Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
A prominent lawyer's bid to end Cameroon President Paul Biya's 35 years in power has received a boost after nine opposition parties and grassroots groups backed his campaign, according to a statement seen by AFP on Tuesday. Akere Muna, who hails from Cameroon's English-speaking minority, has vowed "zero tolerance for corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favouritism." The nine organisations gave him their backing in a "platform for a new republic" that they agreed on Monday in the capital Yaounde, they said in a joint statement. Muna is a former vice president of the anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International and former president of the Cameroon Bar Association. He was "formally designated" as their only candidate for the...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
A policeman was killed on Sunday by presumed separatists in a restive English-speaking region of Cameroon, where the situation remained extremely tense on Monday, sources told AFP. No further details were released about the incident in Dian, in Cameroon's Southwest Region, but other officers may have also been killed, an official added. "According to some information, other police were killed but we are still looking into this," the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reports of multiple killings also circulated on social media. Witnesses said panic had gripped several schools, including in Buea, the main city in the English-speaking southwest, and in Muyuka and Tiko. "We are leaving the campus because people in the city are saying that...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
A human-rights lawyer representing English-speaking Cameroonian separatists said Thursday the group had been arrested by Nigeria's secret service and were being held "illegally", calling on the government to probe their disappearance. Femi Falana said Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the president of the anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon, and nine others were detained at a hotel in Abuja last weekend. "Armed operatives of the State Security Service (Nigeria's secret service) invaded the venue, abducted our clients and took them away to an undisclosed place," he said. The intelligence agency has denied any arrests but rumours have swirled about the men's possible whereabouts.
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
A Nigerian intelligence official on Sunday denied arresting Cameroon separatists in Abuja, after a rebel movement said its top leaders had been "abducted by gunmen". Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the president of the anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon, was arrested during a meeting on Friday, January 5, in Nigeria's capital of Abuja, according to a statement by the separatists. "At around 7:30 p.m., the gunmen came into the hotel and abducted all of them including the president," said Chris Anu, secretary of communications for the putative state of Ambazonia.
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
Cameroonian police have arrested a group of nearly 40 heavily armed men who were headed into neighbouring Equitorial Guinea, a military source said Friday. Equitorial Guinea's Ambassador to France, Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, referred to the incident as an "invasion and destabilisation attempt", according to his office. The 38 suspects, who were taken into custody Wednesday in a bus on Cameroon's border with the tiny nation to its south, had rocket launchers, rifles and lots of ammunition, his office added. Military and local police have launched a probe into the intentions of the men, who were nationals of Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
A Cameroon court on Wednesday freed dissident author Patrice Nganang, accused of threatening President Paul Biya on social media, and ordered him to be expelled from the country, media reported. The court in the capital Yaounde ordered an end to legal proceedings against Nganang, which began with his arrest on December 6, according to reports citing the writer's lawyer. The prize-winning author had been due to face trial on January 19 on charges earlier outlined by lawyer Emmanuel Simh as...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
The Commonwealth secretary-general has urged Cameroon to resolve "through peaceful dialogue" a crisis that has shaken the country's English-speaking regions since last year. Patricia Scotland, who is on a four-day official visit to the country, expressed "great sadness" with the violence in the Northwest and Southwest regions of the central African country, where Cameroon's anglophone minority is concentrated. "Cameroon is renowned for its tradition of peaceful and harmonious interactions. It is with great sadness that we see it in challenging times," she said in a speech on Tuesday evening. "I encourage Cameroonians from all walks of life to embrace peace...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Four police officers were killed in an attack by suspected separatists in Cameroon's English-speaking region on Monday, a government minister said, the latest violence to strike the country's troubled west. "Unfortunately an attack took the lives of four of our police officers, coldly murdered this Monday in Kembong," Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma said, referring to a region that has witnessed a spike in violence by separatists. English-speakers account for some 20 percent of Cameroon's population of 23 million but have long chafed under the rule of 84-year-old president Paul Biya, one of the world's longest serving leaders. The minority dates to the emergence of Cameroon in 1960-61 as France and Britain...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Armed separatists in Cameroon's troubled anglophone region attacked a village before being repelled by soldiers, security officials said Friday. "A group of secessionists on Thursday attacked the locality of Dadi," a source said, referring to a village in the Mamfe area of Southwest Region -- one of two areas shaken by unrest in Cameroon's anglophone minority. "The army repelled the attack... inflicting fatalities among the assailants," a security official said. The account was confirmed by a military source. There was...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang was held in prison Thursday before a court appearance Friday for the alleged publication of an article critical of the country's president. His lawyer Emmanuel Simh confirmed his client was jailed at the capital Yaounde's central prison ahead of his first hearing at the Yaounde administrative centre. "I did not have access to his file, but he is prosecuted for apology for crime, contempt and assault threats," he told AFP, adding that the charge of "contempt...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-western Africa to create an unprecedented border-free bloc. "To cross by car from Cameroon to Gabon, we pay 30,000, 45,000 CFA francs (45 euros/$50 to 69 euros/$80). There's no explanation why,"...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang has had his custody extended by 48 hours by the authorities, his lawyer said Tuesday, nearly a week after his arrest for publishing an article critical of the country's president. "His detention was extended (Monday) for 48 hours by the state prosecutor," lawyer Emmanuel Simh told AFP, adding that Nganang would "in principle" appear before the prosecutor after its expiry. Simh said the detention was "illegal" because Nganang was not initially notified he was being placed...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
A lawmaker was hurt by flying debris thrown by another MP as legislators clashed during a chaotic budget debate in Cameroon, sources told AFP Saturday. The session saw Hermine Patricia Ndam Njoya of the opposition Democratic Union of Cameroon (UDC) "hurl into the air" parts of her desk to protest the assembly speaker's refusal to allow her party's legislators to speak, UDC communications officer Amadou Mongwat said. Parts of the damaged desk landed on the head of a member of...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang was arrested at the airport as he tried to fly to Zimbabwe a day after publishing an opinion piece sharply critical of Cameroon's president, a source said Thursday. Nganang, who teaches literature at New York University, "was taken into custody yesterday (Wednesday) at Douala (airport)," a source close to the police told AFP. "He drew attention to himself in recent days with several acts of provocation," the source said, also mentioning Nganang's Facebook posts. Agents were...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Nigeria called for an end to violence in neighbouring Cameroon, where a crisis sparked by a separatist drive in English-speaking areas has forced thousands of people to seek sanctuary across the border. "The Nigerian state by no means supports the secessionists," Nigerian ambassador Lawan Abba Gashagar said Thursday, after a meeting with Cameroon's President Paul Biya. "The Nigerian government supports a swift return to peace in Cameroon and the preservation of its territorial integrity," said the ambassador, who is also...
(AFP 12/08/17)
Violence in English-speaking areas of Cameroon over the last year is having a knock-on effect in neighbouring Nigeria, where thousands of refugees are seeking sanctuary. Some are fleeing the unrest while others are suspected to be secessionists in favour of armed struggle, who could use the Nigerian side of the border as a base. John Inaku, head of the Cross River state emergency management agency in southeast Nigeria, said over 28,000 people have arrived from western Cameroon since October. "But...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Cameroon's President Paul Biya has denounced "repeated attacks by a band of terrorists" blamed for killing six members of the security forces in a secessionist campaign in anglophone regions. "I learned with emotion of the murder of four Cameroonian soldiers and two policemen in the southwest of our country," Biya said late Thursday on his return from an African Union-European Union summit in Ivory Coast. "I think that things are now clear to everyone. Cameroon is the victim of repeated...

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