Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cameroon launches the physical counting of civil servants

Finance Minister Louis Paul Motazé
(Business in Cameroon) - From April to June 2018, Cameroon will proceed to the physical counting of civil servants. According to the finance minister Louis Paul MotazĂ©, this operation will help rationalize the country’s salary expenses.
Indeed, during the operation, all the civil servants who are irregular in the signing of the pay slip because of either an unjustified absence, a resignation or unreported death will be identified and removed from the state’s payroll.
The minister also informs that the operation will be carried out on the whole territory by teams deployed by the ministry at banks, microfinance institutions and the accredited accounting firms. He also reminds that this physical counting is mandatory and every civil servant should participate or lose their salary.  
For the record, this operation has been prescribed by Paul Biya in his circular of June 20, 2017. In that circular, he instructed the physical counting of Cameroon’s civil servants during the 2018 fiscal year because the payroll was about CFA1,000 billion and the exact number of the country’s civil servants could not be determined. Also, in 2017, during an administrative investigation on 14,134 presumed fictitious civil servants, the ministry of public work found that the pay of 2,817 of them had been suspended since January 2016.
Sylvain Andzongo

Nigerian students killed by tree on Cameroon school trip

A falling tree at a wildlife park in northern Cameroon killed three students on a school trip, an official told the country's state radio.
"Following a tornado, a tree fell on to a group" of Nigerian students staying in Bouba Ndjida national park, regional governor Jean Abate Edi'i said.
Sixteen students were also injured and taken to Garoua, the capital of the Northern Region.
The group of 50 students and six staff were on a school trip, according to Cameroon state radio.
The park is known for its elephant population.
In February, six troops and two guides were killed at the park during a clash with heavily-armed poachers on horseback.

Cameroon’s economy is showing early signs of slowdown, AfDB reveals

(Business in Cameroon) - The African Development Bank reveals that Cameroon, the strongest and most diversified economy in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), has long been resilient to shocks, but its economy is showing early signs of a slowdown.
According to the bank, this is due to the negative impacts of the economic recession in Nigeria, the crude oil crisis which hits CEMAC and the security crisis in the Anglophone region. It is also due to the decline in extractive activities (because of the postponement of investments in extraction and production) as the consequence of lagging oil prices.
Despite this slowdown, AfDB forecasts that the country’s growth will stand at 4.1% and 4.8% in 2018 and in 2019 respectively (a bit behind the average recorded between 2013 and 2015 which is 5.8%).
The bank further reveals that this improvement should be mainly “spurred by higher exports to the European Union following an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and increased energy supply due to new hydroelectric dams. Other tailwinds affecting growth include the development of forestry and agro-industrial value chains, as well as a reduction in imports in favor of local products”.
Brice R. Mbodiam

Anglophone Crisis: Targeting Suspects

By Peter Tacheo
 The Anglophone crisis, which erupted in October 2016, was not intended to be xenophobic attacks by English-minority Cameroonians against their French-majority compatriots.  Both Francophones and Anglophones have co-existed for as long as the Republic of Cameroon has existed.
In fact, the Anglophone crisis is an outburst of decades of pent-up anger by the English-speaking regions (Northwest and Southwest) of Cameroon, against the majority Francophone-led Administration.
 But the battle field is Anglophone Cameroon where deadly clashes between Government forces and armed separatists have been taking place as separatists seek the independence of their supposed country called Ambazonia.
Although not a xenophobic fight per se, some Francophones resident in Anglophone Cameroon have reportedly been threatened with deaths and asked to leave for their safety.
Tangwo Ngueffe G.T
 They are accused- rightly or wrongly- of contributing money to support the Government in its crackdown of Anglophones or of leaking information about the hideouts of the separatists
 A recent case is that of Tangwo Ngueffe Garcial Toscani, who was born in Loum in September 30, 1996, but later moved to Muyuka Subdivision where he was living with relations. Unfortunately for Tangwo, he was accused of leaking information to government forces about separatist fighters in Munyenge, where deadly clashes between government forces and separatists have been recurrent.
 Hinted  of a plan by some unknown men to abduct him, Tangwo and relations escaped. But their residence was reportedly later burnt down. It was not clear who committed the arson.
But the military has been accused of burning houses and villages, suspected to be hideouts for armed separatists while unknown men ,believed to be separatists have attacked and or kidnapped those their consider as the enemy to their struggle for independence.
Many other Francophones especially in Meme and Fako Division, who reportedly received anonymous threats, have also relocated to Francophone Cameroon.
Cameroon’s  Northwest & Southwest regions o were formerly known as UN British Southern Cameroons, which had gained independence from the British on October 1, 1961, by joining with La Republique du Cameroun, for both states to become a federation.
But the federation was abolished in 1972 against the spirit of the federal constitution, which in its 47(1) stated: “Any proposal for the revision of the present constitution which impairs the unity and integrity of the federation shall be inadmissible”.
The country then became United Republic of Cameroun and in 1984 it was renamed   La Republique du Cameroun, the name by which French Cameroon was called when it got independence on January 1, 1960.
 Since the union  of Francophones and Anglophones, the latter have  persistently  complained of  their gross  marginalization, resulting in  the formation of  the  Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) in 1994 as  a pressure group fighting for  the restoration of Southern Cameroons independence.
But the Cameroon Government has outlawed the SCNC, labeling it as a terrorist group and thus prosecuting members.
The current crisis started when Anglophone teachers and lawyers staged public protests in late 2016 against perceived injustices by the Biya government but the latter rather resorted to repression after a failed dialogue.
Many fear that if the crisis, which has led to the deaths of many-both civilian and solidiers,is not quickly resolved as recommended by international organizations including the UN,it may sooner or later turn into a civil war between Francophones and Anlophones.