Man rapes brother’s children to death

A man is currently behind bars at the Nkongsamba Gendarmerie brigade for allegedly raping his two nieces to death over the weekend.
The children’s father had travelled out of town while their mother had gone for a night vigil on Friday, when Joel Tanko, 31, took advantage to commit his act, eyewitness at the Ngang neighbourhood in the Nkongsamba II District said.
According to the Divisional Delegate for Communication in the Mungo Division, Clovis Tchamabo, the perpetrator drugged his brother’s two children aged seven years and six months old respectively before preying on them.
It was only early on Saturday morning when mother had returned from the vigil that she got worried of the unusual calm in the house. The two were “deeply asleep.”
According to her, the house is always buzzy in the morning with the cries and noise from her children who are normally awake very early.
This calm struck her mind and pushed her to immediately check on them. This is when she found the babies “deeply sleeping” on their bed.
As she struggled to wake them up, she realized the six-month old baby had passed away while the seven-year old was immediately rushed to a nearby medical facility where she was also declared dead with medical reports showing they had been raped.
Police investigations led to the arrest of Joel Tanko who first denied having a hand but will later give in when he was undressed with signs of blood found on his underwear.
In the heat of the matter, it was revealed this was not the first time Joel was committing such acts but has always been protected by some family members who decide to solve the matter internally until last weekend’s incident.
What awaits Joel Tanko?
If found guilty of rape, Joel Tanko could face a heavy jail term and fine. Under Article 296 of the Cameroon Penal Code, rape is punishable with imprisonment of from five to 10 years.
The sentence can be increased to life imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 16 and the perpetrator had authority over the victim, was a public servant, or a religious minister, or was assisted by others.
By Francis Ajumane

Motorbike ban cripples economy of Anglophone Regions

Inconsistency in Government policy is beginning to catch-up with its purveyors as an estimated 2,000 youths in the Northwest and the Southwest Regions whose fate had been tied to commercial motorcycle riding that even the Head of state had glorified as immediate solution to unemployment now face the possibility of a rudderless fate, following administrative decision banning their circulation outright.
The vicinities affected include Batibo, Widikum and Balikumbat Sub-Divisions of the Northwest Region and Mundemba, Ekondo-Titi, Mbonge, Konye, Kumba II and III under the Southwest Region. The decisions were signed by the Governors of the respective Regions.
According to the indefinite order, the circulation of motor bikes is suspended and any violators shall be prosecuted according t the laws in force. The same order tasks the Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs, of the affected places as well as security operatives are charged with the implementation of the order.
The ban has raised eyebrows across Anglophone Cameroon as many fear it shall go a long way to radicalize the youths who have already been asked to stay home every 8pm and resume work only at 5am.
According to Stanley Timo, economics teacher in Bamenda, the Governors’ decisions need a rethink. “My exposure to the two Anglophone Regions shows that since the coming of the motor bikes, every Sub-Division has embraced it as a major means of transportation with over 150 youths in each Sub-Division indulging into the sector to make a living. If now the Governors sign orders banning such activity, which many now look up to as means of survival I think they are just out to inflict more misery and pain on the youths.
Philemon Tih, a councillor in Bamenda thinks that it is a blow to the politicians. “It is a major blow to the politicians. Many of them often use these bike riders in campaigns and noise making. Given that we are in an election year and the governor banning bikers in some of the Sub-Divisions is a well calculated move to completely radicalize these youths, trigger voters’ apathy and completely discourage them from voting in the upcoming elections.
Like, Philemon Tih, Susana Nimbu, resident of Travellers neighbourhood says such administrative decisions are unfriendly to women and to the households. “How can they come up with such a decision at this time? Bikes have been able to transport labouring women to the maternity at midnight. They transport foodstuff to the market, beating inaccessible roads to all corners. Parents have been able to send children to school, take care of their wives and pay school fees, thanks to the coming of the bike sector.
“When you now say, no bikes will the same Government do all these?,” she wandered.
In Ndian Division, the only means of reaching Toko Sub-Division from Mundemba is by commercial motorcycle. The same holds for the maritime areas as the roads have been impassable for normal vehicles in the past three years.
Some have been quick to aver that this is an indirect way to deprive opposition politicians from campaigning. But this might unfortunately have a boomerang effect during elections of sovereign import like presidential, municipal and parliamentary, when the now alienated youths will seek their pound of flesh.
By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Dangote workers end strike action

Work has resumed at the Douala-based cement factory after a three-day strike action staged by drivers to denounce what they termed poor working conditions.
Work only resumed on March 8, after authorities at the factory convinced the workers a solution would be found to their problems in the next 10 days (beginning the 08 March).
The drivers had taken the company by storm on Monday, February 5, by grounding tools at their garage, located opposite the factory at the banks of the River Wouri in Douala. For three days, no truck left to distribute cement to the various distribution chains across the country. The drivers had filed their grievances to the Governor of the Littoral Region with a copy to the Labour Inspectorate.
“We are paid FCFA 138,000 a month and it is up to us to cover up several expenses. We have no advance salaries, no salary increase,” said Aliko Tanko, a spokesperson of the striking drivers.

“We supply Dangote cement to all 10 regions of the country. Each truck carries 640 bags, or 32 tons. If a driver returns with bags of damaged cement, he incurs the loss. But this cement will be crushed to be resold,” laments Hervé M., one of the disgruntled drivers.
He proceeded by saying they are threatened by hierarchy with potential sacking whenever they complain.
“In addition, we pay the “motor-boy”, we wash their trucks with money from our pockets, and we are also responsible for carrying out repairs on them. We have written several petitions to hierarchy without any favourable response,” he said.
Other workers complain of working round the clock and extra hours for little or no bonuses while others say they suffer from respiratory problems because of the toxic powders absorbed due to the lack of safety equipment. But the most pills to swallow, was the company’s decision to deduct weighing fees from the drivers’ salary.
The logistics director of Dangote Cement Cameroon met the striking workers on Tuesday, March 6, at the protest site where he assured them that all their grievances will be looked into. He also asked them to set up a six-man delegation for proper dialogue and negotiations to take place.
The group, however, granted a deadline to the company to provide an answer to their various grievances.
Later on Wednesday, March 7, a meeting between the representatives of the group of drivers of Dangote Cement Douala Cameroon and the managers of the cement plant dragged into the late hours of the night and resulted in a temporary suspension of the strike action. This was only possible after the company requested and obtained a 10-day moratorium to find solutions to the problems posed by the 203 drivers who had grounded tools.
“We have reached an agreement (to return to work). But if the deadline passes for our conditions to be met, we will resume the normal strike action,” said Aliko Tanko, the staff representative, who reluctantly called on his colleagues to resume work that fateful Thursday morning.
While waiting to see the outcome of the moratorium, the drivers of this cement factory, owned by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, were able to arrive at certain compromises with the administration. The costs of the weighbridge and the damaged cement (hard cement) which were slashed on their salaries were suspended till further notice. A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the two parties. However, the drivers will be more focused on the outcome of the negotiations in 10 days.
In about 27 months of proper activities in Cameroon, this is the first real strike action staged at the Dangote Cement factory owned by the Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote.
By Francis Ajumane

UN can’t package and deliver ‘Ambazonia’ independence

By conviction or political deftness, he has consistently displayed faith in the eventuality of a broad based national dialogue on the Anglophone problem.
The erudite and politically savvy Dr. Simon Munzu’s interest in a constitutional solution to the headache dates back to the 1990s when, as part of the triumvirate of Elad, Anyangwe and Munzu, he played a very active role in convening the All Anglophone Conference, AAC, and thereafter charted a road map for Anglophone emancipation.
Today, the troika has succumbed to dissuasive subterfuge of the Biya regime with Barrister Ekontang Elad vacillating between support for the Anglophone cause and neutrality. Prof. Carlson Anyangwe, on his part, has thrown his weight behind Ambazonia separatists, leaving Munzu as sole purveyor of a return to a two-state federation via dialogue.
Munzu, in his characteristic candour, has advocated frank, inclusive and comprehensive dialogue as the only viable solution to the Anglophone conundrum.
Going by his consignment of counselling to Cameroonians and the powers that be, nobody should be left out, including those who are now advocating separation.
He has, also, warned Anglophones not to be carried away by the illusion of United Nations, UN, support for a separate Southern Cameroons as is being bandied by some compatriots instead of heightening pressure on the Biya regime to see reason in advocacy for a return to Federalism as obtained in the immediate aftermath of the Foumban Conference.
The alluring prose and endearing witticism, coupled with strengthening conviction for a project that defies solution, makes The Rambler’s interview with one of Cameroon’s finest legal scholars, a cocktail to be savoured with relish.
(See page…)

You have consistently advocated a national dialogue since the current Anglophone crisis gathered steam in October 2016. Why the sing-song on dialogue when it looks like President Paul Biya is working on an alternative to the much parroted dialogue?
It is generally recognised that a frank, inclusive and comprehensive dialogue is the best pathway to a lasting solution to the Anglophone problem and to the current Anglophone crisis. The dialogue must be frank. This means that the parties to it have to be sincere to each other and that neither should set out to fool, trap or cheat the other. It must be inclusive, meaning that all stakeholders, regardless of the outcome that they are seeking, including independence for Southern Cameroons, should be invited to the dialogue and allowed freely to state their position. The dialogue must also be comprehensive. By this we mean that it must touch on all aspects of the domination, marginalisation, assimilation and takeover of the territory and people of Southern Cameroons (the Northwest and Southwest Regions) that Anglophones have experienced in the last 56 years and which they are complaining about today. The dialogue cannot be limited to just education and administration of justice, the two sectors that sparked off the current crisis in October and November 2016. A comprehensive dialogue would have to cover all areas of governance in our country – political, administrative, economic, judicial, social, cultural, etc. in which Anglophones experience domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover, so that the grievances felt by Anglophones in all these domains can be addressed once and for all.
Since everyone recognises dialogue as the best way to sort out the mess in which our country is right now, many voices at home and abroad have repeatedly and insistently called for it. Prominent among them is President Paul Biya, notably in his New Year messages to the Nation of 31 December 2016 and 31 December 2017. It is disturbing to note, however, that even though the President recommends dialogue, he has, as you point out in your question, done nothing to initiate meaningful dialogue. He considers as dialogue the negotiations between the Government and the teachers and between the Government and lawyers that took place in December 2016 and January 2017 within the framework of the two Ad Hoc Committees that were set up by the Prime Minister. We all remember that those negotiations ended in the arrest and imprisonment for eight to nine months of some teachers’ and lawyers’ leaders, while others were forced into exile. That was not a dialogue. It did not lead the parties to a mutually agreed end to the crisis. President Biya also considers as dialogue the delegations of members of Government, political and traditional leaders and senior office holders that were despatched to the Southwest and Northwest Regions in October 2017 to ‘dialogue’ with the population of these two Regions. We all know that, in view of the manner in which those delegations conducted their mission, no meaningful dialogue took place on those occasions. These forms of ‘dialogue’ have not ended the Anglophone crisis. They could not have done so because they were not frank, inclusive and comprehensive. We still need to have a meaningful national dialogue on the Anglophone problem in Cameroon.

Can violence and dialogue go together in the search for a solution to the same problem?
Obviously, dialogue and violence cannot be applied at the same time to resolve the same problem. All conflicts can be resolved through dialogue. Therefore, every effort should be made to resolve all conflicts peacefully through dialogue. Those who resort to violence to resolve a conflict always find that, after a long or short period of loss of lives and livelihoods for many citizens, often the innocent, they still have to dialogue in order to arrive at a final resolution of the conflict. If, after using violence and causing so much loss of life, destruction of property and massive violations of human rights, the protagonists still end up engaging in dialogue, why not engage in dialogue at the outset and thus avoid all those negative consequences of violence, many of which affect innocent citizens? No, violence and dialogue cannot go together in the search for a solution to the same problem. In all situations, dialogue, not violence, should be used to resolve the conflict.

Is the belief that the ‘international community’, the UN and some big Western nations are going to step in and ‘grant independence’ to Southern Cameroons just a dream? Is such a belief justified, plausible?
Such a belief is unjustified. It is just a dream that may never come true. Some Anglophone Cameroonians are clamouring for the ‘restoration’ of the ‘independence’ of British Southern Cameroons. They rely on a distortion of the history of decolonization of the British Southern Cameroons and claim that the 1961 union between the Anglophone territory of British Southern Cameroons and the Francophone territory of Republic of Cameroon has no legal basis. They blame the international community, especially, the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France, for the fate that has befallen the territory and people of British Southern Cameroons since October 1, 1961. Paradoxically, these are the same persons who deceive our people that the international community will come in and grant independence to the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon. This is just an illusion and a deliberate lie. For the international community, the people of British Southern Cameroons voted in a valid plebiscite on February 11, 1961, to achieve independence by joining Republic of Cameroon. On the same day, the people of British Northern Cameroons voted in a separate and valid plebiscite to achieve independence by joining the Federation of Nigeria. Northern Cameroons joined the Federation of Nigeria on June 1, 1961 and thereby achieved independence. Southern Cameroons joined Republic of Cameroon on October 1, 1961 and thereby also achieved independence. On that same day, both Southern Cameroons and Republic of Cameroon gave up their respective independence in order to form a new independent and sovereign state, the Federal Republic of Cameroon, within which they both became two federated states of equal status, the federated state of West Cameroon and the federated state of East Cameroon, respectively. The international community considers everything that has happened thereafter in the territory of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, including the change of name of the territory and all modifications in its constitutional and administrative arrangements, as an internal matter for Cameroonians. Southern Cameroons gave up the independence that it achieved on October 1, 1961 when on that same day it opted to become the Federated state of West Cameroon within the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The international community is not going to come in, nearly 60 years later, to ‘restore’ that independence. Those who want to ‘restore’ the independence of Southern Cameroons know that they can only achieve their objective by waging a war of secession from the union that came into being on October 1, 1961. The international community is not in a position to grant independence to the former British Southern Cameroons for a second time.

In a recent message that you addressed to the people of Cameroon, especially, those of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, you harped on the need to save the union and to work towards a federation rather than complete break-up of the union. Are you, as far as the ‘Ambazonians’ are concerned, not just crying in the rain?
The persons you call ‘Ambazonians’ stand for the break-up of the 1961 union of Anglophone British Southern Cameroons and Francophone Republic of Cameroon and the ‘restoration’, as they call it, of the ‘independence’ of the territory of the former British Southern Cameroons that they have renamed ‘Ambazonia’. Considering that the two territories of the former British Southern Cameroons and the former Republic of Cameroon have lived together for nearly 60 years since they united on 1 October 1961, we need not go to the extreme of breaking up the union. We should insist upon a return to the original intent of administering the union as a federation in which the two founding territories have equal status. If we succeed to obtain this, we will end the domination, marginalization, assimilation and impending takeover of the territory and people of the former British Southern Cameroons. We will do this without having to break up the union. I am convinced that if you ask the people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions to choose between a peaceful return to the federal system through dialogue and negotiation and obtaining independence through years and even decades of war, they would choose a peaceful return to federation. To die-hard ‘Ambazonians’, anything short of breaking up the 1961 union may sound like just crying in the rain, as you put it. But to the overwhelming majority of our people, it sounds differently.

Very recently, President Biya reshuffled his cabinet, appointing Anglophones to full minister positions in two key ministries – territorial administration and secondary education. Does this measure address the grievances of the Anglophones?
These appointments are a clear indication that the governing elites in Yaounde are feeling the effect of the relentless peaceful resistance that the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions have put up for 17 months now and which they are prepared to continue until the ‘Anglophone problem’ is addressed through a genuine and meaningful national dialogue. Prominent among the grievances of Anglophones is the phenomenon of ‘marginalization’, which involves keeping Anglophones away from decision-making centres at all levels – national, Regional, Divisional, local. One of the manifestations of marginalization lies in the fact that, in 56 years since the union of 1 October 1961, no Anglophone has ever been appointed as a full minister at the head of any of the strategic ministries, whose importance is depicted by the French expression of ‘ministeres de souverainete’, in charge of domains such as defence, territorial administration, finance, external relations, economy and plan, etc. On Friday, March 2, for the first time since 1 October 1961, an Anglophone was appointed to head a ‘ministere de souverainete’, namely, the Ministry of Territorial Administration. This appointment was undoubtedly prompted by the pressure exerted by Anglophones through the protracted peaceful resistance that they have pursued without interruption since October 2016. Does it address the grievances of the Anglophones? No, it does not, for at least two reasons. First, there is the controversial character of the person who has been appointed to that post. As is well known, the flames of this crisis were stoked from the very beginning by the provocative and dismissive rhetoric of Mr Paul Atanga Nji, who vehemently denied, and continues to deny, the existence of the ‘Anglophone problem’. No one who denies the existence of a problem can be relied upon to solve it. Secondly, as I said in reply to one of your earlier questions, the grievances of the Anglophones relate to domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover in an array of domains of our country’s governance. Therefore, an isolated act such as the appointment of one or two Anglophones to head key ministries is far from sufficient to address the grievances of the Anglophones.

Put in Mr Biya’s position, what would you do to address the current Anglophone crisis?
In the position of the President of the Republic and Head of State, I would be guided in my approach to the current Anglophone crisis by the paramount necessity to hold the nation together while effectively addressing the genuine grievances of the Anglophones. First, I would have to deduce from the long, peaceful resistance by the people of the Northwest and Southwest Regions that there does, indeed, exist an ‘Anglophone problem.’ To get an understanding of the full measure of Anglophone grievances, I would convene a national dialogue on the Anglophone problem in which I would personally participate. I would ensure that the dialogue is frank, inclusive and comprehensive as I explained earlier, and that it is conducted in such a manner that Cameroonians come to fully understand the ‘Anglophone problem’ in all its dimensions. From a full understanding of the problem I would direct that a solution be proposed that would bring about the cessation of the domination, marginalization, assimilation and takeover of the territory and people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions in all spheres of public life and institutional governance. Recognizing that this would entail a return to the federal system of Government in our country, I would engage and quickly complete the process for such return.

Is President Biya constitutionally empowered, or by any means right when he unilaterally declares that the present structure of the nation is not negotiable?
The form the state is governed by the Constitution, not by the President of the Republic. The Constitution that is in force today provides in Article 1 (2) that “The Republic of Cameroon shall be a decentralized Unitary State.” Like all other articles of the constitution, article 1 (2) can be modified at any time to provide for any form of the State that the Cameroonian people choose to have. For example, it can be amended to provide that Cameroon shall be an empire or a monarchy or a federation or a Centralized Unitary State, if the Cameroonian people so choose. Let’s not forget that, following Reunification in 1961 Cameroon became constitutionally a Federation. In 1972, the constitution was amended to make Cameroon a centralized Unitary State. If the Cameroonian people so desire, they can alter Article 1 (2) of the constitution in 2018 to make Cameroon a Federal Republic again.
In a democratic republic, any constitutional reform that affects the form of the state is preceded by a general public debate among citizens. Cameroon is a democratic republic as stipulated by Article 1 (2) of our constitution.
Furthermore, the constitution guarantees Cameroonian citizens freedom of expression. They are exercising this freedom when they publicly discuss the form of the State. Under our law, the President of the Republic, who is neither a monarch nor an emperor, is under, not above, the constitution. He must act within, not outside it. Neither the constitution nor any other law of the land gives the President of the Republic power to deprive Cameroonians of their constitutional right to discuss the form of the state with a view to amending Article 1 (2) of the constitution that is subject to amendment like any other article of our country’s constitution.
Interviewed by Charlie Ndi Chia

Journalists charged with being peace ambassadors

The advent of sociopolitical agitation climaxing in the Anglophone crisis of the last 15 months or so has brought into being a perilous circumstance for the media in Cameroon. And, in a profession that had initially exhibited a pronounced shortfall in both tact and proficiency propaganda for either of the contenders represented by Government and aggrieved Anglophones has become customary through the inadvertence of wanting to be seen to belong to the Joneses.

It is against this backdrop that during a press dinner organized by the Cameroon Community Media Network, CCMN Wednesday January 31, journalists were advised to practice peace journalism.

According to Alexander Vojvoda, Technical Organizer of CCMN, journalists should keep themselves safe first in order to be able to report on conflict situations. He however stated that as the fourth estate, reporters have the voice to either escalate the crisis or to join the peace voice. While calling on journalists to go in for peace journalism, he advised that information from the field should be weighed before dissemination. Vojvoda added that the effects of disseminating information should be put into consideration prior to its being propagated. “Since journalists are the voice of the voiceless, they should consider the effects at the school, economic, and social levels for the good of the public,” Vojvoda advised.

Going by him, there is a need for journalists to take a step back and see on which side they are standing; they should weigh each side and bring possible solutions to the crisis rather than being propagandists on either side which may instead fuel the crisis.

Journalists present during the press dinner where asked to each give their experiences and how they handle the current situation. It was discovered from almost all the media organs that journalists are often threatened for speaking the truth or for not being part of either of the propaganda. Many shared the ordeal they have experienced and are still going through since the crisis broke out.

While painting a picture of CCMN in 2017, the Secretary General, Kum Leonard said for 2018, they had a board meeting to look forward to activities for the year. According to him, it was agreed to design projects for workshops with journalists in 2018, set up a monitoring and evaluation scheme to follow up the projects. To him, it is their objective this year to increase membership and involve journalists in the network, especially, in this year of crisis and elections.

By Relindise Ebune

Reporters counseled to uphold professional ethics

Visibly impressed by the product of a pioneering journalism effort that combines topicality and respect for ethical reporting incarnated by the The Rambler newspaper, Fako Divisional Delegate of Communication, Olive Ejang Tebug epse Ndumea has advised the crew of reporters behind the success story to remain principled in their practice despite obvious challenges.

She was speaking Friday, February 2, during her maiden visit to The Rambler Head Office in Buea.

Charlie Ndi Chia, Olive Ejang Tebug

She said as newspaper reporters,they should always ensure that they publish the news in accordance with the five core principles of journalism viz; truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability.To her, as fundamental public opinion leaders, when journalists respect ethics, they are contributing to nation building, maintenance of peace and stability. “Journalists should uphold their call to responsibility as a repetition of blunders results to the loss of public credibility,”she said.

In this regard, Ejang said she could not over emphasize the relationship between newspaper institutions and the political world. To her, many newspapers are the mouthpiece of certain ideologies, openly supporting political models which in some cases as she put it, may lead to manipulation by politicians.

Given that 2018 is an election year in Cameroon, hence, a call to increased responsibility from the press, she said the Fako Divisional Delegation of Communication would endeavour to equip journalists with skills on ‘Crisis Reporting and Peace Building,’ ‘The Media and Elections Reporting.’

Taking the cue, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Rambler, Charlie Ndi Chia said he was extremely happy to suddenly find Ejang heading such a challenging office, especially as she was once his employee.

About the institution, he said The Rambler started in April 2016, and has predominantly female staff strength of about 80 percent and all of them are well trained. He continued that the institution has a mantra which is often on the back page of the newspaper. The Publisher stated unequivocally that, despite the difficulties involved, The Rambler tries to be as balanced as possible even though, every now and again, someone inadvertently runs riot and over steps their bounds. But he said in such cases, the attention of the individual is called to the fact that we owe a duty to ourselves as Cameroonians and to our society to stick as closely as possible to what the institution’s mission prescribes.

“We are very open to every opinion, very analytical and brave; we tell the story as we see it. We do mostly analytical journalism since we are weekly so that, when you read us, you read with a lot of pleasure and interest,” Ndi Chia said.

The Editor-in-Chief also revealed that his workers are all duly registered with the National Social Insurance Fund, but for those that are a bit lazy and are taking so much time to submit their documents. “As the publisher, I insist every worker must have a contract even if it has to be based on collective bargaining. Unlike most newspapers, we do not owe even month’s salary; we pay the little that we are supposed to pay no matter the odds,” he stated.

Ndi Chia made it clear that, even though as a newspaper they propagate certain issues and stand by them, his media house has taken a standpoint of a Cameroon where the equitable distribution of the commonwealth is the norm. Accordingly, he said, The Rambler is to all intents and purposes out to provide its own version of building blocks for the construction of an egalitarian Cameroonian nation.

By Nester Asonganyi

Letter to Unknown Soldier

Dear Unknown Soldier,

This letter is addressed to you because it is rightly assumed that you are the product of refinement through training and continuous mentoring. Unlike the ragtag terrorist agitators you are fighting, order is supposed to be ingrained in your personae. However, your recent presence in Manyu and Meme Divisions tend to invoke a rather sombre picture of your clairvoyance capacity, or its complete absence. Whatever the circumstance, tread softly, my compatriot.

Furthermore, judging from the way you prosecute assignments, certainly, on the instructions of your superior officers, there is the definite impression that you mistake all Anglophones for terrorists. More so, your indiscriminate shooting and killing of unarmed, hapless civilians, especially, on the occasion of the death of your colleague(s) allegedly killed by some faceless individuals who call themselves ‘Ambazonia Forces,’ is not a solution to the present face-off between Government and Anglophones.

The guerilla warfare launched against you by the “terrorists” has no doubt been slaying many of your peers. It is understandable that such situations might be difficult for you to accept because it presents a kind of defeat picture, but it is not true.

You might be the terrorists’ target but Ah! Mr. Soldier, mind you, hapless civilians are no substitute for the faceless individuals attacking you. You have the duty to locate, defeat and conquer them. Even if you kill all Anglophones civilians, you are not declared victorious or should I say, you are not safe yet-you will have no peace because your enemy still lives and intimidates.

Please Mr. Soldier; in the event where you are attacked in a particular locality by faceless individuals, do not in anger or in the spirit of revenge react by shooting indiscriminately at every living being on sight; razing down homes and rendering hundreds of fellow Cameroonians refugees in their own homeland.

You did this in Manyu and then in Meme. Have the “terrorists” stopped their activities? Of course not, so logical reasoning should tell you that, the guys perpetrating these inhumane acts on you are probably not from those localities and, so, would have little or nothing to regret after you raid in revenge. Mr. Soldier, by doing what you are doing to the local population, you only give them ideas that negatively change their impression of you.

By burning down entire villages, you immediately turn those people into your enemies because you treated them as such and that scare will take generations to heal. The point is, by doing what you do, you become as inhumane as the extremists. Remember, it is not in your place to inflict greater pain, loses and burden on your camp; when the people are shot, killed, maimed, rendered homeless, it is not the inhuman radical who will come to their rescue afterwards, but the Government.

In a sense, it is Cameroon that loses its human resources and not the terrorists, and this has tremendous impact on the country’s development. Analytically, if we continue on this lane, Mr. Soldier, “Vision 2035” would be a farce because the resources supposed to be put together for national development is being irrationally wasted.

If one puts together houses and properties torched in Manyu and now Meme, as well as the number of people rendered homeless, one can only begin to imagine the difficulties these people will go through in managing to pick up the broken pieces of their lives.

Please Mr. Soldier, you are out to protect civilians as opposed to killing and exposing them to danger. Remember that all lives matter and we are all Cameroonians before being civilian, military, Anglophone or Francophone. Please, shoot no more, and kill not innocent civilians in Anglophone localities.

Graduate from being destructive to protective soldiers!

By Nester Asonganyi

Slain police elevated to knighthood

As consoling as it may sound, posthumous decorations are more often than not provocations to the families of recipients of such belated recognition by the state for valiant actions actualized during their lifetime. This seems to have been the case of Senior Inspector of Police, Menye Minkoulou Emmanuel, who was brutally murdered at the Kombone mixed police and gendarmes checkpoint last January 5, 2018, by Ambazonian “freedom fighters” who has been posthumously decorated with Knighthood of the Cameroon Order of Valour.

He was decorated with this medal on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the Kumba City Grand Stand by Police Commissioner Mvogo, personal representative of the Delegate General for National Security, Martin Mbarga Nguele.

Slain police elevated to knighthood

During the solemn military honours, the fallen hero was described as a man who worked hard to protect citizens and an example of loyalty, bravery and sacrifice.

Before his death he worked in the Southwest Regiment for Highway and Traffic Control in Buea, from where he was deployed to Mbonge Sub-Division for special assignment in maintaining peace and order following violence that broke out in the area.

It should be recalled that on the night he was murdered, a set of boys came towards the security post claiming that they had caught a thief and the Commissioner had asked them to bring the thief to the post but before he could even ask two questions, a knife was put on his throat. The act was described by his colleagues as premeditated. This was according to his female colleagues who survived the attack.

Minkoulou Emmanuel, was born on December 9, 1983 in Nkong Mesa. After primary and secondary education where he obtained ordinary level, he entered the police academy where he graduated as first grade police inspector on July 2014.

He has served the state at Ebolowa Central Police Station, Tiko public security police station and the Campo IPONO National Security post. He was married and a father of four.

After the military honors in Kumba, his remains were taken to his native village for burial.

Meantime, the remains of Ndode Elvis Ejang, the forest guard who was mistakenly taken for a military man and was killed by “Ambazonian freedom fighters” in Konye was laid to rest in Tombel on Saturday, February 3.


Special Crimes Court mired in funds recovery failure

The inability of the Special Criminal Court to live up to its brief of adjudicating on and eventually recovering embezzled and/or misappropriated funds and other forms of corrupt practices perpetrated against the state, has led many concerned Cameroonians to begin worrying whether it has equally been cloaked in corruption, the cankerworms it had set out to thrust aside. Their inquisitiveness trails what has passed off for the court’s balance sheet, which revealed it has restituted just a “miserable sum,”that also, raises the spectre of snail-pace crawling.“Such sluggishness would mean better days for criminals,” they have further contended.

President Special Criminal Court, Justice Emmanuel Ndjere

The locale for this revelation was the installation ceremony of the new President of the SCC, Justice Emmanuel Ndjere. The “Procureur” General’s address at the installation bore that they have managed to restitute FCFA 4.5 billion  in the last 5 years and have heard 130 cases.

Taking a shot to flush out insinuations that the SCC exudes symptoms of corruption infection and that it is a toy crafted by President Paul Biya, to eternally contain individuals who threaten his position, he assured that,“the Special Criminal Court is a nonpolitical jurisdiction.It is not an automatic distribution of life sentences,” he concluded.

The freshly installed President of the SCC has sworn to bring all embezzlers of public funds to book and restitute pilfered state chattels. His response to the installation prescriptions, hammered on the urgency to build a corruption free nation. He stated that “it is our assignment to pass on a heritage worthy of the Republic to our children by protecting the good of the community.”

Presiding at the installation ritual at the Yaounde Special Criminal Court, Friday, February 2, 2018, the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso, charged the legal encyclopedia to uphold honesty and impartiality if he nurses hopes of rescuing the nation’s property from thieving Government officials. Minister Laurent Esso,equally, cautioned Justice Ndjere to leave no stones unturned in his assignment to serve justice to the people of Cameroon against embezzlers.

Justice Ndjere, erstwhile Secretary General at the Ministry of Communication was named to the headship of the SCC by President Biya, in June 2017. He succeeds Justice Yap Abdou, who is presently Advocate General at the Supreme Court and is expected to prosecute alleged corrupt Government officials and other bigwigs who have purportedly thieved chunks of dough from the Government treasury, the minimum being FCFA 50,000,000.

The 57 year old ex-student of the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM, has since 1990 tutored student magistrates of the establishment. He is author of close to a dozen books with the most recent being, “The Other Face of the Special Criminal Court or The Humanitarian Dimension of the President of the Republic His Excellency Paul Biya, launched same day he was initiated to take over office of President at the SCC.

It is worthy to note that the Special Criminal Court is set by law N° 2011/028 of 14 December, 2011 and modified by law N° 2012/011 of July 16, 2012. “The Court shall be competent to hear and determine matters, where the loss amounts to at least FCFA 50,000,000 relating to misappropriation of public funds and other related offences provided for in the Penal Code and International Conventions ratified by Cameroon.”

By Claudia Nsono

Caught between assailants and bruised army

Unceasing and perilous gunshot exchanges between yet to be identified civilians and regular soldiers that more often than not leave casualties on both sides have kept the army on red alert in the Northwest Region since the beginning of the New Year.

Injured Gendarme rush to hospital

The last days of January witnessed several gunshots and civilian/military confrontations more than ever before across the Region.

In Batibo, assailants reportedly stormed the town in the early hours of Tuesday, January 23 fired gun shots in the air and paraded some parts of the town. In no time, the whole town was panic stricken as parents rushed home their kids with everybody running for safety. While gun shots were recorded, it could not be determined who was doing the shooting.

In Pinyin, throughout the week a joint control team of police and gendarmes invaded the locality shooting indiscriminately and breaking into homes. A group of unidentified men had stormed the village earlier, disrupted the market and caused schools to shutdown. The military responses have been reflected in heavy crackdowns that have left scores injured and two civilian deaths. Shootings took place in Fundong, Belo and Kumbo and each time it happened, reprisal actions came from the men in uniform

The worst scenario after Tadu in Kumbo was in Mbingo, Belo Sub-Division of Boyo. As early as 9am on Thursday, February 1, a gang of 11 unidentified men sent news that they were to attack Mbingo and in no time they came face to face with elements of the national Gendarmerie. In a gun battle that ensued, two gendarmes were butchered and abandoned by the assailants. They are reported to have hijacked an oncoming car and fled the scene. The wounded gendarmes where then evacuated into the Mbingo Hospital and two of them, male and female gave up the ghost. Reinforcement was immediately sent and news of their imminent presence sent villagers in Kedjom Keku, Mbingo and throughout Belo to scamper for safety in bushes knowing the barbarity that soldiers are wont to inflict on vicinities where their colleagues loss their lives. On the morning of February 2, law and orderelements mounted road blocks at Belo Three Corners and returned every passenger and car coming from Njinikom and Fundong. In some cases, windscreens were shattered, passengers burgled and some beaten. Scores of people were arrested and Promise Mesuh lost his life in the melee.

By Jean Marie Ngong Song