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Sunday, January 15, 2017

CAMEROON:GOVERNOR OKALIA BILAI’S SALARY SUSPENSION THREATS: A POLITICAL AND PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL.

By Nicholas Ogbe Keme*
Lawyer Nichlas Ogbe Keme
 The Governor of Southwest Region of Cameroon,Bernard Okalia Bilai, in a bid to distinguish himself as the ‘Game Changer’ went ahead to issue salary suspension threats to teachers who failed to resume classes on the 9th of January, 2017.  But in reality today, that anti-ghost town venom instead has turned to hunt the ‘hunter governor’.
   Not only were these threats of Okalia Bilai very insensitive and provocative, they also served as an incontestable proofs as excellently argued by Hon. Wirba that, an average La Republic’s administrator serving on the West of the Mungo regards the Anglophones as his slaves, infidels, second class citizens or sub humans and can do and undo with impunity.            Furthermore, when read in context with the soft landing appeal from his counterpart Adolf Lele Lafrique of the Northwest Region, one may be quick to conclude that Gov. Okalia’s threat once again vindicated some repeated criticisms that his prolonged stay in the office even after due retirement is a calculated strategy by the regime to have him deliver the ruling CPDM party in the region from the upcoming presidential polls in 2018 and nothing more. Because if not so, then why should the ‘tough spoken lion’ of the foot of Mt Fako be spitting fire and unleashing terror on teachers when his Northwest counterpart resorted to absorbing appeals for peaceful resolution of the same issue created by similar circumstances. 
    Again, if Okalia Bilai is not a calculated strategist for presidential polls in 2018, why is it that at the same time that he was pounding on teachers and displaying the purported incidents files of potential so-called culprits to the media, neither the Prime Minster nor the Ministers of Basic and Secondary Education could issue a disclaimer to such an aberration from the Gov. even when  they were still  in the field soliciting for peace in Bamenda as was done in the case of the infamous Atanga Nji. ?  Why? Or is it because he is not an ‘Anglo’ who can easily be contradicted even by his own spy-driver.
   However, looking at Gov. Adolphe Lele L’Afrique’s administrative style and that of Okalia Bilai, one therefore wonders, what really inwardly moves or controls Gov. Okalia Bilai that he usually perceives things in a rather strange manner like Adolf Hitler of Germany who finally became the ‘hero-of-a victim of his own  misfortune’. How can Gov. Okalia dismiss or suspend salaries of teachers he never employed? – Legally, no  person, including himself can  take what he cannot give,  neither can  he give what he does not have; better expressed by the most cherished Latin maxism  ‘Nemo dat non quod habet’. This, in simple terms graphically explains why his dictatorial voice and threats of suspending the salaries of teachers who fail to resume classes on the 9th of January, 2017, fell on a concrete retention wall of an unprecedented non partisan teachers’ solidarity. And that being the case, the venom of such threats had to naturally splash back at him as the school establishments remained conspicuously shot-down and even till date despite the media-dramatic hunt of defaulters.
   By now, he should have probably come to terms that, just as teachers are not UB students, the Region is not the VC Dr. Nalova Lyonga that he can manipulate freely or vice versa. The Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, through its esteemed leadership, has erected a very formidable solidarity wall across English speaking Regions of Cameroon as an indication to Mr. Okalia that the Anglophones are not as divided as he thinks, or they are no longer as divided as the regime and politics suggest-A movement which Madiba of South Africa aptly described as a ‘Creative Nonviolent Revolution against the Oppressor(s)’. 
   Even if  Mr. Okalia Bilai be the Ministers of Education, he cannot claim the monopoly of suspension of teachers’ salaries in an atmosphere of a deepening professional rancor occasioned by some apprentice annexationists(his masters) of  la Republic, who ought to be answering treasonable charges in competent tribunals for gross violation of section 1(2)(3) of the 1996 Constitution, for attempting to nocturnally and unconstitutionally restructure the bilingual, bi-jural and bicultural characters of the country so as to transform the Anglophones as their conquered slaves. Such nefarious plot is now belated.
   Also, one needs no seminal at the governor’s office to understand that various Ministers of Education are heavily represented by their various Regional Delegates and not Mr. Okalia Bilai. It has become very imperative to advise Mr. Okalia to endeavour to learn to separate purely administrative issue from professional issues. Neither the Ministries of Education nor teachers are an appendage of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization which he represents at the Regional Level.  He perhaps, can only ensure the control of Divisional Officers, Subdivisional Officers, and Mayors. As a professional corps, teachers understand the dynamics of a legitimate industrial action especially if so declared by their syndicate leaders as it is the case today.
  No nation can ever claim of adequately rewarding its teachers commensurate to their services. As opposed to politicians who bring nothing to the table but take almost everything therefrom, because of their ability to manipulate the people of saying there is no problem even when they are standing on the problem.
    Gov. Okalia perhaps should take notice of the fact that under the English subsystem of Education which he is aiding and abetting for a complete eradication, teachers teach us how to identify and solve problems. But politicians counsel or manipulate us to deny knowledge of any problem as a way of solving it. Thus, such unprovoked threat was not only excessive, but equally unnecessary and sounded reminiscence of the words of the last surviving colonial despot considering the general tempo at the time and the government’s effort in resolving same.
  This partly explains why, irrespective of the massive media projection and coverage, it was not possible for any underserved distinction as the solicited ‘game changer’ which the Gov had probably hoped for, maybe as a pre-requisite for extension of time to vacate the office and give way for the next ‘hero’. To navigate freely in the UB campus with troops to torture and rape students, tele-guide the brutalization of lawyers and seizure of their wigs and gowns, instigate the investigation of leaders of SYNES UB and so forth, might just have been few achievements of yesterday but not a guarantee of continuous heroic achievements in the Southwest Region at the expense of the peoples’ inalienable rights and quest for happiness again.
    Everybody now aspires naturally like (him) to become the hero of his own struggle-reason why the classrooms or school gates are still conspicuously closed-a situation that has offered yet another opportunity for a critical appraisal of our administrators, their stability, mental capacities and understanding of the dynamics of the world. 
   Finally, Mr. Okalia Bilai cannot be seen to lay claim again that he was pushed by the VC to so issue such salary suspension threats as he attempted to do in the case of rape, torture and assault of the UB students by the troops he dispatched to brutally crush a peaceful protest of the UB students who had embarked on a peaceful strike to unravel a highly sophisticated corrupt machinery put in place by the VC, Dr. Nalova Lyonga. Ref : Post No. 01782, p3. 
   Everything as well as every person has his own time, including Atanga Nji-the victim of zero Anglophone Problem of old. The Anglophone struggle….
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 NB:*Nicholas Ogbe Keme is an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Cameroon and Nigeria,Litigation Officer,Shalom Legal Consultants,Buea-Cameroon.He is also a PhD candidate,University of Buea.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cameroon:Fako Washington Assists Bwassa-Likombe Health Facility


Fako Washington President Mosaso Nathaniel  addressing Bwassa/Likombe villagers during the donation.
By Christopher Ambe

The villages of Bwassa and Likombe in Buea Subdivision, Fako Division of Cameroon, ended the year 2016 on a happy note as the lone state-owned but poorly equipped health facility shared by both villages were given a significant face-lift by Fako Washington, an association of sons and daughters of Fako resident in Washington-USA.

     Fako Washington assisted the health facility materially and otherwise to enable it better attend to the health care needs of its target populations. The assistance was valued at over two million FCFA.
Mosaso Nathaniel at entrance of the health center
    The Bwassa-Likombe Integrated Health Center, constructed over ten years ago  by the state of Cameroon, to cater for the health care needs of the above mentioned villages along the slopes of Mount Cameroon, lacked health care basics, had no electricity and  water; the facility  was understaffed yet was operational.
    And so on December 31, 2016, Fako Washington, led by its able President Software Engineer Mosaso Nathaniel and native of Likombe, came to the assistance of the health center.
  The association donated to the facility: mattresses, bed sheets, a microscope, a centrifuge. It got the center electrified and provided it with a huge water tank.Fako Washington also painted the structure.
Kamdem Joseph,of Public Health Ministry, lauds donation
Speaking at the donation ceremony, which brought together the traditional rulers of both villages, their elites and other villagers, Mosaso Nathaniel told the audience that, when he visited the health center last September he found it in dire need of basics and he immediately promised to mobilize resources for its assistance.
     “I know that all the problems of this health center have not been solved but these donations are a step forward”, he said, promising to do more for the villages. “Good health is a prerequisite for development”
    Surprised that a state-owned facility could lack even basics, the President of Fako Washington urged the Cameroon government to live up to expectation by further equipping the facility and increasing its personnel.
Cross-section of villagers who witnessed the donation


    Earlier in her welcome address, Madam Ilambo Bibiana, the Chief of the health facility, commended the initiative of Fako Washington, noting: “This year would remain a wonderful one in the history of this health facility.” She alluded to earlier donations to the center made by a Bwassa elite Moki Charles Linonge “who brightened our face with a donation of modern beds, mattresses and microscope”, and Hon. Lisinge Ekeke Arthur,MP for Buea Urban, who assisted financially for the purchase of electric cable.

     Ilambo promised the judicious use of the donations but requested more assistance. “We urgently need a night-watch man and more nurses. The residence of the nurse in charge needs to be completed, so the chief of centre can live near the center and better ensure health coverage; we need to fence the center’s land for future development”
     For his part, an elated Mr.kamdem Joseph,a  representative of the Ministry of Public Health,said he was convinced the health facility would now be able provide “a complete Minimum Package of Activity(MPA) which includes daily consultations and treatments of minor cases and referral of serious cases to secondary level centres around, vaccinations, antenatal care, deliveries of uncompleted labour cases, minor surgeries…screening for high blood pressure,HIV/AIDS and the provision of essential medicines “
     Other speakers at the ceremony included the Chief of Bwassa,Eko John and Mola Njie Luma who sat in for the chief of Likombe Francis Ndumbe Luma.Both  showered praises on Fako Washington, praying God to bless them and their efforts.
      Prince Esuka Endeley,President of Fako America(the umbrella association of Fako elements in the USA),who witnessed the donation, encouraged self-reliant development among Fako people, and  hinted of projects  by  the umbrella association to boost development back home.
    Cultural dances and choral singing animated the ceremony

                                                                                                     

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Cameroon:Lawyers, Teachers’ Action More Patriotic Than Esso And Fame Ndongo


By Nicholas Ogbe keme*
Lawyer Nicholas Ogbe
The problem with our country is not about the people, it’s about the policy makers and managers –a small cabal that does not want to repent or even resign after desperate but abortive attempts to divert attention from the lawyers and teachers’ actions which now have received significant national, regional and international sympathies.  We have to insist on the plain point that, the agitations of the Common Law Lawyers and Anglo-Saxon teachers are against institutional plunder of their educational and legal systems by the francophone led central government.  Their move is unprecedented; an ideal for which we are prepared to achieve at whatever costs.       
    Therefore, there is no need to resort to midnight political camouflage as if the issues at stake have any political underpinnings.  Assuming (but without conceding) that the ceremonial march past by the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM, in Buea and Bamenda  was successful, that alone could not have reduced the cogent  issues raised  by common law lawyers and Anglo-Saxon teachers  from institutional to political.  Of course, a man is a political animal but this assertion has its own limitations. Because where politics ends that is where institutions begin. Also, while politicians come and go daily, institutions stay daily, always and forever.
    Everyone that seems to forget that a teacher imparts knowledge should also forget the day he was born. Similarly, anybody who is ignorant of the fact the lawyer perfects knowledge acquired from the teacher should as well never remember his name. For, the relationship between lawyers and teachers is equivalent to that of Jesus and God, none will consciously contradict the other.  All they have is knowledge, wisdom, understanding, creativity, ingenuity and courage - not false courage, but real courage and they are determined to see the end of this legitimate struggle which an unrepentant political cabal is desperately seeking to thwart because of its selfish aim of  “ruining institutions, ruling in perpetuity.”
    Perhaps, I should belabour this point for the sake of public education that the 1996 Constitution of Cameroon did not and never conceive either (impliedly or expressly) a certain concept of a ‘linguistic Anglophone’ as so erroneously propounded by the Ministers of Justice and Higher Education. There is an impressive and remarkable distinction between privileges and rights, obligations and duties, conditions, among others. Thus, no matter the intensity or degree of harmonisation, what is given to an Anglophone as of right of birth, traced to the incidence of history and culture of the former West Cameroon cannot so be vested on a Francophone and vice versa .  The preambular provisions of the 1996 Constitution states in its opening paragraph thus:
   “We, the people of Cameron, proud of our linguistic and cultural diversity, an enriching feature of our national identity, but profoundly aware of the imperative need to further consolidate our unity, solemnly declare that we constitute one and the same Nation, bound by the same destiny, and assert our firm, determination to build the Cameroonian Fatherland on the basis of the ideals of fraternity, justice and progress……..” (Italics mine).
   From the foregoing, it is therefore laughable to suggest that acquisition of English orientation or academic certificate of whatever depth or magnitude can create or give birth to an Anglophone. It is the right of everyone, including non nationals to privilege the very sound Anglo-Saxon system of education and to an extent, vice versa. But that alone does not make him/her an Anglophone automatically - an ‘Anglophone’ is not an originating product of education. Rather, an Anglophone has existed before the enactment of this constitution supra, he had an enriching feature of identification duly recognised by nation states prior to the drafting of this constitution, a functional government devoid of corruption, linguistic, cultural and a geography, and so on, as a former British Southern Cameroons, then West Cameroon and today, Anglophone Cameroon notably Southwest and Northwes Regions which colonial heritage, the descendants of today are determined to protect.
     And just as the children of Israel never lost their identities in spite of the many years spent in Egypt in bondage, their counterparts here of the English speaking Cameroon-Anglophone did not also lose theirs, despite the political exodus or the Great Treks from 1961 - till date and, no one, including the biblical Goliath or political gladiators of our time can harass them to abandon. Never, never in the history of this struggle. Because their peculiar characters, nature, system, custom and culture as well as identity which they brought into the union have statutorily been preserved by the Constitution in its Article 1(2)(3) of the 1996 Constitution.
 Article 1(3) of the constitution on its part states:
  “The official languages of the Republic of Cameroon shall be English and French, both languages having the same status. The state shall guarantee the promotion of bilingualism throughout the country. It shall endeavour to protect and promote national languages.”  
The logical argument that the 1996 Constitution preserved not only the language but also the people of the former West Cameroon if advanced from a well elaborated interpretation of the Constitution, should lead to the following  irreputable presumptions;
1.     That in keeping with the literally canon of interpretation, the draftsmen of the Constitution by inserting the word ‘English’ first before ‘French’ intended that through its derivative principles of states policies,  English language should inspire, dictate the pace, content and form of government policies. If it were not so, the reverse should have been the case;

2. That by imploring the golden rule of interpretation, it is contended that by the very esteemed and passionate use of the two words ‘English’ and ‘French’ on a balance with a conjunction ‘and’ separating the two words as seen in Article 1(3) of the Constitution, the draftsmen of the Constitution have settled any crafty idea of minority or majority ideology within the union, with a clear hope of ensuring that each of the subsystems conducts its government business in a manner consistent with its language as a constitutional guarantee of the protection of its peoples within the unitary system of government;
    That by adopting the mischief rule of interpretation, the preference of the word English language even before that of its French counterpart in the provisor of Article 1(3) of the 1996 Constitution above, the Cameroonian  legislature had intended that ‘English’ as one of the official languages and its people be treated as endangered species and in turn be accorded maximum State cover and protection as a political majority  for the purpose of government business or administration so as to dispel apparent fears of assimilation, domination and occupation. That is why the draftsmen proceeded from the alphabetical order of inserting English first before French as the lingua franca in Cameroon.   Jesse Louis Jackson once said “in politics, an organised minority is a political majority”. Any contrary interpretation may serve just for academic or political ends which can’t rewrite the Constitution.
   It is against this backdrop that every right thinking Cameroonian, irrespective of your background, should always consider the actions of Laurent Esso and Fame Ndongo, designed to annihilate or scrap the English subsystem of education and common law justice system as provocative, oppressive, unpatriotic, tyrannical and treasonable because they have no constitutional backings, except that they are meant to brutally eliminate the Anglophone soul from the map, of course their own way of silencing ‘les enemies dans la maison’ as it was the case in 2005 where the then Governor of Southwest Province, Eyaya Zanga Louis, referred to Akwaya people as’ les biafrains’ when they stormed his office in a peaceful protest against  the fraudulent diversion of the telecom centre  meant to Akwaya to Nyasoso led by their MP, Hon. Justice Ayah  Paul Abine. That is the Cameroon as viewed by the leaders across the Mungo where they have always implored debasing names with impunity against the Anglophones in order to have their way. It will make no sense should any Anglophone expect them to accept that there is an Anglophone Problem, judging from the above analysis.
   That notwithstanding, what must be must be, nothing can stop it. We consider the government’s lukewarm and snail pace approach to sanction the Ministers of Justice and Higher Education as a calculated provocation and confirmation of the annexation plots. Because in a true democracy, equities must be equal at all times and the people’s will should prevail against individual’s as a deterrent measure. As stated above, there is no minority in equality. If it were so, the Constitution would have spelled that position out clearly to avoid confusion.
What the Constitution has not previewed, no decree of the President or arĂȘte of a minister or ordinance of governor, divisional officer can successfully force down the throats of Anglophones if objected to as brilliantly done by the Common law Lawyers and Anglo-Saxon Teachers today. Finally, in a democracy, when a leadership loses the support of the followers as it is in the instant case, the most noble and dignified thing to do is for these two ministers to resign and save both their pride and generation from shame. Similarly, profound investigations be conducted to sanction those involved in the gruesome murder of innocent and unarmed civilians, torture of gentlemen of the law as well as the torture, rape of creative and resilient students of UB who were barely exercising their  legitimate right of a peaceful protest against the unconstitutional actions, embezzlement and corruption of a political cabal that has plundered this country into the worst form of misrule and maladministration, with the erroneous belief that the brutal use of force or the ‘trigger’  by the peoples security can bully dissenting views out of the path of truth and quest for institutional remedies into the issues on ground - The Anglophone Problem. 
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NB:*Nicholas Ogbe Keme is an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Cameroon and Nigeria,Litigation Officer,Shalom Legal Consultants,Buea-Cameroon.He is also a PhD candidate,University of Buea.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cameroon: Excessive force that led to deaths of protesters must be urgently investigated

Authorities in Cameroon must investigate the use of excessive and unnecessary force that led to the deaths of between two and four people during a protest in the north western city of Bamenda yesterday, Amnesty International said today.
 
Eye witnesses recounted that security forces fired live rounds and teargas in reaction to people throwing stones, describing how they saw the bodies of two men who had been shot dead. Media reports quoting police sources have reported that at least four people were killed.

Security forces were also seen launching teargas into an area apparently unrelated to the protests, as well as firing live ammunition in the air.
“Authorities in Cameroon must shed light on the circumstances of these killings and injuries by immediately conducting thorough, impartial and effective investigations. Those reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for these deaths must be brought to justice,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.

“We call on the Cameroonian authorities to refrain from the use of unlawful force in its response to the protests. Responding to incidents of violence during protests with unnecessary or excessive force threatens to further enflame an already tense situation and could put more lives at risk.”

On the morning of 8 December protests were held in Bamenda with the aim of blocking a ruling party meeting. This was part of a continuation of demonstrations that began in late October 2016 in several cities in English-speaking south-west and north-west Cameroon against the use of French in courts and schools.


According to information received by Amnesty International, in various neighbourhoods of Bamenda security forces attempted to prevent the gatherings and used tear gas and water-canon to disperse protesters. At about 10.30 am the police barricaded the entrance to the commercial avenue where people were gathering. A police station was burnt by protesters yesterday afternoon, reportedly between 3 and 5 pm.

Security forces also reportedly fired tear gas onto the main Bamenda market where no one was protesting. Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International:
“Market sellers were sitting at the main gate leading to the market when the police came and decided to break windscreen and put down bikes parked there and firing teargas”.

“Sellers were saying: we don’t know what we have done wrong, we are just selling at the market. When police fired tear gas, sellers and bystanders ran into the market and locked the main gate and you could see all the smoke and vapours from the tear gas [inside].”

Background
Lawyers, students and teachers have been on strike for weeks, in opposition to what they view as the marginalization of the Anglophone minority.

In the past month Cameroon’s security forces have arbitrarily arrested peaceful protesters and have used excessive force to disperse gatherings in Bamenda and Buea, leading to several injured and at least one civilian dead. On 26 November more than 100 people were arrested in Bamenda.

Amnesty International has so far confirmed two deaths from the incident at Bamenda, but media reports quoting police sources have put the death toll at four.
Source:Amnesty International

Violence Hits Cameroon Over English vs. French

Anti-government demonstrators block a road in Bamenda, Cameroon, December 8, 2016.
By Moki Edwind Kindzeka

Yaounde,Cameroon-Several people were killed and hundreds more were arrested or are missing Thursday in northwest Cameroon in violence that followed rallies by the country's English-speaking minority. They were protesting what they call the overbearing influence of French in the bilingual country. Some are demanding a return to federalism while others are asking for secession from the Republic of Cameroon.

Protesters in Bamenda, the capital of the northwest region of Cameroon, came out to stop the ruling CPDM party and the prime minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, from organizing a so-called "Peace rally," intended to halt Anglophone protests that started last month.

Yewong Petra, a resident of Bamenda, says the military shot at protesters who were hoisting blue and white flags that are an symbols of the English speaking regions that want to separate from the French speaking parts of Cameroon.
"The people of Bamenda are hoisting a flag that is not recognized," Petra said. "You cannot, in a nation, hoist a flag that is not recognized by the people. If it was a white flag, I would understand it is for peace. Hoisting a flag that symbolizes something like a secessionist attitude is going to provoke the military."

The government said two people were killed, but some residents and media outlets reported there were at least seven deaths.

Soldiers clear a road in Bamenda, Cameroon, December 8, 2016
In 1961, a vote was held in what are today's northwest and southwest English speaking regions of Cameroon. The referendum was over whether to join Nigeria, which had already obtained independence from Britain, or the Republic of Cameroon, which had obtained independence from France. Voters elected to become part of French speaking Cameroon, and the country practiced a federal system of government. English and French became the official languages of Cameroon.

Ebune Charles, historian at the University of Yaounde, says since 1972, when a new constitution was adopted replacing a federal state with a unitary state, French speaking Cameroonians have failed to respect the linguistic and cultural nature of the minority English speaking Cameroonians.

"We were supposed to have predominantly English speaking administrators in the predominantly English speaking regions of the northwest and the southwest, and that is not the case," Ebune said. "We were expecting official documents signed in both languages; that is not the case. Presidential decrees come only in one language. If you look at the level of the military, that is where it is so scandalous. It is just in one language but we are in a bilingual country."

Charles also pointed out that the country's currency is printed only in French, notice boards even in the English speaking regions are mostly in French, and more than 70 percent of radio and TV programs in the state media are in French. 

The ongoing protests started when lawyers in the English speaking regions asked for French speaking judges who are not of the common law system to be transferred out of courts in those regions. They declared that justice can't be rendered when the judge, the advocate and the suspect can't communicate.
They also asked that the OHADA business law used by French African countries be translated into English.
When those requests were not granted, they refused to defend clients in court.

Teachers also went on strike to protest what they said was an overbearing influence of French in schools.
Professor George Dopgima Nyamdi, politician and former presidential aspirant, says the situation degenerated because the government has refused to listen to the cries of English speaking Cameroonians.
"If things like this happen to a country, it means there is something fundamentally wrong that must be addressed," Nyamdi said.
 
As the strikes continue, with violence closing schools, universities and markets, the Catholic Church has been calling for dialogue.

"The prime minister … is setting up a committee, he has appointed the chairperson of the committee so why not give him a chance," Cornelius Esua Fontem, the archbiship of Bamenda said. "There is a move of dialogue and we should not refuse that move. We want the government to prove that they too are coherent."
It is not the first time English speaking Cameroonians have protested.

 In 1984, they created the "Cameroon Anglophone Movement" to press for a return to the federal system, which eventually started calling for independence.
Courtesy :VOA News

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mother of one accused of being lesbian

By  Tanji Nkeuh

Fese Etuk is 29 years old, unmarried and a Cameroonian mother of one year-old baby girl.
    After Fese lost both parents, she continued running a small restaurant her late mother left. 
    Her parents had died-father first and later her mother-leaving her poor and emotionally traumatized.
Fese Etuk: Suspect wanted
 It emerged that she had some misunderstanding with the father of her baby girl and was said to be struggling alone to raise the baby.
    Reports said neighbors never suspected her of being a lesbian especially as she showed enormous love to her child.
But news that she is a Lesbianism suspect reportedly caught in the crime, left many tongues wagging.
   How Fese was lured into lesbianism remains a mystery .She was reportedly caught in the illegal love-making on November 14th  in Buea, as she and her partner half naked, fondled each other.
  The sad discovery provoked an alarm, attracting neighbors to the scene and forcing them to narrowly run into hiding.
But police are said to be hunting for them, since homosexuality/lesbianism is a crime in Cameroon.
   According to Section 347 of Cameroon penal code, "Whoever has sexual relationship with a person of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years and a fine from 20.000Fcfa to 200.000 Fcfa"
Of recent in Cameroon, many homosexuality suspects have been prosecuted.  
   Yet, Cameroonian young women are reportedly falling for this outlawed sexual orientation for various reasons, one of which being that they want to avoid the cruelty of men.
   In Cameroon, some rights organizations and individuals still advocate for homosexuality, arguing that sexual orientation is a Human Right.
 In certain rural localities in Cameroon those found guilty of homosexuality or lesbianism are rough handled and or banished, according to reports.
   Cameroon is reportedly under pressure from some Developed countries to decriminalize homosexuality, but the country is yet to review its stance on it.
   Many opponents hold that because homosexuality/lesbianism is a crime, the government should intensify the search and prosecution of those accused, and punish them accordingly.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cameroon:Police torture protesting lawyers in Fako: At least 60 injured!




Anglophone lawyers in Southwest Region of Cameroon defied police brutality to stage protest march ,pressing  for solutions to their concerns
By Christopher Ambe

     Police and gendarmes in riot gear Thursday morning could be seen stationed at strategic road junctions in Buea.Some   barricaded all the entrances to  Buea court buildings, while others were on patrol in attempts to preempt a peaceful protest by Anglophone lawyers announced to take place that morning.
     Water canon trucks were also stationed  near Buea Mountain Club waiting for instructions and the appropriate moment to fire tear gas and  seemingly pepper spray, The Recorder observed.
     Decently dressed in black suits and some in their wigs and gowns, the Common Law lawyers who before opting for street protests, had been on sit-in strike for over a month, least expected that police could brutalize, molest and torture them.
    These human rights defenders were mistaken as the law enforcement forces had planned to give them doses of police brutality and torture, apparently okayed by the Biya administration, which is yet to have a meaningful dialogue with the advocates over the latter’s demands.
     Armed police chased lawyers all over struggling to dismantle any of their peaceful gatherings especially as they they had programmed to assembly in front of the Southwest Court of Appeal before proceeding with their protest marches; Police clubbed them, dragged them out of their vehicles and tortured some in public .Lawyers had their wigs and gowns seized and their phones shattered. Several others were even arrested but hurriedly released.
 To avoid identification by the pain-inflicting forces, a few lawyers reportedly ran into roadside bushes and removed their suits, hiding for safety.
Lawyer Caroline Time with  injured leg
    At Street 2 entrance to Great Soppo in Buea,at about 9:15 am Thursday , this reporter witnessed how police with batons beat female lawyers. For example, Lawyer Caroline Time of Taku Chambers in Buea was beaten and injured, leaving her bleeding. .As the police closed up on another Lawyer Blaise Sevidzem Berinyuy to beat him, he ran for safety while loudly denouncing the violation of their rights.
    Unfortunately, some ordinary people who wore black suits that morning were mistaken for lawyers and molested.
    But the brutal reaction from the forces did not in any way deter the determined lawyers who marched past in the towns of Muyuka, Limbe and Muea –Buea with placards pressing for their demands just as was the case in Bamenda days before. So determined was the Biya administration, it seemed, that riot police were invited to Buea from Douala.
     Speaking to The Recorder, at the end of the Thursday protest marches, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho, President of Fako Lawyers Association (FAKLA) and one of the leaders of the lawyers’ strike and protest marches noted:
   “As we speak I don’t know any lawyer in detention. Those who were arrested have been released. But lawyers were treated cruelly, inhumanely and degradingly. They were insulted in French. Our rights were violated. The police seized the wigs and gowns of at least hundred lawyers. Lawyers were dragged in mud. It was kind of terrorizing the civilian population that the forces of law and order were doing.
   “It is shocking and degrading for a country that professes the rule of law and good governance…We are stunned by the heavy-handedness of the forces of law and order, considering that authorities were informed that it would be a peaceful protest and that lawyers would respect state institutions”
    Barrister Nkongho  disclosed to The Recorder that at least sixty ( 60) of his colleagues, while being rough handled by the forces, sustained injuries and were responding to treatment at various health facilities. The Recorder could not independently confirm the number reportedly injured.

Another injured lawyer being attended to
    The lawyers  who are fighting to protect Common Law Practice in Cameroon, barely days  before the street protests in major towns and cities in Anglophone Cameroon( former British Southern Cameroons),had announced the creation of what is now known as Cameroon Common Law Bar Association, apparently splitting what used to be known as Cameroon Bar Association.
     It is unclear why the Cameroon government is insensitive to the demands of Anglophone lawyers months after they had submitted them to the Biya administration for solutions.(Read Anglophone Lawyers Prolong Strike by One Week Over Government's ''Divide and Rule Tactics')
     But political pundits have been quick to claim that it may be Government’s “secret plan to perpetuate the marginalization” of Anglophone Cameroon, which the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) tagged as a secessionist group, has since 1994 been fighting against- by calling for the restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons.
    The lawyers have resolved to continue using all legal means to press for their demands.
 "We are not going to give up … The fight for our rights has just started”, Barrister Nkongho told the protesting lawyers at the end of the protest marches, while lauding them for defying the odds to standup for their rights.




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