26, November 2016
The legendary leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, has died, Cuban state television has announced. He was 90.
26, November 2016
The US state of Wisconsin has announced a statewide recount of the ballots cast in the November 8 presidential election, upon a request by Green Party nominee Jill Stein. “The [Wisconsin Elections] Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States,” the Commission’s Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement on Friday. The state has until the federal deadline of December 13 to complete the recount process and announce the final results.
Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes went to US President-elect Donald Trump, who managed to beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a small margin of over 27,000 votes. Stein, on the other hand, finished fourth in the race by receiving only 30,000 votes in the state and over 1 million votes nationwide. Her campaign announced on Wednesday afternoon that the candidate was seeking an audit and recount of the voting results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, following hacking allegations.
The candidate told CNN on Tuesday that “these concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified.” A fundraiser launched by the Stein campaign to finance the costs of the recount bid had returned over $5 million as of Friday. Stein has reportedly set aside $2.5 million of the money for the recounts, which may cost around $1 million in Wisconsin alone.
Under the state’s rule, Wisconsin would pay for recounts only when the winner holds a margin smaller than 0.5 percent. This is while Trump won the state with a nearly 1-percent margin. Stein’s move came days after a group of academics and election lawyers called on Clinton to challenge the results of the November 8 vote in some counties of the same Rust Belt states.
According to the group, Clinton has “underperformed” in areas using electronic ballots compared to areas with paper ballots. In Pennsylvania, Trump won by over 60,000 votes, a surprising victory that brought him 20 more electoral votes. He also won Michigan’s 15 votes by a narrow margin of over 10,000. Trump defeated Clinton 306-232 in terms of electoral votes.
25, November 2016
The Southern Cameroons Statehood Question falls squarely within the terms of the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. The people of the territory have the inalienable right to freedom and independence.
The United Nations still has at least a residual moral and legal obligation towards the people of the Southern Cameroons until they achieve sovereign statehood. It has the right to take appropriate action in this matter. Such action includes the right to revert to itself the interim administration of the territory, until such a time that it can conduct a referendum that will reflect the true aspirations of the peoples.
It is accordingly recommended that the United Nations should take the following actions:
1) Call on the government of La Republique du Cameroun, to refrain from any further action calculated to deny or deprive the peoples of the Southern Cameroons of their unquestionable and inalienable right to self determination.
2) Call on La Republique du Cameroun to forthwith withdraw its colonial administration, civil and security from the Southern Cameroons.
3) To take precautionary measures to safeguard life, property and the wealth and resources in the Southern Cameroons, including the deployment of a peacekeeping mission; and
4) To set up a two-year interim United Nations administration in the Southern Cameroons leading up to democratic elections and independence for the territory.
25, November 2016
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has dismissed unfounded claims by Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh that the Islamic Republic is interfering in the affairs of regional countries, urging him to stop implementing the commands of others. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Friday urged Djibouti officials to avoid “making any remarks which are basically and fundamentally at odds with existing realities” and instead rely on their “wisdom, defer to unbiased sources and steer clear of the indoctrination of agitators in the region.” He added that the Djibouti president had better stop rehashing false and baseless remarks made by others and review his one-sided statements through realism and a genuine concern for stability and the interests of regional people.
Qassemi emphasized that such “stances will never help [promote] regional peace and security and solve the Syrian, Yemeni and Bahraini crises in particular.” The Iranian spokesperson urged Guelleh to “study the history and civilization of the world, particularly the region, more precisely.” The Djibouti president on Wednesday claimed that Iran has been intervening in the affairs of many Arab countries, including Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq, inciting sectarian strife and destabilizing peace and stability in these countries. He also said that Arabs have the right to combat this alleged destructive role played by Iran in the region using various available and possible means.
Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said on January 6 that the African country has severed its diplomatic relations with Iran, following in Saudi Arabia’s footsteps. Riyadh cut off diplomatic relations with Iran on January 3, following demonstrations held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad by angry protesters who slammed the Al Saud family for the killing of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
25, November 2016
The United Nations says the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorists are hindering relief operations meant for tens of thousands of Nigerian refugees living in dire conditions in northern Cameroon. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday that one of its teams had earlier this month been able to visit previously inaccessible border areas of Cameroon’s Far North Region. Leo Dobbs, a UN spokesman, said the team had managed to help pre-register more than 21,000 refugees who had fled acts of terror by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria in a span of two years and had been living for months with mainly impoverished host families.
“It was the first time we have been able to visit these people and there are believed to be many more,” he said. Dobbs said the refugees in northern Cameroon “urgently need assistance.” UN figures show about 27,000 refugees are living outside of camps in areas such as Fotokol, Makary and Mogode districts in the Far North Region. Dobbs said the UNHCR “would like to help and have helped in a little way, but the continuing Boko Haram threat is a hindrance to regular access.”
The UN official said that while some of the refugees in northern Cameroon were staying with poor host families, most were sleeping outdoors in the open, in makeshift shelters or on dirt floors in classrooms. “Others were in abandoned villages whose residents had fled Boko Haram attacks earlier,” he said. The UNHCR is encouraging people to relocate to Minawao camp further from the border, which is home to nearly 60,000 refugees, Dobbs said.
Cameroon has been fighting Boko Haram since 2014. A joint regional force from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon has helped retake swathes of territory from the militants, who come from northeastern Nigeria. However, the terrorist group still poses a security threat to civilians in the four littoral countries surrounding Lake Chad.
25, November 2016
28 Boko Haram terrorists were killed in Sirdawala some 8 km inside Nigeria by Cameroon elite troops acting under the banner of the Joint Multinational Force. Cameroon Concord News learnt that the militants were killed on the night of the 22nd and 23rd of November 2016 following intelligence provided by Nigerian special forces operating in the area.
Cameroon government spokesman and communication minister who confirmed the report during a press briefing on Thursday also revealed that 2 assault rifles, 2 fragmentation grenades, 8 boxes of mines, hundreds of ammunition, arches, sabers, spears, arrows, axes, knives, fighting suits, 5 motorcycles, various objects used in the manufacture of explosive devices, as well as propaganda vehicles of the terrorist group were recovered.
By Sonne Peter
25, November 2016
Since the announcement of a change of labour and social laws to take effect on the 13th of December 2016 in oil rich Qatar, uncertainty has rocked the undocumented Cameroonian community. In late 2012 and early 2013 there was a great influx of Cameroonians in Qatar many of whom did not obtain resident permit.
The president of the Cameroonian Diaspora Community in Qatar whose name we are withholding reportedly exploited the undocumented Cameroonians and enriched himself. Cameroon Concord News gathered that the said individual collected aid from Qatar Charities and in return supplied them with cheap Cameroonian work force.
As from the 1st of December 2016 any Cameroonian living illegally in Qatar faces a six months jail term and will pay a heavy amount of fine to be decided by the government. Our informant has hinted that there are hundreds of undocumented Cameroonians living in the country.
25, November 2016
Prime Minister Philemon Yang chaired a cabinet meeting yesterday the 24th of November 2016 at the Star Building. Focus during the political discourse was on Cameroon’s commitment to implementing the international decisions in relation to climate change.
State radio and television reported that as early as nine am, the members of government were at the conference room in the Prime Minister’s Office to begin exchanges. The session opened with a presentation from the Minister of the Environment and Nature Protection on the conclusions from the just-ended COP 22 Conference in Morocco.
The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of the Economy and the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External of Relations in charge of relations with the Commonwealth also made submissions during the meeting.
The Premier and Head of Government Business, Philemon Yang insisted on collaboration and a team spirit among cabinet members. He also urged them to respect bilingualism as stated in the law especially with the publication of official information.
25, November 2016
Mali and Ghana have finally arrived Yaoundé for their clash on the 26th of November 2016 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaoundé counting for the third day in Group B. Both teams were expected in the political capital on the 23rd of November but they finally got there yesterday the 24th of November via the Nsimalen international airport.
The Malian and Ghanaian delegations spent the night at the Douala International airport where they were supposed to board a plane for Yaounde after their respective matches against Kenya and Nigeria. But due to bad weather, the flight was delayed.
The coaches of both teams reportedly took the situation as fair play. “It is true that we are tired because of this setback, but it was because of a bad weather. And then, we were not alone, there was also Mali, “said Yussif Bassigi, the coach of Ghana.
For his part, Oumar Guindo, the coach of Mali retained only the warm welcome that the Cameroonians and the Malian community have reserved for his team. “Several Malians and Cameroonians came to encourage us at the airport. We thank them, “he said.
By Rita Akana
24, November 2016
The past month has been a challenging time both for English-speaking Cameroonians and their government. The urge to have many injustices against the English-speaking minority in Cameroon addressed by the government is gradually turning into a call for secession. Of course, English-speaking Cameroonians have suffered different forms of indignities at the hands of their Francophone government. The policy of assimilation and total destruction of whatever legacy the British had left behind to the citizens of the once southern Cameroons has left many English-speaking Cameroonians in total confusion.
For many decades, English speaking Cameroonians were required to attend the country’s lone university where knowledge was imparted to students in French. This implied English-speaking Cameroonians whose knowledge of French was, at best, approximate had to study in a language that had not been their academic language from birth. Many Anglophones simply skipped university because of this policy of self-destruction. Only those whose parents could afford to pay exorbitant fees in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States and Nigeria had the devil’s luck of having a good university education. There were a few who actually succeeded in the erstwhile University of Yaounde, but to say the least it was an uphill battle.
For many of such graduates, their language skills have been seriously compromised and theirs has been a kingdom wherein they only play second fiddle to their French-speaking colleagues. It is abnormal for English-speaking Cameroonians to occupy certain strategic positions in the country. They cannot lead any strategic ministry. It is tacitly forbidden for them to be a minister of finance, minister of defense and minister of foreign affairs. It is hard to think of an English-speaking Cameroonian who has occupied such a position in forty years. Of course, it is rare for an Anglophone to be a director of any state corporation if a French-speaking colleague is around however less qualified the francophone may be.
Cameroon is not the only country in the world wherein people with different linguistic backgrounds have been made to live in a single geopolitical entity known as a nation state. Canada, Belgium and Switzerland have had to go down this treacherous and bumpy path. But rather than ruin the rich cultural heritage that comes with having many linguistic blocs, these countries have carefully turned their challenge into a worthwhile experience. This does not imply there are no issues. In Canada, some Quebecers are permanently shaking the ship as they keep on calling for an independent state. But such calls are on the decline as many young Quebecers see a bright future in a strong and prosperous Canada. Canada’s federalism empowers the provinces and territories to take decisions that can bring peace and stability to their people.
Educational policies are decided by provincial political authorities and even the existence of natural resources in one province or territory cannot constitute a bone of contention as the resources are mined for the good of the entire nation. That is why the country has an equalization fund and the wellbeing of Canadians is at the centre of every government policy. This also applies to Belgium and Switzerland and in the event of a conflict, the authorities are always prompt in their efforts to find long-lasting and satisfactory solutions. After all, there is no life without problems, but what should make a difference is the manner in which the stakeholders lay such matters to rest.
But in Cameroon, the marriage between Anglophones and Francophones has not really been a bed of roses. The Anglophone educational system has undergo dramatic changes that have only helped to leave many English-speaking Cameroonians desperate and hopeless. In many parts of English-speaking Cameroon, it is normal to have a Francophone as a mathematics and/or a technology teacher in some technical colleges. For end-of-course exams questions to be set, they are usually first drafted in French and later translated into English and in most cases, the translation is not done by professional translators. This has accounted for the heavy drive away from technical education in English-speaking Cameroon. Of course, sometimes you have expressions like “béton armé” translated into English as “armed concrete”. This makes no sense to an English-speaking kid with little or no knowledge of French. The right translation will be “reinforced concrete”. This has helped to confuse many students and many have missed their destinies because of such confusion. If you think the confusion in technical colleges is bad, why not try hospitals in the English-speaking part of the country where sometimes even medical doctors in hospitals where at least 99% of patients are heavily Anglophone, are unfortunately Francophones.
This unfortunate state of affairs could lead to the death of many unsuspecting patients. Of course, accidents have occurred but in a system where there is no official autopsy policy or where there are no vital statistics departments, such accidents never get reported or investigated. Would it not be normal just to give the people the professionals who can express themselves in the language the people understand? Is it necessary to play with the lives of other people just because a point must be proved?
Of course, the trigger of the current demonstrations is the fact that many judges and magistrates in English-speaking parts of Cameroon are Francophones. Lawyers in the North West and South West regions of the country are required to make their submissions in French in order for the French-speaking judges and magistrates to rule on some very critical issues. This is not only ridiculous but frustrating for a people whose knowledge of French is at best rudimentary.
The injustices are many and they cannot be swept under the carpet. While the frustrations are justified, it will be necessary for English-speaking Cameroonians who have taken to the streets to keep things in their right perspective. The organizers of the demonstrations must also ensure that extremists do not hijack their effort to bring peace and justice to their people within a strong and united Cameroon. Over the past few days, there have been calls for a secession as the government in Yaoundé remains indifferent to the people’s plight. Of course, secession looks like an attractive proposition, but let Anglophone Cameroonians not forget that not all that glitters is gold. A secession will solve the linguistic problem, but it will never address the unjustified and unnecessary rivalry between North Westerners and South Westerners.
If secession were the appropriate solution to political challenges, South Sudan will be a strong and prosperous nation today. On the contrary, South Sudan has been rolled back into poverty by at least one century because of the fierce rivalry between the major tribes that fought for secession from Sudan. Anglophones can obtain most of what they want within a united Cameroon if they remain united and determined. The government’s inability to rein in this demonstration is proof of the fact that the authorities themselves are out of steam, after all, if the commander in chief is old and tired, the foot soldiers will surely spend more time sleeping and eating the crumbs that have been given to them. Anglophone Cameroonians must understand that this struggle is not against the ordinary francophone. It is a struggle against a government that has sought for decades to sustain a divide-and-rule strategy put in place by the French even before the two Cameroons agreed to be a single entity. Anglophones should avoid shooting themselves in the foot by considering the ordinary Francophone as the enemy. Mixing up things is a good recipe for failure. It will be appropriate to remain focused in order to achieve the common goal.
By Dr. Joachim Arrey
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