National and International News Roundup: Monday 10th February 2020

Cameroon President Paul Biya acknowledges the high consumption of drugs by young Cameroonians. To the president, that has pushed some young people in the North West and South West Regions to pick up arms against the state of Cameroon. In an address to youth in Cameroon, he expresses condolences to the family of a young teacher, Tchakounte Boris Kevin, stabbed to death by a student in Yaoundé. President Biya further made it clear that nothing currently stands in the way of decentralisation. Finally, he reiterated calls for Ambazonian fighters to drop their weapons.

President Biya’s declaration that a little over 500.000 jobs were created in Cameroon last year has been met with a lot of scepticism. The figures have been highly contested by some youth leaders who think they have been exaggerated. Mr Biya further challenged young people to be independent and contribute to nation-building.

Young people in Cameroon are poised to participate in activities tomorrow 11th February 2020 for the celebration of the 54th edition of the National Youth Day. The nature of the celebrations and the question of whether they will take place in the anglophone regions remain unanswered, given that inhabitants of the Regions have been indoors, in response to a lockdown imposed by separatist fighters.

The Social Democratic Front Party in Fako is pointing accusing fingers on some militants of the CPDM party for fraud in the course of yesterday’s elections. They are calling on the competent authorities to take responsibility and bring perpetrators of the act to book.

A video taken shortly after polls closed yesterday shows some bigwigs of the ruling CPDM party including Fon Chaffa, Uphie Chinje Melo, and Moh Sylvester celebrate election results in Bamenda. The video shows them drinking and making merry as they celebrate “first results” of the polls. Taken at the Bamenda Ayaba hotel, some say, shows the lavish life state officials live to the detriment of the suffering masses.

Post-election violence erupted in the Mayo-Tsanaga Division, Far North region of Cameroon today. A group of men said to be UNDP party officials and militants armed with sticks and cutlasses attacked some buildings, smashing glasses and threatening to burn the buildings. This was after they realised election results were not in their favour as the CPDM took the lead.

Bamenda like most towns in the North West and South West Regions is still experiencing a lockdown after Sunday’s elections. Yesterday few people voted across the region marked by insecurity. Separatist fighters imposed the lockdown to paralyse elections and the celebration of national youth day on the 11th of February.

The Anglophone crisis has been neglected once more at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia. This comes despite the pressure and increased calls for the body to step into the conflict that has left thousands dead and millions scrambling for safety. The AU summit’s theme is ‘Silencing the Guns’ for peace and development’.

A house in Quarter 2, Mutengene in the South West region has been razed to the ground in a fire incident this morning. The fire whose cause remains unclear started as early as 6:30 AM and left a lot damaged, according to eyewitnesses. Items consumed by the inferno included bed, chairs, cooking gas, dresses, stuff and many others.

A number of electoral fraud cases were reported yesterday as voters went to the polls to partake in the municipal and legislative elections. A video released on social media today shows an unidentified lady stuffing several votes at a time in ballot boxes. A polling station chairperson was arrested yesterday for allegedly doing same and voting several times.

A Cameroonian student who recently contracted the deadly coronavirus in China is said to have been successfully treated. However, doctors say he will be observed for 14 days before being discharged from the hospital.

MTN users in Cameroon today expressing fears following messages that their mobile money accounts have been debited. This is not the first time this is happening, as some have in the past reportedly lost money from their accounts by unapproved transactions after similar happenings. MTN is yet to give an official response to the situation. 

Residents of Mamfe in the South West region remained indoors today due to clashes between Ambazonian separatists and soldiers. The car of Mamfe central deputy mayor, Agbor Bebe is said to have been set ablaze. An attempt was also made to burn down the house of a customs officer in the area.

An appeal court in France has fined Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president €30m ($33m; £25m) for using public money to fund his lavish lifestyle. Teodorin Obiang, 50, had challenged his 2017 conviction for embezzlement, but the court give him a heavier sentence by refusing to suspend the fine. The court upheld a ruling of a lower court to seize his assets in France. He is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who is Africa’s longest-serving leader. The president has been in power in the oil-rich state since 1979 and appointed his son as his deputy in 2012.

BBC Africa Eye has uncovered shocking video evidence that torture is being used by multiple branches of the Nigerian police and armed forces. Torture is illegal in Nigeria. But images from social media show that a particular form of torture – a technique known as ‘tabay’ – is widely used in the interrogation and punishment of detainees, including children.

The Kenyan government will provide snacks for the first 30,000 people who will arrive at former President Daniel arap Moi’s burial on Wednesday. Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya said there will be a seat, fizzy drink, bread and water for the 30,000 who will be sitting under a dome tent. Mr Natembeya said the rest of the mourners will be allowed into the home but will not get sitting space in the tent. He said the snacks were also available for on “a first-come, first-served” basis urging mourners to arrive early. Transport will be provided from Nakuru town to Mr Moi’s Kabarak home about 20km (12.4 miles) away. Some Kenyans on social media have voiced their misgivings about the provision of free snacks to mourners. They say it is a ruse to counter the prospects of low turnout at the burial, by using food and drinks to entice jobless Kenyans. (Foreign News Source: BBC Africa)

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