The Cameroon government has denied torturing journalist Samuel Wazizi to death. Accusing the pressman of working with separatist fighters, the ministry of defence says he died of a malaise suffered in detention. The statement comes after weeks of intense pressure for government to provide Wazizi dead or alive.
President Paul Biya has promised to launch an investigation into the death of Samuel Wazizi. This was revealed by French Ambassador, Christophe Guilhou after being received in audience today by the President.
Journalists in Yaounde will be marching to Ekounou in the center region tomorrow. Led by the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ, they say they want to see the body of their colleague, Wazizi which government says is deposited in the mortuary. They will be accompanied by a family member of Wazizi’s.
Journalists await instructions from the Cameroon Trade Union of Journalists (SNJC). Shortly after government announced that Wazizi died in custody, SNJC President, Denis Nkwebo said “journalists will take responsibility from this moment.”
Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate for Africa and Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs says it is time to keep the spotlight on. Reacting to government’s announcement of Wazizi’s death, he says the perpetrators should be held accountable.
“One death is too many… We will not back down. We will not let go. We will continue to stand till you’re no longer in power to kill us.” These are the words of Kah Wallah in response to government’s announcement of Wazizi’s death. The politician led members of the Standup for Cameroon movement in an all black protest for justice for Wazizi today.
Many continue to ask questions after the death of Wazizi. Though government confirmed officially today that Wazizi died in Yaounde on August 17, social media users dispute the claim that he did not die of torture. Many have so criticised government for proceeding with court hearings despite being fully aware that the journalist had passed away. The move they say shows malice on the part of government.
Samuel Wazizi’s family and close friends have opened up about his life and the last moments they spent with him. His elder brother, Abogho Henry Ndoga, says in addition to being a journalist, Wazizi was a committed farmer that has invested in the domain with the aim of providing a brighter future for himself and junior ones.
As calls for justice for Wazizi intensify, there is also a campaign for the release of other pressmen still behind bars. One of them is Njoka Kingsley Fomonyuy who was kidnapped from his home at Carrefour Mutzig Douala by unidentified gunmen on May 15, 2020 and has not been seen or heard from since then.
Prime Minister Dion Ngute has asked Foreign Affairs Minister, Lejeune Mbella Mbella to speed up the repatriation of Cameroonians stuck abroad. Talking about videos showing Cameroonians stranded abroad, the PM said they are “sensitive images that challenge Cameroonian diplomacy.” Over a thousand have been repatriated since the first lockdown in mid March.
Elixir Covid and Adsak Covid are the names Douala Archbishop, Samuel Kleda has given to his coronavirus treatment. He made the declaration in a press conference today in Douala. The clergyman says he has treated over 1300 persons using the mixture already.
A seven-month old baby stolen in Bonaberi, Douala has been found. The suspected baby thief, a convict released from Newbell prison a few weeks ago is being held by members of the national gendarmerie.
The Ayah Foundation has solicited legal help from Prof Maurice Kamto in the case against Nkongho Success and others. Ayah Ayah, leader of the foundation had promised to go as far as he can with the case. Ayah made the promise targeting Nkongho Success and others who accused the Ayah Ayah Foundation of aiding separatist fighters in the North West and South West regions.
Thousands of people in Mali have taken part in a protest calling on President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita to step down due to the escalating jihadist and inter-communal violence in the country. The rally, in the capital Bamako, was organized by the Front For Safeguarding Democracy – a new alliance made up of the main opposition parties and some civil society groups. It is led by an influential and radical Imam, Mahmoud Dicko, who has been calling for talks with the Islamist militants.
In Nigeria’s main cities of Lagos and Abuja, rights campaigners have been out on the streets to express anger following several recent cases of sexual violence against young women – including gang rapes. Over the last week the hashtag #JusticeforUwa has been trending on social media after a 22-year-old student, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, was raped inside a church and died two days later after being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher. Dozens of women carrying placards urged the authorities to do more to protect women and girls and to seek justice for the victims.
An appeal court in Burundi has upheld the decision to jail four journalists who were arrested in October while reporting on a rebel attack in the north-west of the country. Térence Mpozenzi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Egide Harerimana and Christine Kamikazi from an independent publication, Iwacu, were accused of “an attempt on the nation’s security”. Friday’s ruling means they are to serve the rest of their two-and-a-half-year jail terms. Iwacu owner Antoine Kaburahe told the BBC the ruling has come as a shock.
There are reports from northern Mozambique that 12 people have died, including several children, when a boat sank in the bay of Pemba. Thirty-five people survived after swimming ashore on Wednesday. But they were then apprehended by the police on suspicion that they could be recruits to an Islamist militant group that has been mounting attacks in Cabo Delgado province.
The UN human rights chief has warned of spreading violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, saying some of the incidents may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes. Michelle Bachelet said around 1,300 civilians had been killed in several separate conflicts between armed groups and government forces over the past eight months. She said she was appalled by the increase in brutal attacks on innocent civilians by armed groups in DR Congo.
The Kenyan authorities have banned all single-use plastics, such as water bottles and straws, from national parks, beaches, forests and other protected areas. The start of the ban coincides with World Environment Day and comes three years after Kenya announced one of the world’s strictest bans on plastic bags. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Kenya hosted two million tourists a year.
(Foreign news: BBC)