Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Terror on Tribesmen in Ngoketunjia


Cameroon - Elhadj Danpullo Intensifies Terror on Tribesmen in Ngoketunjia. Billionaire land owner intensifies terror against tribesmen despite interventions by the United Nations Human Rights Council and several international Human Rights Organizations.
Mr. Baba Danpollo Ahmadou billionaire land owner and commercial rancher in North-West Cameroon, member of the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM is alleged to have seized horses from tradesmen in accordance with a recent ‘LAW’ in which ‘His Excellency’ ‘banned’ horse trade in the Region under the pretext that horses are being exterminated through the trade!

According to eye-witnesses at least 38 horses were confiscated by gendarmes and militias acting on Mr. Danpullo’s orders on Sunday 13, November 2011, at Bamukumbit village in Ngokitunjia. The horses were then taken by the gendarmes and militias to Mr. Danpullo’s ELBA Ranch several kilometers away where they are being held illegally.

In a report sent to an Anti-Corruption Hotline in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé and copied the Ministry of Justice and Dignity Campaign, a source has hinted the Vanguard that “Some representatives of the owners of the horses who went to Ndawara next  morning to recover horses met with stiff resistance and threats of imprisonment from Baba Ahmadou Danpullo.

Other unconfirmed sources contradicted that the said individuals have effectively been detained by gendarmes in Ndop town several kilometers from their homes. The detainees join other horse traders, namely Seini Yamsa and two others unlawfully arrested in Babanki by the Gendarme Commander of Ndawara since 7th October and arbitrarily detained at Ndop Gendarmerie Cell without charge – their crime being that they are horse traders – a business ‘banned’ by Mr. Danpullo.

Danpullo’s agents all over the region are allegedly taking the law into their hands by confiscating horses from their owners. One Yaya Juli a.k.a. Jamaica of Tahkui and Ardo Bobbo Sule of Vekovi are said to have attempted to seize horses from traders in the village of Vekovi, North of Bamenda, recently but the State Counsel of the area intervened to stop an ensuing violent conflict, pointing out that there is no law banning horse trade in any part of the country.

In a letter supposedly addressed to the Governor of the North-West Region, which leaked, the horse owners said, “on Sunday 13/11/2011 that our horses were intercepted by gendarmerie services of Ndawara, Ndop and Balikumbat at Bamukumbit village in Balikumbat Sub Division of Ngoketunjia Division, led by their brigade commanders.

Our 38 horses were taken to Ndawara and impounded there. We sent some of our agents to Ndawara this morning and Alhaji Baba Danpullo told them that he will arrest all of us and send us to prison for defying his law abolishing horse trade.

All our herdsmen have been bundled down to the Gendarmerie service Ndop and we do not know what will follow after their interrogation at Ndop Brigade.” In reference to Mr. Danpullo’s ultra the law, the letter further states, “He addressed the said letter to about 40 Ardos in the region.

He later called a meeting of some of the Ardos paying allegiance to him at his Ndawara residence and in Sabga where he told them that he has banned the sales of horses in the entire region. He promised to arrest any person who tries to defy his Marshall Law.” Sources at the Office of the Governor confirmed that a complaint has been received and is ‘being acted upon’ but would not give further details.

This initiative is yet another of Danpullo’s bizarre obsession of control over the Mbororo community and their pastoralist economy and his blatant lack of understanding, bad advice or refusal to follow laid-down administrative procedures and the law. It is unacceptable that an individual who travels on Cameroonian diplomatic passport takes upon themselves to make draconian and stupid rules and then order state security forces to enforce them!

Mr. Danpullo and ‘his’ Gendarmes need to understand that HE is not the State and cannot make bizarre rules and enforce them against the law and the wishes of the Mbororo community!

The Justice and Dignity Campaign condemns this latest strategy of further impoverishing and subjugating the Mbororo pastoralists of North-West Cameroon and call on the authorities to stop Mr. Danpullo and his agents forthwith.

All those involved should be investigated and prosecuted for carrying out unlawful instructions and confiscation of private property. All properties should be returned to their rightful owners who should be compensated for lost earnings and damages suffered.

These abuses give an unfortunate impression of Cameroonas a lawless country where wealthy individuals can preside over life and death of ordinary people! No other Cameroonian economic operator has been the subject of intervention by UN in Cameroon, except Danpullo!

The UN Human Rights Council has intervened more than once to get the Cameroon government to stop these violations to no avail. The matter has also reached the African Commission, the US Senate and many international organizations, all of whom have called on the authorities to stop the human rights abuses against the Mbororo pastoralists by Baba Ahmadou Danpullo.

We again urge the government to fully implement its own Jani Commission finding on Baba Ahmadou Danpullo’s exactions and get all government agents in the Region to stop acting on orders of Mr. Danpullo, as he has no authority to instruct them! The Justice and Dignity Campaign NGO reacting to the unruliness of Danpollo.


©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Opposing Independence

Bamenda - Opinion and debat desk - Bamileke Oppose to the Restoration of the Independence of the Southern Cameroons. By Prof. Carlson Anyangwe. 

La République du Cameroun, the Bamileke are the chief opponents of our liberation in the hopeless belief that we can continue to be held captive in their country. This is something of a puzzle. We sheltered people from virtually all the ethnic groups in République du Cameroun fleeing bloody French repression and exactions: Bamileke, Ewondo, Bulu, Duala, Bassa, Bafia, and some ‘nordistes’.

People from these various tribes in République du Cameroun did not flee to neighbouring French-speaking countries for reasons they know only too well. They chose to come to us and out of our generosity we welcomed them and settled them among us in a spirit of African brotherhood and solidarity.

This is the pay we get from them, especially the Bamileke who constituted the largest group of refugees. Could they have forgotten so easily?

Even today, our African French-speaking friends opt for the world of the very Anglo-Saxons they and their French Masters lampoon so often: Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States of America. France (or any French-speaking African country for that matter) is not a preferred destination. 
Those who succeed in making the treacherous Mediterranean crossing to France use that country merely as a transit point to other destinations of preference. It is further puzzling why these people should vote with their feet by going to English-speaking countries and yet instinctively reject the very value systems, the very mindset, the very culture and the very governance model that make those countries so attractive and so inviting.

The basic ‘argument’ of the opponents of our freedom is that they too suffer from the same evil we decry; an evil, they say, visited upon everyone by what they themselves admit is a satanic regime; replace that regime with a ‘good’ one, they maintain, and we shall all be happy ever after. That is a fat lie.

The difference between our cause and their case is so patent that even an intellectually weak person can see it. We are a separate and distinct people and country fighting against brutal colonial occupation by a neighbouring country, their country.

The only remedy for our forlorn land and condition of captivity is decolonisation, freedom. The coloniser must pack and go! The Bamileke, Bassa, Ewondo, Bulu etc. etc. etc. are ethnic groups within République du Cameroun.

The remedy for their malady in their country lies in good governance, rule of law, and free and fair elections. How they face up to that challenge is their cup of tea not ours, and attempts to enlist our involvement in it in the name of a sorry and content-less brotherhood must be puerile.

In a sense their task has been made a lot more easy thanks to the various cases we have instituted against their country’s regime as a result of which that regime has time and again been found guilty of gross human rights abuses, including torture and other inhuman treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and extra-judicial killings.

The judiciary in that country has also been found to be a dependent judiciary completely under the boot of the country’s ruler. For us, a new regime that comes to power in that country, even if it is an angelic regime, will not make us discontinue the fight for our manumission so long as that country continues to hold us in terror and captivity.



©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Frank Biya’s inertia on father’s aspiration founded

Bamenda - Frank Biya is the son of President Paul Biya. He is university-groomed in political science. Frank’s purported preference for his current business, timber logging, to offers of joining government indicates sound judgment.

Paul Biya took a somewhat good economy from first President, Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1982 and handicapped it. Cameroon today, despite government whitewashing, is heavily indebted (HIPC), corrupt, insecurity-rife, bane to ballot democracy, composite components fragile (SCNC and allied threats). The place can erupt to total chaos at short notice.

It is because of this state of affairs and management style of the country that Frank Biya must have cautioned his father on hovering doom. Hence talks of Frank’s inertia with respect to the idea of rocking him with this setup are understandable.

The media is awash with President Biya’s clandestine preparation to be succeeded by Frank as obtained with many a dictator. Legend has it that heirs of socially accepted parents are not frowned at, but taking the hereditary position of an autocrat is a curse and source of worries. More, here, Cameroon is a Republic and not a monarchy.

Citizens have rejected ministerial and other top government positions to avoid faintest contact with the incumbent CPDM-led government, which administration [CPDM] is considered the cause of the country’s varied woes. Others, meanwhile, embrace the rot looting the commonwealth.

They insult the ordinary folks like mad. Cameroonians of this calibre include Polycarp Abah, Ondongdong, and Fonjindam Z. Their excesses at times exceed Biya-tolerable level thus getting them into trouble.

Further, many more including, Biya himself, are discarded especially at the ballot by particularly the downtrodden and social critics.

We hear Frank Biya has snubbed at offers to enter government. This is laudable considering the derogatory expectations of self-aggrandisement of political and administrative officers in Cameroon.

Should Frank maintain this assumed social posture of hatred for injustice, then he would have propelled himself onto the famous pedestal of good people’s choice and desires.

President Biya, who will be utterly embarrassed by his son’s anti-establishment stance, possibly will solicit help from even his cronies to arm-twist Frank Biya to submit.



©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Time bomb for Biya: devaluation of CFA Franc

Bamenda - Devaluation of CFA Francs in January 2012 is a 
time bomb for Biya. Cameroonians and African countries using CFA francs will face toughest time beginning January 2012. Following scheme by France to devalue the CFA francs of its colonies to enable her stabilise her economic problems. 
The cost of foodstuff and basic commodities already skyrocketing will rise even higher from january 1st onward. This may cause Cameroonians to take to the street. It is feared that the nation wide strike would be more than that of February 25 2010, given that Cameroonians are stll smarting the stolen victory of the opposition Party at the April 9 2011 presidential election.
The devaluation is only beneficial to those who export. Most countries in the CFA-Zone do import more than they export. In this light, the CFA, which is currently pegged to the euro at the exchange rate of 1 euro for 655.59 CFA, will soon fall at the rate of 1,000 CFA for 1 euro.
The decision to devalue the CFA is a consequence of the crisis in the Euro-Zone, which has for the most part been carried by Germany. This also is intended to protect the economies of the Euro Zone from further crash of French economy as the burden saving the Euro has become too heavy for Germany to bear. All of this will be detrimental to the African French colonies that will require more Euro in the import trade.
France would gain enormously in financial deal at the expense of French African countries. These are some of the economic exploitative moves of the West that late Colonel Gadaffi of Libya stood against. 
France spearheaded his elimination and is now implementing the hidden economic agenda he schemed to continue French colonial grip on her colonies.
This disproportion in the terms of exchange, compounded with France’s shameless exploitation of Francophone African agricultural and geological resources, means that very soon France will gain the billions of Euros Sarkozy has been desperately seeking everywhere in order to pull France out of it’s economic slump. 
Economic experts have predicted that African countries will use 40% of their assets to restore France’s broken economy.
The war that France fought openly against Cote d’Ivoire in April 2010, and which resulted in the fall of President Gbagbo and the installation of  Alassane Ouattara, was as bloody and savage as to obliterate most nationalist inclinations in Africa. 
The war has eradicated any tendency in French-speaking African leaders to enfranchise their countries’ economies from France’s command by diversifying their political and economic partnerships.
In Cote d’Ivoire, the aftermath of France’s 2010 military assault is the re introduction of all the 1961 Franco-Ivorian colonial agreement. French companies are now snatching all the contracts in the country. French Bouygues has taken over the economy of Cote d’Ivoire.
Today, it appears normal that Sarkozy should compel the government of Cote d’Ivoire to use France as an indispensable go-between on the global market.
France has priority right in Cote d’Ivoire. It is first to France that Cote d’Ivoire should sell its export commodities and from France that it should buy its imported goods.
With the CFA devaluation, countries of the CFA-Zone will spend a lot of CFA in exchange for few goods from France. As it happened during the 1994 CFA devaluation, once again aid-seeking African countries will receive a lot of money from European countries, since the euro’s value will increase with the devaluation of the CFA.
Once again, the naïve praise-singers lodged in African presidential palaces, unaware of the deception, will greet the ‘rain of billions’ brought down by European ‘benefactors’ in a carnivalesque celebration. 
Future generations of Africans, once again, will be left to service huge debts to Europe with high interest rates.
They import almost all of their manufactured goods, their processed food, and their rice. Starting January 2012, African importers will need to spend 1,000 CFA for every 1 euro-worth of the commodities they buy from Europe. African retailers will raise their prices on local markets to compensate for their losses. The crunch will be felt in African pots and pans and gas tanks. The poor African populations will only keep enduring, powerlessly.
This explains why the Emerging Giant Economies of Africa are scheming Currency break away from Euro and Dollar to avoid the economic exploitation of the Western Countries.
South-Africa is reportedly backing plans for a single currency unit within the exclusive Brics grouping that the emerging giants could use to trade among them and circumvent the need for euro and dollar conversions.
The focal point is the question of conducting trade between member countries in such a way that does not require recourse to third-country currency and to convertible currencies like the dollar and euro, which are incredibly volatile these days.
Although creating a single currency would be a complicated ‘long-term ambition’, Davies revealed that an interim ‘clearing-out arrangement’ would be negotiated so that the Brics countries would not have to use dollars or euros to trade. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anti-racist protesters arrested at national Dutch celebration


Amsterdam The Netherlands - Int. Desk - Through the main street white men, painted black wearing Afro-wigs, walk and run playfully. Being silly, making jokes and portray the helping hands, servants, of the Dutch Santa. General crowd: white parents drink rosé and watching their children getting excited about the candies given by the Zwarte Pieten. And the presents they will get on the eve of 5th december, Santa’s birthdayparty. 


Almost out of view in a back street six men and women (all of color/African-diaspora) are roughly arrested and moved away out of sight. The wanted to protest against what they find racist about the Dutch Santa Clause celebration.

They were planning to wear t-shirts out of protest with the text ‘Zwarte Piet Is Racisme’ (‘Black Peter Is Racism’). Even before a single t-shirt was out of the backpack and visible to the public, the police arrested them. The where forcefully pushed to the ground and taking into custody. They were kicked and stumped.

A women recording the kicking and beating was arrested to. During time she was held at police station the recording of the beating was deleted from the camera’s memory. The police said that they didn’t delete anything on the camera. The woman later succeeded to un-delete the images. The videos can be found on the internet.

This protest was organized through the means of FaceBook and by activist from the Dutch Hip Hop music scene. It was a reaction of the very brutal arrests of Quinsy Gario, a poet and theater producer, and Kno’Ledge Cesare, a freedom writer, the day before. They where wearing the self-made t-shirts with the text ‘Zwarte Piet Is Racsim’, at a same kind of celebration in the city of Dordrecht, near Rotterdam. See the video of his arrest on You Tube. A Danish scientist who was studying art-protest movement and journalist student got arrested too.

Within the Hip Hop community, activists and artist made an effort to open up the dialogue about the racist content of the Dutch Santa Claus celebration for years. With the art-protest movement ‘Zwarte Piet Is Racism’ Quincy Gario and Kno’Ledge Cesare want to open the dialogue too, this year. They started their movement in the summer, months before the Christmans and Sinterklaas holidays.

With arguments founded on scientific historical research they point out the racist content of the Dutch tradition. They challenge others who disagree to explain why ‘I white man painting him self black, wearing an Afro-wig and act as a servant to a white master’ isn’t racism. The character of ‘Zwarte Piet’ seems to be based on the black Muslims during the Moor era in Spain. The Dutch Santa Claus character, the master, is based on a catholic Bishop.

In Amsterdam, one of the protesters and Hip Hop artists, Redlight Boogie aka Cane, stated: “If the man (meaning the police, ed.) is doing that to Quinsy?! Let the man do the same thing with us. Right here, right now!” He wasn’t arrested. He also stated and dared all others within the Hip Hop community: “Where you at? Not here! You all running your mouth in the studio and on FaceBook about ‘standing up’ and ‘fighting back’. You all ain’t here! At the moment here, there are more women then men. That says something about you all.” The group op protesters at the celebration was about ten men and women strong.
Dutch Santa Clause and his Black Peters (Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet)
Photo source: internet
The modern way of celebrating the Dutch Santa Claus (Santa Claus know worldwide is called the ‘Kerstman’ in The Netherlands) was originated around 1848. Eleven years before slavery became illegal in the Dutch Kingdom. In the Dutch Kingdom, including the former colonies, the end of slavery is know as ‘Keti-Koti. In 1884-’85 the Conference of Berlin was held in Germany. Where all off Africa was divided to the European colonial powers. 30 years later, whole of Arica was occupied by Europe. With one exception Ethiopia.

It was not a time that black people, Africans and the African-Diaspora, where considered equal human beings. But a product and slaves. This is the time the present ‘Zwarte Piet’ was created. A symbol of a black man, slave to a white master.

The police was telling the public that they should stop filming with their smart-phones and camera’s to protect the privacy of the ‘suspects’. The men and women arrested in Amsterdam, stated loudly they give permission to be filmed and photographed.

They resisted passively, to be arrested and moved away. They kept on chanting ‘Zwarte Piet Is Racism!’. One of the men in custody got forcefully blindfolded with his own scarf to silence him by the police.

A police men stated that this is a Dutch tradition and the protesters should keep their mouths shut. Saying also that he wasn’t allowed to say ‘Joden Koeken’ and ‘Moorkoppen’ (Jew's Cookies and Negroheads, a chocolate treat with white cream inside).

While all those in custody where moved away to several police stations nearby, two police officers where discussing if there where any more potential protesters at the square. How to description should be to pick the out between a lot of white people and black painted, Afro-wearing, white children and adults where celebrating Dutch Santa Claus.

Special-report and photo’s by Auke VanderHoek for The Vanguard Cameroon

Check You Tube for the video of Quinsy Gario's arrest:




©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RSF urges government to take action on media reform in mission report


Cameroon - Amsterdam int. desk - Source: RSF/IFEX - Reporters Without Borders visited Cameroon from 26 September to 2 October to assess the degree of media freedom during the campaign for the 9 October presidential election and to promote a series of reforms that are needed to improve media freedom, including a new media law and the decriminalization of press offences.

Communication minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said a national conference on media and communication would be held in 2012.

"The media's coverage of the campaign is trying to be balanced but the campaign itself is not," Reporters Without Borders said. "President Paul Biya, who is running for reelection, and the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Rally (RDPC) are everywhere. Biya is the only candidate to be seen on campaign posters. The opposition is hardly managing to make its voice heard. Everyone agrees that there is little political debate and this is reflected in the media."

"It is clear from the diversity of the media and the outspoken reporting style that press freedom is a reality in Cameroon. But much needs to be done to improve the media, protect journalists and enable them to work effectively. We stand ready to help the Cameroonian authorities carry out these reforms. They showed a readiness to listen. We are now waiting for them to act. The statements of good intention must be followed by action."

Reporters Without Borders has written to the 23 presidential candidates asking them to give an undertaking to defend and promote media freedom if elected.

The press freedom organization also handed in a formal note to the government urging it to organize a national conference on media and communication in the very near future, to reform the legal and institutional system affecting the media, and to decriminalize press offences.

The decriminalization of media offences would protect journalists from being jailed in connection with their work. Cameroon's image was badly damaged by the death of Germain Ngota Ngota, a newspaper editor also known as Bibi Ngota, in Yaoundé's Kondengui prison in April 2010. It highlighted the fact that journalists can still be sent to prison in Cameroon and do not receive adequate medical care while there.

Cameroon had risen 20 places (to 109th) in the 2009 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index but it fell by a similar number in 2010 as a result of this tragedy.

Decriminalization does not put journalists beyond the law and does not mean they are free to do as they like. A press offence can still be punished, but only by measures that are fair, appropriate and proportionate, not by prison sentences.

Read the full report here: 

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bamba's 'Warriors' video release


BAMBA NAZAR "WARRIORS" 2012 from Blackstereo.tv on Vimeo.

Amsterdam - Int. Desk - PRESS RELEASE - “Warriors” is the lead single by Bamba Nazar off of his ‘March on Gamorah’ album due out in 2012. This song pays homage to those that made the ultimate sacrifice to attain liberty, justice and independence.

Bamba Nazar is a singer/songwriter, producer and activist among many other things. After producing Redman’s singles ‘Coc Back’ and ‘Rockin’ wit da best’. Bamba now steps out front as an artist with his message of fearless defiance to the masses. 

The video was shot on Malcolm X’s 46th anniversary, January 21st 2011. The song opens with a potent Adam Clayton Powell speech that rings as true today as it did over 50 years ago.

The part of Clayton Powell was channeled by Angelo Bromet from the Wots movement. The rest of the scenes and historical references were reenacted by a cast of activists and artists in the hopes that it may inspire the listener to reactivate the warrior spirit within.

The Video and song for Warriors was directed and produced by Bamba Nazar for ((BLACKSTEREO)) with camera and editing work by Kitchell Samuel. Footage was shot in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Zanzibar, Africa.

Bismillah.

Link: http://www.blackstereo.tv/

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, September 26, 2011

These are the most Corrupt Ministries of Cameroon

Bamenda - The National Commission for the Fight against Corruption in Cameroon, (CONAC), on July 26, 2010, revealed names of ministries which its study considers as the most corrupt in the country.

Without any surprise, the Ministry of Finance (25%, Ministry of Justice (12% ), Police Force (12%), Public works (9%), Higher Education, Public Health, and Transport all occupy in that order, the list of most corrupt ministries in the country.

Biya Must Confront Root Causes of Corruption - Prof. Kale Dibussi Tande

Ndiva Kofele-Kale, Professor of Public International Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, is a leading scholar on the impact of corruption in developing countries. He is also at the forefront of the growing movement to make corruption a human rights violation punishable under international law.

In this interview, Professor Kofele-Kale talks about the anti-corruption drive in Cameroon, and the need to establish international mechanisms for dealing with corruption by high-ranking government officials.





©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Journalist detained, pressing to reveal sources



Int. Desk Amsterdam - Source: CPJ/IFEX - New York, September 9, 2011 - Authorities in Cameroon have detained a journalist since Monday, pressing him to reveal the sources for a story detailing alleged corruption by a tax official, local journalists and news reports said.

Editor François Fogno Fotso of the private bimonthly Génération Libre was interrogated from Monday through Thursday without the presence of a lawyer and pressured to identify the sources for an August 2010 story by reporter Boris Nembop that raised questions about a series of financial transactions by then public tax collector Célestin Tabouli in the western city of Nkongsamba, according to news reports and local journalists. Officers have also pressed the editor to disclose the whereabouts of Nembop and say that a private businessman, identified only as "Rewe," who was arrested nine days ago, was his source, local journalists said.

Fotso was taken to court today, but was not charged, and was returned to the custody of the military police in the capital, Yaoundé, where he was also questioned, local journalists told CPJ.

"It is outrageous that military police are questioning a journalist over his sources," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "François Fogno Fotso must be released immediately."

In a story headlined "Embezzlement of funds at the Treasury of Nkongsamba," Génération Libre claimed that it had received documents detailing a series of transfer of funds by Tabouli to his private accounts in amounts much larger than his salary as a government employee. The story challenged the tax collector to write a response to the allegations, but the latter filed a complaint instead. Military police have summoned Fotso at least four times since October 2010 over the article, but the editor has refused to comply with their demands.

Following Fotso's arrest on Tuesday, Génération Libre submitted to the public prosecutor's office documents that it says prove its allegations. Tabouli told CPJ today that he did not wish to comment on the allegations. Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told CPJ: "The government has nothing to do with this case."

In a public statement, the Association of Patriot Journalists of Cameroon condemned what it called an "arbitrary arrest of a journalist who dared do his job," according to news reports.

SOURCE: Committee to Protect Journalists 330 7th Ave., 11th Floor New York, NY 10001 USA info (@) cpj.org Phone: +1 212 465 1004 Fax: +1 212 465 9568





©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Debate in the Cameroonian diaspora






©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Human Rights Watch: Cameroon's ‘Sodomy’ law violates basic rights

Cameroon - from our international desk - Source: press release Human Right Watch - Johannesburg - The March arrest, conviction, and sentencing of Roger Jean-Claude Mbede to three years in prison for being homosexual is a gross violation of Mbede's rights to freedom of expression and equality guaranteed by the Cameroonian constitution, Alternatives-Cameroun, Association pour la Defense de l'Homosexualitè (ADEFHO), and Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Cameroon's top leaders.

Under section 347 bis, a person who engages in "sexual relations with a person of the same sex" can face a prison term of up to five years. Mbede was sentenced after admitting to his sexual orientation while in police custody. However, the law directly contravenes international human rights treaties, which, the Cameroonian constitution states, apply directly in the country.

"This law criminalizes consensual sexual conduct and violates the fundamental rights to privacy, equality, and freedom of expression of all Cameroonians," said Alice Nkom of ADEFHO. "The fear and stigma attached to homosexuality is such that the police use the mere existence of the law to trap individuals with impunity. And courts convict those accused even in the absence of evidence."

In their letter, ADEFHO, Alternatives-Cameroun, and Human Rights Watch urge Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hon. Amadou Ali to initiate a review of the law criminalizing consensual sexual conduct and the conviction in this case, and call on the General Delegate of Security Martin Mbarga Nguélé and the Secretary of State for Defence Jean Baptiste Bokam to cease arrests under section 347 bis of the Cameroonian penal code.

Background
Mbede sent an acquaintance a text message and arranged to meet him on March 2, 2011. When he arrived at the designated meeting place, he found his acquaintance in the company of policemen, who took him into custody. The police questioned Mbede who admitted that he was homosexual. Cameroonian law dictates that a person cannot be held in custody for longer than 48 hours without being charged. Mbede was held for seven days at the Gendarmerie du SED Yaoundé before he was charged and transferred to Yaoundé Central Prison.

Mbede made three appearances at the Court of First Instance in Yaoundé and on April 28, he was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. Mbede is currently serving his sentence at Yaoundé Central Prison. Cameroonian activists say that Mbede faces threats to his physical safety in prison because of his sexual orientation.

"The Cameroonian criminal justice system is failing to uphold basic rights," Yves Yomb of Alternatives-Cameroun. "In other cases, an accusation from a third party suffices as ‘evidence.' The existence of this law and its use with such impunity makes a mockery of civil liberties in the country."

In 2010, four human rights organizations, including ADEFHO, Alternatives-Cameroun, and Human Rights Watch, jointly published a report documenting the many violations of fundamental rights faced by lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people in Cameroon. The report exposes arbitrary detention, scant regard for due process, and sentencing without evidence under section 347 bis. The report documents abuses in detention, both pre-trial and in prison, by police and prison personnel, including beatings, torture, and verbal abuse. Even written complaints by prisoners about abuse from guards receive no response from the authorities.

Prison authorities often inform other inmates about the presumed sexual orientation of individuals incarcerated under section 347 bis. This results in constant threats, violence, and insults against such prisoners. The report documents cases in which inmates presumed to be homosexual have been physically beaten as well as sexually assaulted by other inmates, with prison personnel failing to protect them and even encouraging such violence.

Prison authorities provide no materials or information about safer sex in prison despite the fact that coerced as well as voluntary sexual activity takes place among inmates. Despite the government's stated commitment to including men who have sex with men in Cameroon's HIV and AIDS national strategy, conditions in prison are such that not only is the risk of HIV transmission among inmates high, but also that HIV positive inmates often receive no treatment while in prison, which places their lives at extreme risk.

"A prison term can be life-threatening for inmates, particularly those who are presumed to be homosexual," said Dipika Nath of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "Cameroon's police, judges, and other government officials are allowing their prejudices against lesbians and gay men to override legal standards they have sworn to uphold."

ADEFHO, Alternatives-Cameroun, and Human Rights Watch said that section 347 bis and the abuses faced by individuals because of their presumed or actual sexual orientation and gender expression violate rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which Cameroon acceded to on June 27, 1984, and June 20, 1989, respectively. These rights include the rights to privacy; health; freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention; protection against torture and inhuman and degrading treatment; freedom of expression, association, and information; non-discrimination and equal protection of the law; the rights of prisoners in detention; and the rights of women.

The constitution of Cameroon affirms its "attachment to the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and all duly ratified international conventions...."

Read more here:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/05/17/cameroon-sodomy-law-violates-basic-rights

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cameroonian opposition members arrested

Cameroon -Douala/Dschang - By correspondent - Kah Walla, president of the Cameroon People's Party and candidate for the presidential elections 2011 was abducted from the Mont Febe Hotel in Yaoundé at about 11:15 a.m. on May 20th. The following is a step-by-step account.

11:15 a.m. - Ms. Kah Walla leaves her hotel room and heads to the elevators on the 5th floor of the Mont Febe Hotel. She is met by two gentlemen who identify themselves as policemen and ask her to follow them. The CPP President declines and asks why. The policemen reply that they are following instructions and cannot give further information. They physically bar her from going toward the elevators and ask for her telephones. Ms. Walla refuses. She follows the policemen into the elevator and to the hotel lobby.

In the lobby, where hotel staff have gathered, Ms. Walla announces to them that the men with her are policemen and are taking her away against her will and to a destination unknown to her.

11:45 a.m. - Presidential Candidate Kah Walla is taken to a Toyota Prado. The car has no license plates. Only a red sticker in the upper right-hand corner of the vehicle gives an indication of where the vehicle and the men in it are from. The sticker reads “Passe Spéciale PRC”. PRC is the abbreviation for Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon. In the car are four men. A driver, a leader in the front seat, one man on the left and one man on the right. Candidate Walla is held hostage in the middle. An invisible boss is obviously directing this entire operation. Every move is reported to him. Phones ring in the car every two minutes as he gives instructions. After driving for about 1 km, the invisible man on the phone calls and gives an order.

The driver turns the car around and goes back to the hotel. Once again they ask for her phones. She refuses. They are visibly disturbed. They concert outside the car and make more phone calls. An order is given. The man on the right grabs Ms. Walla's handbag forcibly. They insist on searching the bag in front of her. They confiscate one Nokia phone, one Black Berry, one Sony camera, one business card holder and documents of hers. 

12:20 p.m. - The car now takes off. Ms. Walla has no idea where she is being taken. As they reach the outskirts of Yaounde, she wonders out loud: “I hope you are not going to drop me off in the middle of the forest”. As this has been regular practice of the police with some opposition leaders. Her captors chuckle: “Madam President, we will give you only treatment that your rank deserves”. The drive continues. 

“Madam President, 
we will give you only treatment
that your rank deserves” 
say the kidnappers.

After about an hour they ask to search her small suitcase. She refuses. “Why don't you make this easy for us? Please don't be difficult. We have a lot of respect for you. We do not want to do things without your consent.” Kah Walla is outraged: “Make things difficult for you? You kidnap me, hold me hostage in a vehicle, are taking me to an unknown destination and I am making life difficult for you?”.

They are immediately apologetic. Clearly these policement have very paradoxal instructions. Kidnap the president of a political party and candidate for the presidential elections, but do so very politely. President: Paul Biya once said: “Cameroon is Cameroon.” Kah Walla was living it. Here is absolute barbary being carried out with the utmost politeness. Despite her refusal, they do eventually search her suitcase. Telling her they are looking for flyers (these are often used in Cameroon for a political call to action, public demonstrations, strikes, etc.). They have the decency to look abashed when they find none.

2:30 p.m. - Arrival in Douala. The men ask Ms. Walla where she lives. She directs them. They drop her in front of her gate, carry her bags out of the car and each one proceeds to come and shake her hand and greet Madam La Presidente. Had this not been a kidnapping, you would have mistaken them for gentlemen.

3:00 p.m. - No time to digest being kidnapped. Ms Walla arrives the party office and meets six party members in full action. She is informed that three members of the CPP have been arrested in Douala. Their crime? They were wearing CPP T-shirts and handing out flyers describing the party's political program and giving background information on Candidate Walla. Kah Walla heads to the Brigade de Gendarmerie, Port Sud. No one can provide information about why these party members have been arrested. All of this to manage, and she has no phones.

In Dschang the party president speaks to a young woman, party member who is being detained by police. She too is being questioned about wearing a party t-shirt and distributing paryy flyers. Evidently inPaul Biya’s Cameroon, on National Day, only certain parties have the right to public demonstration. The young lady in Dschang is tough, resolute. She is not being detained, just kept for questioning. The focus is on Douala.

The gendarmes say they are acting on instructions from administrative authorities. Evidently this is a day for “instructions”. A couple of hours are spent trying to locate the Governor, the highest administrative authority of the region. When he is finally located Ms. Walla is informed Governor Fai Yengo cannot receive her. He is busy. Receiving guests for the National Day celebration. A day for unity, peace and democracy.

6:00 p.m. - The only bright spot in the day. CPP party members call in from The North West - Bamenda, South West - Kumba, Littoral - Edea, Mombo, Nkongsamba, Extreme North - Maga, etc. The CPP has been present during the National Day and has shown a powerful new face to Cameroonians. Young people in their green, red and yellow t-shirts got standing ovations from various crowds across the country. In spite of the attempt by the authorities to crush it, hope is alive and well in Cameroon and showed its face through the CPP across the country.

9:00 p.m. - Candidate Walla manages to catch the Governor between parties. He has finished with his own party and is now going off to the party at the Senior Divisional Officer’s house. He has three minutes for a discussion. Standing up on the porch of his home. His first question is with the utmost disdain: “You expect me to solve problems, at this hour, today?”. Madam Walla: “Yes Mr. Governor, it is a question Cameroonians who have been denied their basic rights, their basic freedoms on National Day.” “Madam Walla, I did not detain anyone. I did not ask for anyone to be arrested”. "Go and look for the person who asked for them to be arrested and he will release them”. The Governor has no more time to bestow on such trivial matters. There is a national party waiting to celebrate unity, peace and democracy.

12:00 a.m. - The CPP team decides to get some rest. The young lady in Dschang has been allowed to go home, even though she is requested to return on Monday for more questions. The three young men are obliged to spend the night in detention.

As we write this, those three young men are still being held illegally by the Cameroonian administrative authorities and the gendarmes. They have not been charged with a crime, they have not been registered on the Brigade’s roll.

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: CAMEROON STOP!

Stop Punishment of Journalists Probing Public Corruption 

A Year After death of journalist in prison, CPJ calls for justice & reforms



Cameroon - from our international desk Amsterdam - Source: New York, April 22, 2011—The government of Cameroon should initiate reforms to guarantee journalists’ ability to report on issues of public interest without fear of reprisal, said the Committee to Protect Journalists in a letter sent today to President Paul Biya one year after the death of a local journalist in pre-trial detention for reporting on corruption allegations.


CPJ holds the government responsible for the death of Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota, a probing editor with the monthlyCameroon Express, who perished in prison on April 22, 2010, due to a lack of medical attention despite repeated requests for help. The organization is seeking an investigation into the case. Ngota was initially detained in February 2010 after he and three other reporters questioned a government official regarding allegations of embezzlement of public funds at Cameroon’s state oil authority, SNH. The government’s own investigation revealed that the official ordered state intelligence agents to arrest the journalists and unmask their sources. Another journalist has accused state intelligence of torturing him while in detention.

CPJ urged Biya in the letter to end the practice of abusive detentions and criminal prosecutions that allow for settling scores with critical or probing journalists. The organization also called for a reform of the “criminal code so that defamation, libel, and press offenses are adjudicated by civil courts. In the interest of public accountability, transparency, and democracy, we call on you to take all necessary steps to hold to account officials and security services who abuse their authority in reprisals against their critics in the press.”

Unfortunately, Ngota’s case is part of a broader climate of repression for reporting that sheds light on the management of public resources. Earlier this month, a provincial governor in Cameroon had a journalist detained after he made routine inquiries about the arrests of two employees at the state-run palm oil company. The authorities later said the reporter had been detained for his own protection. Authorities also banned a newspaper amid legal harassment of journalists investigating public corruption. With a score of 2.2 out of 10 Cameroon’s public sector is ranked as highly corrupt on Transparency International’s index.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 465-1004
Fax: (212) 465-9568
Web: www.cpj.org

Monday, April 18, 2011

Songwriter released

Cameroon - inter. desk Amsterdam - (WiPC/IFEX) - 11 April 2011 - The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International welcomes the release of singer-songwriter Lapiro de Mbanga (real name: Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo) on 8 April 2011. Mbanga was freed on completion of a three-year prison sentence for allegedly instigating anti-government riots. However, PEN believes that Mbanga, who is known as an outspoken critic of the Cameroonian government both as a songwriter and an opposition party member, was punished for his critical views, in violation of his right to freedom of expression.

The well known singer-songwriter was released from New Bell Prison in Douala. There were concerns that Mbanga would be detained beyond the expiry of his sentence due to the Cameroonian government's fear of how people would react to his release in the run-up to presidential elections due to take place in October 2011. Mbanga is a member of the opposition party Social Democratic Front (SDF). However, despite initial claims by the prison authorities that he was merely being transferred to another detention centre, Mbanga was released one day earlier than anticipated and returned to his home in Mbanga City.

Read more on: http://www.ifex.org/cameroon/2011/04/13/mbanga_released/

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Newspaper banned, editor given suspended prison sentence


Cameroon - intl. desk - Source: CPJ/IFEX - New York, March 28, 2011 - Authorities in Cameroon must end judicial harassment of journalists reporting on public corruption, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today after a court handed an editor a suspended prison sentence and banned his newspaper for reporting on alleged mismanagement of a transportation company.

A panel of three magistrates in the commercial city of Douala convicted Editor Jean-Marie Tchatchouang of the weekly Paroles of defamation on Friday under Cameroon's penal code and gave him a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 185,200 CFA francs (US$390). The court also ordered Tchatchouang to pay 1 million CFA francs (US$2,100) in damages and suspended his newspaper indefinitely, according to local journalists and news reports. Tchatchouang appealed the ruling, he told CPJ.

"We condemn the sentence given to Jean-Marie Tchatchouang and the outright ban of his newspaper," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "We call on the appeals court to overturn the lower court's ruling, which amounts to censorship on reporting on a matter of public interest."

The charges were linked to Paroles' publication of letters from current and former personnel of Douala's main bus company, Socatur, alleging mismanagement and abuse by CEO Jean Ernest Ngallè Bibéhé and his wife, the human resources manager. Both denied any wrongdoing.

Another Cameroon journalist, Raphaël Nkamtchuen, editor of the periodical La Boussole, is also facing a prison sentence for investigating a leaked official document suggesting alleged executive interference in a high-profile corruption investigation.

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Release Al Jazeera journalists held in Libya - Free the four - Al Jazeera English



©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Editor charged with criminal libel



Cameroon - Source: CPJ/IFEX - New York, March 22, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the prosecution of a journalist in Cameroon over coverage of a labor dispute at a transportation company. A public prosecutor in the commercial city of Douala charged Editor Jean-Marie Tchatchouang of the weekly Paroles with criminal defamation on February 4, the journalist told CPJ.

Read more on:
http://www.ifex.org/cameroon/2011/03/25/tchatchouang_charged/

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fearing Egypt-style revolt, Cameroon bars Twitter service

Cameroon - int. desk - source CPJ - By Mohamed Keita/CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator -
"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter sms integration on the network," announced a March 8 tweet by Bouba Kaélé, marketing manager of the Cameroon unit of South Africa-based telecommunications provider MTN.

The announcement has since disappeared from Kaélé's Twitter feed, but was memorialized by a handful of Twitter users who retweeted the comment and the Cameroonian daily Le Jour, which printed a story.
Read more on: CPJ.org


©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved. 



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Security forces obstructing journalists

Cameroon - int desk - IFEX Alert - Source: CPJ/IFEX - New York, February 25, 2011 - Cameroon's government is obstructing journalists from reporting on issues of public interest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security forces detained a journalist without charge for six days after he interviewed a jailed former official. They also seized footage from reporters covering the brutal repression of a banned opposition march on Wednesday.

Late on Wednesday, military police in the capital, Yaoundé, provisionally released Raphael Kamtchuen, editor of the private monthly La Boussole, after six days of detention without charge on accusations of possessing a classified official document, according to local news reports and local journalists. The nature of the document was not immediately clear. Kamtchuen was arrested by prison guards at Yaoundé's Kondengui Prison while leaving the facility after interviewing jailed former Finance Minister Polycarpe Abah Abah, who is serving a sentence for corruption. Kamtchuen was summoned to appear before a prosecutor today.

"Cameroonian authorities must clarify why they detained Raphael Kamtchuen," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita.

Also on Wednesday, security forces prevented at least eight journalists from filming police brutally dispersing a protest march in the commercial city of Douala, according to local journalists. Plainclothes security agents picked up Agence France-Presse correspondent Reinier Kaze and held him overnight, defense lawyer Levi Deffo told CPJ. Police confiscated or destroyed footage or photographs taken by cameramen Warren Nzedeu of private Equinoxe TV and Charles Talom of pan-African satellite station Vox Africa, according to the Cameroon Journalists' Trade Union. Riot police used a water hose against another journalist, freelancer Aron Agien Nyangkwe, the union reported.

Three other journalists, Equinoxe TV's presenter Polycarpe Essomba, and reporters Alain Tchakounte with the state daily Cameroon Tribune and Assongmo Necdem with daily Le Jour, were also harassed, according to the union.

"We call on the authorities to hold to account members of the security forces and government who abuse their powers to prevent journalists from documenting their activities," Keita said.

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Editor charged over leaked official document


Cameroon - Int. Desk - IFEX Alert - Source CPJ/IFEX - New York, March 3, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of a Cameroonian editor who is being prosecuted in connection with a leaked official document, according to local journalists and news reports.

On February 24, a public prosecutor in Yaoundé charged Raphaël Nkamtchuen, editor of the periodical La Boussole, with "unauthorized communication with a detainee" and "possession of administrative documents labeled 'confidential'," according to local journalists. The charges are based on an October 27, 2009, letter that was allegedly leaked from the office of top presidential adviser Laurent Esso. Guards found the letter on Nkamtchuen as he left Yaoundé's Kondengui Prison following an interview with jailed former Finance Minister Polycarpe Abah Abah on February 17. Nkamtchuen told CPJ the letter was leaked to him and that he carried it into the prison.

The alleged letter from Esso informed the Vice Prime Minister for Justice Amadou Ali that President Paul Biya had approved the minister's proposal to arrest a number of officials for corruption, including Abah Abah, Nkamtchuen told CPJ. Esso has not publicly reacted to the allegations, according to local journalists. Abah Abah, who was convicted of embezzling public funds, is one of several top officials arrested or accused of corruption since the launch of an official anti-graft investigation called Operation Sparrowhawk, according to news reports.

Nkamtchuen was detained for six days by Cameroonian military police before he was charged. He was free pending trial on March 24, but he told CPJ he has gone into hiding after receiving threatening phone calls.

"We are concerned for the safety of Raphaël Nkamtchuen, who has gone into hiding after being charged in connection to his investigation into possible government abuse of power," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "We hold the government responsible for his safety and well-being."

Nkamtchuen disputed the charges, saying it was the third time he had visited Abah Abah in Kondengui Prison and that prison guards had never required any special authorization to communicate with a detainee previously, he told CPJ. However, a prison guard was arrested on charges of conspiring to facilitate his entry, he said.

In February 2010, Esso ordered the arrests of four journalists after another document purported to have been leaked from his office detailing a kickbacks scheme surfaced, according to CPJ research. The arrests lead to the death in custody of one of the journalists, Germain Cyrille Ngota.

©2011 The Vanguard Cameroon. A publication of Chifu Edwards. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.