Wednesday 16 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
An upsurge in Boko Haram attacks and returnees from Cameroon are stretching camps for those made homeless by the conflict to breaking point, as the UN warned against forcing people back to northeast Nigeria. Obinna Orjingene is a doctor for UNICEF in the town of Banki, near the border with Cameroon, where the population has jumped from 32,000 to 45,000 in the last few months alone. He is part of a small, overworked medical team treating everything from malaria and trauma to malnutrition in the overcrowded camp for the displaced. "A population of over 40,000 people with just one medical doctor is crazy," he told AFP from Banki by telephone. "It's overwhelming." But he said the situation is replicated across...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon authorities forced nearly 900 refugees back to northern Nigeria against their will this week, violating an agreement between the two countries to shield thousands from Boko Haram violence, the United Nations said on Thursday. The Cameroonian government denied force had been used to send refugees home and said repatriation had taken place with the refugees' consent. About 887 Nigerians, most of them children, were ferried across the border on Tuesday night in trucks provided by the Nigerian military and Cameroonian police, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said. "The involuntary return of refugees must be avoided under any circumstances," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement. "Returns to Nigeria put a strain on the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/29/17)
MBILE, Cameroon (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Seated on a kitchen chair, Adisa Issa, a 50-year-old refugee from Central African Republic (CAR), is cooking soup, her pot balanced on a clay stove fueled by small briquettes. It's a change to the open wood fire she normally uses, a change that is helping to ease tensions between refugees and locals over increasingly scarce wood in Mbile village in eastern Cameroon. Mbile's population of 5,000 swelled to nearly 16,500 between 2012 and 2014, as thousands of refugees fleeing violence in CAR found shelter in the village and its refugee camp, said Halpha Emmanuel...
(APA 06/28/17)
No fewer than 887 Nigerian refugees have been repatriated from Cameroon, following a request from the Cameroonian Government to Nigeria to facilitate their return. Mr. Hanson Tamfu, the External Relations Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nigeria, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the returnees arrived in Banki, Nigeria's border town with Cameroon. Tamfu said that the request was prompted by fear and suspicions of the Cameroonian authorities that among the refugees might include some elements of Boko Haram. “The returnees arrived in six trucks sent by Nigerian authorities, following the meeting with the governor of the far north region of Cameroon on June 19. “During the meeting, Nigeria was requested to cause the return of refugees, which...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/27/17)
The International Monetary Fund's executive board on Monday approved a $666 million, three-year extended credit facility for Cameroon to support economic and financial reforms, an IMF statement said. The nations of central Africa's CEMAC currency union have struggled in the face of low oil prices, which have slashed state revenues. Cameroon has also been forced to concentrate resources on combating the threat of Islamist Boko Haram militants along its northwestern border with Nigeria. "Having initially shown resilience owing to its greater diversification, the Cameroonian economy is now facing decelerating growth, declining fiscal and external buffers, and rapidly-rising public debt," IMF Deputy Managing director Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in the statement. The board's decision allows for the immediate disbursement of $171 million...
(Voice of America 06/27/17)
MORA, CAMEROON — Cameroon has dispatched its defense minister to its northern border with Nigeria following a recent series of suicide bomb attacks that has left dozens dead. Militant group Boko Haram is believed to be behind the carnage. The central African state says the bombers have infiltrated markets and mosques as end of Ramadan feast draws near. Medical staff at the Mora hospital on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria have attended to at least 50 people injured in six suicide bomb attacks in the towns of Mora and Kolofata within 24 hours. Among the medical staff brought in from the neighboring town of Maroua is Dr. Jean Daniel Essam Sime. He says they are struggling to save the life...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
A double suicide attack killed six civilians on Wednesday in Cameroon's restive Far North, which is regularly hit by Nigeria-based Boko Haram jihadists, security sources said. The deadly blasts happened in Kolofata, where nine people died in a double suicide bombing in early June. "There were eight killed, six civilians and the two attackers," a source close to Cameroon's security service said of Wednesday's violence. Another security source confirmed the death toll, but no further details were immediately available. The Far North region, which borders Nigeria, has seen a resurgence in attacks blamed...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Millions of children across the Lake Chad basin are prey to deadly water-borne diseases such as cholera and hepatitis E as the rainy season hits a region already reeling from Boko Haram's insurgency, the United Nations said on Friday. More than 5.6 million children in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, many of whom have been uprooted by violence and live in host communities or refugee camps, are facing the disease threat as the rains arrive, said the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF). Flooding and muddy roads are expected to limit aid access to remote areas, where hunger is growing and food is lacking, while the insecurity has made it hard to deliver supplies and ensure clean...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The UN voiced alarm Wednesday at the many Nigerian refugees returning from Cameroon to Banki, a border town clouded by Boko Haram violence and already struggling with overstretched supplies and services. "I am extremely worried that large numbers of Nigerian refugees hosted in Cameroon are again returning to northeast Nigeria - into a situation dangerously unprepared to receive them," UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement. The Nigerian military recaptured Banki in September 2015 after fierce battles with the Islamist militants, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 in Nigeria alone since 2009. On June 1, UNHCR had said that more than 12,000 refugees had returned to the area in May alone...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month. Several dozen Cameroonian soldiers erected barricades near the country's border with Nigeria and asked to be immediately replaced. The soldiers were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram since 2015. Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesperson of Cameroon's military, said the protest was "unacceptable." He said so far 30 of the soldiers who took part have been arrested. He said the minister of defense gave instructions that the protesters should be arrested...
(Voice of America 06/19/17)
YAOUNDE — In Cameroon, the case of a bishop found dead earlier this month has sparked calls for a wider investigation into what the country's Catholic authorities say has been a string of suspicious clergy deaths. Two other priests were also found dead in the past month. Worshipers at a Catholic church in Oveng, on the outskirts of Yaounde, held a memorial service for Jean Marie Benoit Bala. Oveng is Bishop Bala's birth place. The 59-year-old bishop disappeared from his residence in Bafia, central Cameroon, on May 31. His car was found the next day 60 kilometers away on the bridge over the Sanaga river. A note found in the car said “Je suis dans l’eau” — “I am in...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Arturo Vidal's late header helped Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon in their Confederations Cup Group B opener in Moscow on Sunday, as the video assistant referee played a prominent role. Chile dominated an entertaining, but goalless, first half as Eduardo Vargas saw his strike ruled out by the video assistant. The Copa America champions had to wait until the 81st minute though to find a breakthrough, which was provided by a flying header from Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal. Vargas, who missed a host of earlier chances, added a second in added time after another video review. The victory gave Chile a perfect start to their maiden Confederations Cup campaign, after they qualified by successfully defending their Copa America...
(AfricaNews 06/19/17)
Cameroon, the African champions were handed a losing start to their Confederations Cup campaign which kicked off in Russia over the weekend. The Indomitable Lions lost 2 – 0 to Chile (Copa America champions) thanks to late goals from Auturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas. The South American champions were however denied an earlier goal after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled out a legitimate goal by Vargas on the stroke of halftime. Hugo Broos’ side next take on Australia on Thursday in a match they have to win to keep alive their chances of progressing. The 2017 African Nations Championship winners are in Group B, with Germany, the reigning world champions. Chile two-time winner of the Copa America and Australia...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Two civilians have been killed in a suicide attack in Cameroon's restive Far North, an area regularly targeted by Boko Haram jihadists, local sources told AFP early Friday. The incident, which took place on Thursday evening, saw a female bomber entering Limani on the border with Nigeria and blowing herself up "behind the town's public school," a source close to the security services said. "There were three people killed: two civilians and the bomber," the source said. Details of the attack were confirmed to AFP by a member of the local vigilance committee. In recent weeks, the restive Far North region has seen a resurgence in Boko Haram attacks after months of relative calm. Last week, a soldier was killed...
(BBC News Africa 06/16/17)
Cameroon will be driven by the memory of Marc Vivien-Foe when they contest the Confederations Cup for the first time since the midfielder's death. Foe died after collapsing on the pitch during the 2003 semi-final against Colombia in France. The 28-year-old was later found to have suffered from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The Indomitable Lions will end their 14-year absence from the Confederations Cup when Fifa's World Cup dress rehearsal kicks off this weekend. Cameroon open their Group B campaign against Copa America winners Chile on Sunday 18 June, in Moscow, before meeting Asian champions Australia four days later and then the world champions themselves, Germany, on 25 June. Despite the passage of time, the memory of Foe...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
A Roman Catholic bishop whose body was found in a river in central Cameroon early this month was "brutally murdered" and did not commit suicide, his peers said in a statement. "We, bishops of Cameroon, affirm that Monsignor Jean Marie Benoit Bala did not commit suicide; he was brutally assassinated," the church leaders said in a statement obtained Wednesday by AFP. They said after meeting to discuss "the heinous and unbearable crime" that the bishop's death was "yet another murder, a murder too many." The body of the 58-year-old bishop of Bafia, in the centre of the country, was fished out of the Sanaga river on June 2, more than 48 hours after he was reported missing. His car had...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...

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