Tuesday 17 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Sitting in front of his mud house in Pangar, a forest village in Cameroon’s East region, Mokuine Anatole sharpens his machete in the early morning sunlight, ready for a day’s hunting. But the planned expedition won’t take place on the land around his village, as it used to. Just 2km away, the formerly fresh air smells of gasoline, and the silence of the surrounding forest is broken by the honking and rumbling of cars and bulldozers. The forest along the confluence of the Lom and Pangar rivers is being cleared to prepare the second phase of construction of the Lom Pangar dam, a government hydropower project that will produce 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity upon completion. As a result, Anatole...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
The two big maps show the districts of the northern Cameroonian town of Guider along with its brothels, nightclubs and other seedy spots to identify places from where AIDS could spread among adolescents. Cameroon, a country of 23 million that hugs Africa's Gulf of Guinea, has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. "The maps highlight the high-risk zones for transmission," said Boris Mbaho Tchaptchet, 21, speaking at a local youth club. "We located the love hotels, the video clubs, the cabarets, the underground meeting places before putting into place an action and prevention plan in our community," he said. The club in Guider was one of those selected for the "All In! End Aids among Adolescents"...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Roger Milla, who shot to worldwide fame for his World Cup goal celebrations, is now tackling flooding with a scheme to turn plastic blocking Cameroon's drains into building blocks. Milla's Coeur d'Afrique (Heart of Africa) is paying unemployed young people to collect the plastic which blocks drains and exacerbates flooding in Cameroon, with the waste then turned into slabs that can be used instead of concrete. "When it rains, the river floods and the plastic bottles come all the way to our houses. They also cause us to get sick and they also emit a foul smell" Eveline Massock, a resident of Cameroon's largest city, Douala, told Reuters. Cities in Cameroon, including its capital Yaounde, have seen some of the...
(Others 07/25/17)
YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Bishops from Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have said a new government commission to look at the rights of the country’s English-speaking minority is not adequate to resolve what has come to be known as “the Anglophone problem.” The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multi-culturalism was set up earlier in the year as part of government measures to resolve the long-standing problem of perceived marginalization of the minority Anglophones (who constitute 20% of the population) by the francophone-dominated administration. But the bishops are saying the commission is simply fruitless.
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Blandine, a 28-year-old mother of a baby girl, sits restlessly on a chair in a womens' health centre in Cameroon's capital, not knowing how or what to feel as she waits for an HIV test. Blandine is HIV positive. But the waiting is not for her -- it is to find out whether her one-year-old girl also has the human immunodeficiency virus. A few minutes later, she has her answer. "I am so relieved," Blandine said upon learning that her baby's blood tests came back negative for HIV. "I feel like I've won a battle with my child, a battle I was unable to win for myself." In Cameroon, more women are living with HIV than any other group, and...
(AfricaNews 07/21/17)
A Malian fisherman who found the body of the late Bishop of Bafia, Jean-Marie Bénoit Bala, has been rewarded with FCFA 2 million ($3,545) by the Cameroonian government. 27-year-old Ali Aoudi Dienta who found the body two days after the bishop went missing in the Sanaga river was handed cash by the Governor of the Centre Region Naseri Paul Bea on Thursday, local media CamerounWeb reported. Bishop Jean-Marie Bénoit Bala was reported missing on May 31 after leaving his residence in the evening. His car was later found on the bridge over the Sanaga river with a suspected suicide note that read: “Do not look for me, I’m in the water.” His body was found by the fisherman floating downstream...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Cameroon's security forces were on Thursday accused of torturing hundreds of Boko Haram suspects, leading to dozens of deaths, in what Amnesty International said was a war crime. The global human rights monitor said US and French military were also seen at one site where the abuses allegedly took place and urged Washington and Paris to investigate. Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency has devastated northeast Nigeria since it began in 2009, and the violence has spread to neighbouring countries, including northern Cameroon. Cameroonian troops are part of a regional military force that has been successful in forcing them out of captured territory in northeast Nigeria since early 2015. Amnesty's regional director for West and Central Africa, Alioune Tine, said Boko Haram...
(The Associated Press 07/20/17)
More than 100 people have been tortured by Cameroon security forces and held incommunicado in the past four years on suspicion of involvement with the Nigeria-based Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, according to a report released Thursday by Amnesty International. Such treatment has become routine and is practiced with impunity, and it violates both national and international law, the group said. In the majority of cases, people were held on little or no evidence. People are usually caught up in sweeping arrests after a large attack by Boko Haram, whose eight-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced millions in Nigeria and neighboring countries, including Cameroon. The extremists have killed more than 1,500 civilians in Cameroon's Far North...
(AfricaNews 07/20/17)
Radio France International’s Hausa service journalist Ahmed Abba who was sentenced to 10 years in prison this year by a Cameroon military tribunal has been named the 2017 International Press Freedom Award recipient. The annual prize is awarded by media rights body Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to honour journalists who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment. Ahmed Abba is the only African to be awarded the prize this year, which he jointly shares with Patricia Mayorga, a Mexican journalist; Pravit Rojanaphruk from Thailand; and Afrah Nasser, a Yemeni reporter and blogger. Abba, who was sentenced for “non-denunciation of terrorism” and “laundering of the proceeds of terrorist acts” was arrested on July 30, 2015...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
Cameroonian forces have been torturing suspects in their campaign against Islamist group Boko Haram, with much of the torture happening at a base that has also been used by American and French troops, Amnesty International said on Thursday. Amnesty's report documented 101 cases of arbitrary arrest and torture by Cameroonian troops charged with fighting the insurgents between 2013 and 2017. Some of the victims were tortured to death, it said. The Nigerian militant group has been fighting for the past eight years to create a medieval Islamic caliphate around Lake Chad, where Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad meet. Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 20,000 people and displaced 2.7 million in the region, according to aid agency figures. Atrocities...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(The Associated Press 07/18/17)
Cameroon's defense minister says at least 34 people have been declared missing after a military vessel sank off the country's Atlantic coast. Joseph Beti Assomo said Monday that the military has been deployed to investigate. He says helicopters have rescued three soldiers and will continue the search. Assomo says 37 people were on board the ship, which was on a routine mission to the Bakassi peninsula when it sank Sunday. The oil-rich Bakassi peninsula was handed over to Cameroon by Nigeria following an International Court of Justice ruling.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Denied an education by the Islamist insurgency of militant group Boko Haram, tens of thousands of children across the Lake Chad region are instead tuning into lessons broadcast over the radio, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. The radio syllabus is providing lessons on literacy and numeracy, and staying safe amid the violence, to about 200,000 displaced and out-of-school children in the Far North region of Cameroon and Niger's southern Diffa region, according to UNICEF. "The level of boredom among children in camps for the displaced is tremendous," said UNICEF spokesman Patrick Rose. "With this radio education program, children will receive lessons in a structured way, that keeps them in a rhythm...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
Thirty-four Cameroonian soldiers from the elite Rapid Intervention Brigade were missing Monday, a day after an army vessel capsized off the country's southeastern coast. The ship was carrying 37 people, including crew, and was on its way to the city of Bakassi for refuelling when it sank on Sunday morning, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said in a statement. "Thirty-four personnel are missing till now," he said. "Three soldiers were rescued but the boat seems to have sunk right down." He said the circumstances of the accident were not yet clear but the waters were very choppy when it happened.
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
A Cameroon army vessel transporting "dozens" of troops from the elite Rapid Intervention Brigade capsized on Sunday off the country's southwestern coast, a security source told AFP. The boat "capsized on Sunday between the city of Limbe and Bakassi. There were dozens of troops on board, including a colonel," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Rapid Intervention Brigade is in the front line of Cameroon's fight against Boko Haram jihadists in the far north. "The army has begun searches," the source said, while another source close to the Cameroon army said at least one body had been recovered.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
More than 30 people are missing after a boat belonging to an elite Cameroonian military unit sank off the coast on Sunday, the president's office said. The logistics boat belonging to the Rapid Intervention Brigade, which has fought Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in recent years, was carrying 37 people when it capsized early Sunday morning, the presidency said in a statement. Three soldiers were rescued but 34 passengers are still unaccounted for, the statement said. The accident, at the northern end of the coast near the village of Debunsha, is believed to have been caused by rough waters but investigations are underway to learn more, it added. Cameroon has deployed thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to...

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