work of the CHRDA that he leads.
“The carnage, bloodbath, destruction of our economy at times done by us against us is something we have to address – because the government cannot be killing our people and we too are killing our people. There is a need for an intra-Anglophone dialogue to try and address some of the issues we face and to look at our grievances and try to be realistic – this is what we can achieve for the time being and then move on as a people,” says Barrister Balla in the interview .
PAV: Barrister Balla, thanks for granting this interview, may we know your reading of the political; situation in Cameroon and especially the English-speaking regions of the country?
Barrister Balla: With regards to the political situation in Anglophone Cameroon, for the time being, one cannot read what is going on. There are times that you think the conflict is going down but after a while, you see what has happened within the last months shows that the conflict is only increasing. They have announced the Regional election which ideally is something the people will be happy but within the current dispensation, nobody is excited because the ruling party is the dominant party, on paper they will win the entire regions.
If you look at the special status that came with a lot of euphorias after the Grand National Dialogue, which at the end of the day there is nothing special in the special status because it is like an empty shell; nothing fundamentally changing. They talked about that we will have a house of chiefs as if that is something new.
Most people are focused on us to have an end to this conflict. Politics and politicking, electioneering will only come after we have found a solution. You do not expect people who are living in the forest, people who cannot have a decent meal because the economy has been strangulated as a result of the strike, for them to bother about politics. So for the time being politics is a non-issue in the North West and South West Regions.
PAV: CHRDA recently published a report detailing gruesome atrocities from the Cameroon military on citizens in the North West and South West, are their actions not pushing people to see the wisdom of those who say only a new country or nothing?
Barrister Balla: CHRDA previously published a report that documented the atrocities by the non-state actors. As a CSO organization that is independent, very objective, we document and report. We do not invent, fabricate and at CHRDA we document, monitor and report. If we have to call perpetrators or violators to order then we have to do it. If it means pushing those who believe in separation to clamour for more separation so be it. You might also say the report we published documenting separatist atrocities will also push those who do not want independence to have a stronger case to show the atrocities committed by the separatist.
By and large, we want to say no to impunity, and there should be a need for accountability because if you look at these gross violations they are widespread and systematic. We have had instances that villages have been burnt, people have been unlawfully detained, and people have been extra-judicially killed, tortured, cruel and degrading treatment perpetrated by both parties to the conflict. The whole idea of our report is for documentation purposes and this conflict will have to come to an end. Someday, posterity will hold accountable those who committed mayhem in the South West and North West Regions. At the end of this report, we end up antagonizing both parties to the conflict but like what one clergy told me that the fact that the non-state armed actors and the government are complaining about you means that you are doing a good job. We do not need to be friends to the government or the separatist but we are friends to the truth, justice, and respect of human rights.
PAV: It will soon be a year since the major National dialogue took place, where are we with the implementation of its resolutions?
Barrister Balla: I do not think we have made any inroad since the Grand National Dialogue. I know they have been talking about reconstruction in the NW/SWRs, I know UNDP is involved and that is a good step in the right direction – to try to rebuild some of the property that was destroyed, compensate some people, social cohesion is very important. But you cannot be talking about reconstruction without talking about peace, reconciliation, and justice.
The whole idea of the Grand National Dialogue was to bring people on the table – yes it is the step in the right direction, I’m not saying it was a wasted effort. I didn’t expect that after a conflict of four years,in five days we will have a solution. I expect that we will have a series of dialogue going on. I appreciate the fact that government started speaking with Ayuk Tabe and Co. which is good, the Swiss process has been suspended for the time being but there is a need for us to have a combined process – the Swiss process, the National process. As a result of the infighting when you talk to those advocating for the Swiss process it seems you are legitimizing the IG of Sako and Anu; when you talk to Ayuk it seems you are legitimizing the IG of Ayuk and Yerima. So bring all of them together and talk about an international process.
PAV: One of the major resolutions from the National Dialogue was the creation of a special status for English speaking regions, a year after,is there any seriousness, sincerity, and political will on the part of the Cameroon government in resolving the crisis in the NW and SW regions?
Barrister Balla: I don’t think there is any seriousness on the part of the government. You can see that the special status as an afterthought. They were not ready for it or to lose power. It is a government that is adamant to change and I would say they are deaf, dumb, mute and extremely arrogant and stubborn. If you have a special status and the Governor is still appointed it does not make any sense. If you read the law on decentralization you will realize that the President of the Regional Council is still just a ceremonial head, the Governor will be the first in the region. They say they were going to give us a house of chiefs but it is not the house of chiefs we knew in the days of Southern Cameroon. It is just kind of a cosmetic house of chiefs that will not have independent-minded people that can help the people in the NW/SWRs.
The special status is something I believe initially that we came out of the Dialogue with something but if you look at areas where the special status is practised such as Catalan, Quebec it is different. Unfortunately, the people in power are not ready to relinquish any of their authority. So we will talk about it till next year but nothing fundamental has taken place.
PAV: When you look at the way things have unfolded after the dialogue, do you think it was worth it, was it a missed opportunity and do you have any regrets taking part in it?
Barrister Balla: It was worth it in the sense that for the first time it brought a myriad of people together. That was the first time I and others exchange ideas with the government. If you want to find a solution it is a gradual process which you first start by building confidence. Unfortunately, some of us clamoured for a return to a two-state federation which was not part of the agenda which we thought would have been a panacea to the situation. I don’t regret taking part – if they call another I will still go because if you are preaching for peace, reconciliation, dialogue, you cannot not be advocating for these things and at the same time boycotting it. I think we have taken the first step and it is now incumbent on the government to show their good faith and goodwill by continuing the journey.
PAV: What do you think of the Bilingualism Commission, is there any role it is playing to address some of the concerns of NW and SW Regions?
Barrister Balla: I think it was a tool just to bamboozle the population. That is not the problem that the people have been complaining about. Yes, it is an institution that can help in entrenching bilingualism in Cameroon but it is not that will solve the problem. The constitution talks about Cameroon as a bilingual country and so I still do not understand how something is provided by the constitution, you need to create another commission to see how to implement it. I don’t see the power they have as they only make recommendations to the President and at the end of the day, it has no powers.
PAV: How are the Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration centres working, are there serving the intended purpose?
Barrister Balla: Ideally DDR will come at the end of the conflict where people would have put down their weapons, and they will have to rehabilitate some of them. To me, it is just like the Bilingualism commission which is just a fire brigade measure. I don’t think the government was ready, you can see the disaster called the DDR. I don’t think the thought was taken before it was created. It was one of those things to show the world that we are doing something but to me it was more cosmetic than real.
PAV: There is also a committee for reconstruction that recently launched its activities; do you think in the present circumstances it is feasible to do any reconstruction in the NW and SW Regions?
Barrister Balla: I supported the reconstruction process because we don’t know when the conflict will come to an end, and people are suffering. We have documented these houses that have been burnt. As of today, we have about 235 houses or villages that were burnt. So if they want to reconstruct these villages or houses that we have been complaining about, how can we be complaining? I don’t look at it only as reconstruction but construction and reconstruction. It should be done whilst we are finding a solution to the crisis. We cannot be doing it forgetting that we have a crisis as there are still gunshots, lockdowns, and arrests still going on.
PAV: Before the National dialogue you were making efforts for a forum for people from the NW and SW regions, a sort of AAC 3; do you think such a forum still has its place in the present context?
Barrister Balla: I don’t know why the separatists and government didn’t want the Anglophone General Conference to hold. It might not have a place but what I think is needed is an intra-Anglophone dialogue. The carnage, bloodbath, destruction of our economy at times done by us against us is something we have to address – because the government cannot be killing our people and we too are killing our people. There is a need for an intra-Anglophone dialogue to try and address some of the issues we face and to look at our grievances and try to be realistic – this is what we can achieve for the time being and then move on as a people.
PAV: What is your reaction to the growing sentiment by restive Anglophones that the Clergy may be playing a dubious role in the crisis with increasing closeness to government positions?
Barrister Balla: This PhD (Pull Him Down) syndrome we have in Anglophone Cameroon. Everybody we have condemned; we condemn the church, the CSOs, Teachers, and Lawyers, everybody who say something we don’t like we condemn. These clergies are people who have been drawing attention to the problems faced by people in the NW/SWRs. For me, just to put them in one box and lampoon them is not fair. They have a role to play and they must not only say what you want them to say because that is a dictatorship and we are not in North Korea. There might be some of the Clergy who might not be good but it is not the entire Clergy that is bad or that is on the payroll of the government.
PAV: Some critics say the Agbor Balla who led the initial stages of the struggle and the Agbor Balla of today is day and night in positions, the insinuation been that after your stint in prison, your tone became a little more subdued and you have viewpoints closer to the government, can we have your response to that?
Barrister Balla: If you follow me before the crisis, my declarations, I have always been a person for the two states federation, and I will religiously defend my position – I said it before jail, in jail and after jail. The problem with most people is that they expected me to join the separatist movement but I have my philosophy, and conviction – I don’t believe in a bloodbath, I don’t believe in war. I have friends who are in the separatist movement and I tell them that I am not a warmonger and I will not support warmongering, killing of innocent persons.
Even those who criticize us, the most reputable document on atrocities in this country is done by us – so they criticize us but even if they go in the international forum they use but our document for advocacy. The one we published in Canada in July 2019 is a groundbreaking document, the one we published about military and separatist atrocities nobody can fault us. We were one of the first to comment about Ngarbur and we were threatened by the government but we were proven right. Unfortunately, emotions have taken over reason. Most people have gotten too deep that they cannot even reason again. If you don’t say what they want to hear then they say you are a blackleg or you’ve been bought. The people who are shouting on social media are not the majority but the people who thank us give us the impetus to do what we are doing.
They will rewrite the history of this country and we will have a page, a chapter or something on the role that we played. No matter what they say they will acknowledge the fact that we played a role and some of us also paid the price by going to jail. Upon our release we have continuously advocated for those who are detained, some of the leaders in jail know the role we have played, and they know we still advocate for them, try to use our network for the betterment of our people. I don’t have time for detractors. Those who spend their time ranting, and insulting people, to be honest, I don’t have any time or place for them.
PAV: What is your take on the leadership of the struggle, especially those in the diaspora?
Barrister Balla: We cannot put the Diaspora in one box and say they are bad people. Some of the leaders there are cut off from reality; they are living in their world. A lot of them are misleading the people in Cameroon. We have good people who can lead but some of them are frustrated; some of them because of the violence, the insults, and hate speech have withdrawn from the struggle. I think if those back home and the genuine leaders in the Diaspora can come together and forged a good team it will help to articulate the struggle better. The leadership cannot be in the Diaspora; you cannot be left in the Diaspora and you are telling people here not to go to schools. What the struggle needs to do is to find a leader back home who can lead the struggle. They should not try to delegitimize everyone who is back home. When you call this one traitor, blackleg and so on, at the end of the day we get the leaders that we have; those who are good in scheming, blackmailing, and those good at inciting violence, and hatred.
PAV: It has been four years now with schools in many parts of the NW and SW, as another school year approaches, any suggestions on what should be done?
Barrister Balla: We started the no school boycott as it was a stop-gap measure. It was a temporal measure, and I have spoken to all the separatist leaders I know about school boycott like two years ago. You cannot claim you want to liberate your people and still keeping them in darkness. Education is very important. The struggle has to continue but also they should not jeopardize the education of our kids or children.
PAV: As someone who played a leading role at the onset of the ongoing phase of the struggle with your leadership of Lawyers and the Consortium we will like to end this interview with an opportunity to address different components and actors in the struggle, -First a word to the Cameroon government.
Barrister Balla: I will urge them to try to find a solution and they should not toy on people’s lives. They should not think they will win this war as it is not a winnable one from a military perspective – you have to win this war by winning the minds and hearts of the people and meet at least the minimum demand from the people. It is not just burning their villages or buying them over or locking them in jail but by opening a veritable dialogue and negotiations with the leaders and the people.
PAV: A word to fighters in the North West and South West Regions
Barrister Balla: They need to respect the Geneva protocols. Civilians who are not taking any part in hostilities should not be a war target. Respect human rights. You can still pursue the war without beheading people, without raping, kidnapping, as these are all war crimes and crimes against humanity, and someday some people will face the wrath of the law.
PAV: A message to the diaspora
Barrister Balla: They need to show respect to those at home. This infighting is not necessary. If we want to succeed in the struggle we have to come together and think about the people on the ground – let us have their interests. It seems they are more interested in their interests than the interest of the people.
RISCH, CARDIN LEAD COLLEAGUES IN CONDEMNING VIOLENCE IN ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON
September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, along with Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), today introduced a resolution calling on the Government of Cameroon and armed separatist groups from the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions to end all violence, respect the human rights of all Cameroonians, and pursue a genuinely inclusive dialogue toward resolving the ongoing civil conflict in Anglophone Cameroon.
“The deadly violence and human rights abuses against the Cameroonian people as a result of the Anglophone conflict has crippled the country’s political and economic development. The international community must do more to speak out against the atrocities of this conflict, and engage all sides to pursue an inclusive and constructive path toward peace and stability,” said Risch. “Resolving this conflict will allow Cameroonians to fully realize their own constitutional and democratic ideals, pursue justice for those whose lives have been lost or destroyed, and restore Cameroon’s robust security and economic partnership with the United States.”
“America’s foreign policy should be rooted in our values, including our obligation to support human rights all around the globe. The situation in Cameroon has continued to devolve, and the United States’ Senate cannot be silent in the face of grave human rights abuses,” Cardin said. “This bipartisan resolution marks Congress’ commitment to working with the Cameroonian people to put an end to violence and human rights violations, pursue justice for victims, and support Cameroon in reconciliation, development, and humanitarian efforts.”
Key provisions of the resolution include encouraging all parties of the Anglophone conflict in Cameroon to:
- Conclude and uphold an immediate ceasefire.
- Guarantee unfettered humanitarian access and assistance to the Northwest and Southwest regions.
- Exercise restraint and ensure that political protests are peaceful.
- Establish a credible process for an inclusive dialogue that includes all relevant stakeholders to achieve a sustainable political solution that respects the rights and freedoms of all of the people of Cameroon.
Full text of the resolution can be found here.
Background: Since 2016, Cameroon’s security forces have been credibly accused of grave human rights abuses, including suppressing the basic freedoms of expression and assembly, arbitrarily detaining those who challenge the president’s authority, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Human Rights Watch has documented extensive burning of villages by members of the security forces in the last two years in both the Northwest and Southwest regions, as well as rampant killings of civilians and sexual violence.
*Courtesy of Committee on Foreign Relations Committee
Rwanda: Rough Days Ahead for Diaspora Who Spew Hate and Fake Stories- President Paul Kagame
September 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Mohammed M. Mupenda
Rwandan President warns Father Thomas Nahimana over the rumors he has been spreading that the strong man is dead, he says that he may one day see himself in Rwanda as it happened to Mr. Rusesabagina.
This is after a recent video was released showing Father Thomas Nahimana saying “President Kagame’s death”.
The rumor that has been circulating on social media, and YouTube for some weeks, some believed that it is real, while others never paid much attention/denied.
PAV correspondent in diaspora has been receiving calls, text messages, voices from African diaspora worldwide and those interested in Rwanda politics, all asking to help verify the death news’ sources. “Of course, i had it that President Paul Kagame is safe and doing well in Kigali”. This made us believe that we are the most trusted source of information and people believe in us.
In Sunday’s interview with Rwanda Broadcast Agency (RBA) President Kagame openly warns Father Nahimana that one day he might be brought to Rwanda.
“It simply came to our notice then that the priest would not be surprised if he does have the same day as Rusesabagina, “he said.
He also saves the dead, those he kills and those he does, but in the end, it will happen to him…he will find out he does know how he got here in the end
He advises youth that they should analyze the content posted on social media.
“Young people should know how to analyze. Let them know what to put on social media sites which would cause more problems than solving them,”
He adds that people live their lives, “we can’t stop people living their lives in such bad ways”.
Don’t get surprised if Nahimana goes ahead and says that the person you were talking to is not President Kagame! Nahimana talks about something today and jumps to another tomorrow.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame portrays himself as a modern-day politician who sees social media as a way of championing democracy and development.
However, his opponents accuse him of being the latest in a long line of authoritarian rulers in Africa.
His regime brutally suppressed the opposition and killed some of his most vocal critics – a charge his allies vehemently deny.
Mr Kagame’s powerful network of spies have been accused of carrying out spate cross-border assassinations and abductions.
*Mohammed M. Mupenda is a news correspondent and freelance reporter, who has written for publications in the United States and abroad. He is also a French and East African language interpreter.
Cameroon:Kamto Emulates Biya With Marginalization of Anglophones in Party Appointments
September 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Cameroon’s main opposition leader, Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, political party has come under heavy criticism from English-speaking Cameroonians who question how different he will be from President Paul Biya if he one day takes over the leadership of the country.
This follows Thursday’s appointment of over 50 members of his party to state duties with Anglophone barely making up to 10%. Kamto has made public plans to take over the presidency of Cameroon and establish a third republic – and akin to what Anglophones have been subjected to under the Biya administration since 1982, Kamto’s list of appointees paints the exact bleak picture for English-speaking Cameroonians.
Many question how different Kamto’s Cameroon will be from that which Anglophones have been subjected to for 38 years under President Paul Biya. Taking to social media, Cameroonians from the English-speaking regions, at least those who still believe in a united Cameroon, have been quick to criticize Maurice Kamto.
A disgruntled Anglophone, Stephen Akam took to Facebook to vent his anger, “so Maurice Kamto wants to tell us that there are only two qualified Anglophone in Cameroon to appoint in his government. This is a clear indication that we need to be very careful with who we support into the Unity Palace else history will just be repeating itself.”
One of his English-speaking appointees, Lawyer Tamfu Ngarka Richard who was appointed to the position of National Secretariat for State Reform and Modernization, was seemingly excited to break the news to his social media followers who did not fail to crown him with congratulatory messages.
Some of the Anglophones who featured on Kamto’s list include, Abbey Martin Nkwa, appointed to the position of Adviser, Fah Elvis appointed Deputy National Secretary, and Ngum Chiabi Sylvie appointed National Secretary for Gender Affairs.
Recalled that, the opposition leader who came second in the 2018 presidential elections has repeatedly cited that he was cheated and should be the one at the Unity Place, Cameroon’s executive mansion. He has announced several times his intentions to organized nationwide protests to oust 87-year-old President Paul Biya.
Why Anglophones think Kamto will slide straight into Biya’s shoes
Opposition leader, Maurice Kamto first received nationwide condemnation when he decided to go through with his candidacy in the presidential election in 2018 despite calls by other political parties and politicians such as Kah Walla and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh to boycott polls until a solution is provided to the Anglophone crisis.
Watchers of the polity of Cameroon believe another reason why Kamto who just like Biya during his pre-presidential days seemed like the perfect gentleman might not be a suitable candidate to bridge the divide and reunite disparaging Anglophones is due to the fact that he has never visited the regions since 2016 when the crisis started.
Many point to the fact that when he threw out an invitation to sit with Anglophone leaders in the diaspora during his tour is telling sign that he does not consider Anglophones and their grievances as a priority.
Maurice Kamto, 66, has however been very vocal about how the Yaounde administration is handling the Anglophone crisis and has threatened to stage a nationwide protest which will paralyze the economy unless President Paul Biya proffers a solution to the crisis.
His critics believe his statements on the Anglophone crisis which has now metamorphosed into a full-blown armed conflict are all geared at winning him support and taking him into Etoudi, the Presidential Palace.
Zimbabwe’s Main Opposition Party Wades Into Land Politics .
September 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Mpofu Nevson
A twist to Zimbabwean politics places in Opposition MDC[Movement ForDemocratic Change ] to take a new tentative challenge against ZANU-PF . Oppostion is accusing ZANU-PF of failure to address historical Land imbalances , Use and proper management .
Dwelling on this first point Fadzai Mahere MDC Lawyer and Spokesperson said MDC acknowledges the land reform as necessary correction of colonial injustices . She further stresses a point that the land reform is still not at par-level in terms of land distribution and its production is un-forseen .
”We noted that the approach used to address historical imbalances was not the desirable one as evidenced by the past 20 years since 2002 . We are importing food . The country has 8,6 million food in-secure people .
”Owning land means then we have to feed others , but are we doing that ? The country has come up with many policies that have failed in the eyes of every Zimbabwean . Over US$6 billion has been invested in Command Agriculture alone . Still we are in absolute poverty .”
The Lawyer continued to take a swipe on the Government and the ruling party ZANU-PF in terms of failing transparency to issues of inclusity and equal participation at national level following the constitution . She notes that the Global Compensation Deed has been concluded in the absence of parliament .
”The Global Compensation Deed has been completed without participation of Parliament .This is not in line with the Constitution section 295 and the rule of Law in the country . According to Law any compensation for previously acquired Agricultural land must be addressed and paid in terms of an Act of Parliament .
”The State agrees to pay US$3,5 billion . Where do they get the money yet 7,5 million people need food . They are food in secure . It is still estimated that there is going to be severe hunger in the country. That will leave millions plunged in chronic and absolute povrty .”
”There is no clarity where the money will come from . Be careful , citizens money will be taken un-lawfully to fund these White Farmers . The Land resource was in-correctly distributed . Its ZANU PF and its people in total who gain on the land but still there is no prodution .”
Mahere took another path for social justice of the 4 million farm workers and 150,000 who have been ignored . Many lost jobs , homes on farms and were left idle , chased away from farms and left for poverty . MDC notes with pity that such a way of doing it left others without basic needs like food , shelter and clothing .
”We also want those former workers settled on the land on which there were . Secondly they must be paid by the Government because the Government is paying farmers at the expense of these workers and the majority of Zimbabweans .
”MDC has always emphasised on the need to address the land question fairly , sustainably , equitably ,in a transparent manner , justice observed , with rule of Law and Democracy . Compensation is an issue that Parliament must look at according to the Act of Parliament . The problem now is it is ZANU-PF looking at this .” Mahere made coclusions .
The Press Conference attracted a full packed room with Journalists from more than 20 media houses both public and private . MDC is promising to take its push further . The opposition Party is putting a motion to see a transparent way of managing the above mentioned grievances .