National And International News Roundup – 15th June 2020

Freelance journalist, Njoka Kingsley has spent a 30th day in detention. He was arrested on May 15th and held incommunicado until government succumbed to pressure to make his whereabouts public. Njoka is now at the Kondengui prison where he is awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

Akong Gilbert, a welder in Bamenda, North West Region has been arrested and detained by the military. He is suspected of producing weapons for separatist fighters. His family and sympathisers have termed his arrest as arbitrary, and expressed fears that he is being tortured.

The Douala International airport goes operational tomorrow. Ahead of the reopening, the SDO for Wouri Benjamin Mboutou led an evaluating team on a working visit at the airport today morning.

Six supposed pirates have been killed at Idabato in Bakassi by members of Cameroon’s Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR). The unit also retrieved weapons, money in naira and Fcfa, fuel and drugs from the vessel they attacked.

Uneasy calm reigns around commercial avenue and other quarters in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon after an all night shooting between separatist fighters and the military. Inhabitants say it a usual happening. Meantime, ghost town was equally observed today in the town as has been since 2016.

The population of Nkambe in Donga Mantung Division – North West Region is standing against gendarmerie brigade commander Danzabe Henri for threatening legal local fuel sellers. Following the intervention of the SDO for Donga Mantung Division last week for the release of the petrol sellers, there are fears that he might take revenge. The commander concerned has denied claims of carrying out the arrests in bad faith. To him, the security of the the population is top priority.

The court hearing of the vice President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement political party, Mamadou Mota and other detainees of the CRM party has been adjourned to Thursday June 18th 2020. Lawyers defending the detainees say they have been working to ensure a fair trial for their clients.

A commercial motorcycle rider dies in an accident around POZAM at the east entrance to the city of Douala. The boy was hit by a speedy truck while in an attempt to over take.

A total of 10,140 coronavirus cases registered in Cameroon as of today June 15th. Public health officials in Cameroon say there are two types of test procedures. The voluntary and tracking tests. Track test entails inviting suspected individuals for test while in voluntary, people get to the centre to carry out tests and know their status.

The respect of coronavirus preventive measures in Cameroon is constantly violated by most Cameroonians. In Douala for example, over loading in taxis and motorcycles is a practice under the watchful eyes of security officers. Many city dwellers also believe the wearing of face masks in public places is no longer obligatory.

Major Monebene Patrick is new Chief Medical Officer of the Unity Palace Infirmary. He was one of several others appointed today by President Paul Biya who named Captain Fissou Gilbert assistant Chief Medical Officer. He appointed Mr Minko Minko Abel as Secretary of the Higher Judicial Council and also named substantive and alternate members of the Higher Judicial Council.

Two soldiers have been arrested in Yaounde for trafficking in pangolin scales. They were caught with 450 kilograms of pangolin scales and later revealed the whereabouts of their accomplice who was immediately arrested too.

Some 20 young entrepreneurs will benefit from government funding in the weeks ahead. They will be selected from several others in an ongoing operation by the agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises. The selection process kicked off today.

Ekona in the South West Region has gone without electricity for a month now. It was plunged into darkness after the destruction of a transformer by separatist fighters who randomly fired shots in the air. Since then, locals say authorities have made no effort to replace the transformer.

Three young men have been killed in Muyuka, South West region of Cameroon by soldiers. The attack on suspected separatist fighters saw one captured. Sources say another managed to escape.

A dispute between the Apostolic Administrator of Buea, Michael Bibi and now former president of the Catholic University Institute of Buea, Father George Nkeze has taken a different turn. Calling for the reinstatement of Father Nkeze as CUIB President, his lawyer says the newly appointed administrator has caused irreparable damage and mistrust among students, faculty members and the laity and other well-wishers of the christian community.

Teachers of the Saint Benedict Catholic Bilingual College in Yaounde say their principal has called for an early end to classes so as to avoid paying them. The principal, the teachers say, had failed to pay them salaries in March as instructed by government. They believe his recent decision to end classes is so that he doesn’t have to spend a dime of state subvention for private schools on them.

Human Rights Watch says the government of Cameroon preaches virtue and practices vice in its fight against COVID-19. Human Rights Watch’s Senior researcher for Central Africa Illaria Allegrozzi regrets that the government of Cameroon is calling for a united front and at the same time blocking anti COVID-19 initiative of opposition party leaders and figures.

With efforts for a lasting solution to the anglophone crisis on an impasse, Dr Nick Ngwanyam MD has reignited the call for the adoption of a Confederal System of government as a way forward. The Anglophone elite says Cameroon must make use of a concept that has matured overtime and forge ahead in their diversity. He says confederation which is the merging of two independent and equal entities is what Cameroon needs and not federalism which is the breaking down of an entity.

A house belonging to a certain Noel Ndanjim has been razed to ashes in Baba II village – Mezam Division of the North West Region. Reports say the act was carried out by soldiers in the area. The past days have seen an increase in clashes between government troops and separatist fighters in the Anglophone regions of the country.

A young man is said to have committed suicide in Mutengene, Fako Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. According to local sources, he decided to take away his life after misunderstanding with his girlfriend though the information is yet to be confirmed by family members.

The people of Banen in the littoral region of Cameroon say they are against a plan of the government to take over their land. Meeting on Douala today, they said they were forced out of their villages during the fight for the independence of Cameroon, and must not be made everlasting IDPs in their own country.

Prime Minister, Head of Government Dr Joseph Dion Ngute has been voted as the ‘2019 Man of the Year’ by readers of The Guardian Post Newspaper.The Prime Minister was unveiled as the ‘2019 Man of the Year’ on Friday, June 12 during The 2019 Guardian Post Achievement Awards held in Yaounde. According to reports, the jury revealed, PM Dion Ngute received 73.88 percent of the votes cast by readers of the paper ahead of His Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi who had 26.12 percent of the votes.

The police in Mozambique say they have arrested six religious leaders who tried to get around the coronavirus restrictions by holding services for their followers up in the mountains. Officials in Milange district close to the border with Malawi say they switched from holding their services in their normal premises to try to avoid getting caught for breaking the ban on large gatherings. Mozambique has recorded less than 600 cases of coronavirus and three deaths.

Turkey says it will continue working with Russia to try to halt the fighting in Libya, despite the last-minute postponement of high-level talks on Sunday. The two countries support opposite sides in the conflict. There’ve been media reports that the meeting between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers was put off because of differences over the fate of the Libyan city of Sirte. It’s held by Russia’s ally, renegade Gen Khalifa Haftar. But government forces – backed by Turkey – are trying to capture the area.

In Kenya, more claims have emerged of the police using heavy handed techniques to enforce the country’s coronavirus curfew. The BBC’s investigation series, Africa Eye, has found evidence that a resident of the Nairobi slum of Mathare died after being beaten by the police during the curfew. And a motorbike taxi rider said he had lost an eye when a policeman hit him with a baton as he was making his way home shortly before the start of the curfew. The allegations were put to the Kenyan police but they refused to comment.

The courts in Malawi have issued two separate orders stopping the government from sending the country’s Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda on leave pending retirement. By law, judges in Malawi have to retire when they reach 65, but Mr Nyirenda will only turn 65 at the end of next year. The government said that seeing as he had accumulated so many leave days – more than he had time left to serve – he should step down now. But the courts have tried to put a stop to this. Malawi’s courts and the presidency have been on a collision course since judges nullified President Peter Mutharika’s re-election last year and ordered fresh presidential elections, which will now be held on 23 June.

The leader of a Sudanese militia which fought a war in the western Darfur region 20 years ago has denied committing war crimes. Ali Kushayb was speaking at his first appearance at the International Criminal Court. He was a leader of the Janjaweed – a notorious pro-government militia which carried out atrocities against the civilian population. A warrant for his arrest was issued 13 years ago listing 50 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and torture. He surrendered last week in the Central African Republic where he’d been in hiding since February when Sudan announced that it would hand over suspects wanted by the ICC.

The Nigerian president has ordered an investigation after security guards reportedly shot into the air at his presidential palace. The incident happened at Aso Rock following an altercation between one of the president’s aides and his wife’s bodyguards. They had been arguing about the need for a presidential aide to self-isolate after returning from a trip. Some of the First Lady’s staff have been arrested. No casualties were reported. The incident happened last week but came to light at the weekend when both President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha spoke about it publicly.

(Foreign news: BBC)

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