National and International News Roundup – January 9th, 2020

US diplomat Herman J. Cohen has expressed worries over what he qualifies as horrifying crimes against humanity being committed by the Cameroon military in the English Speaking regions. On his Twitter account, Cohen questions why international media are turning a blind eye to prevailing crimes against humanity in the central African nation.

The SDF District chairman in Tubah Subdivision, North West region of Cameroon and four of his Collaborators are still in the hands of Kidnappers. According to a video on social media, they were kidnapped while taking part in a preparatory meeting ahead of February 9 twin elections in Cameroon. The kidnappers say they will only be released after the municipal and legislative elections set for February 9, 2020.

Ni John Fru says the attacks suffered by the SDF and its supporters in the North West region of Cameroon are regrettable. Reacting after multiple kidnaps, burnings and violence perpetrated by suspected armed separatist fighters on SDF party members, Ni John said he cannot understand why “only the SDF is targeted, whereas CPDM party officials in the region are also taking part in the upcoming twin elections”.

The Social Democratic Front, SDF has boycotted the traditional annual ceremony to present New Year wishes to President Paul Biya. The party has not justified their action, but Ni John Fru and other party officials were present at the Unity Palace in previous ceremonies.

President Paul Biya has urged countries in the Lake Chad basin to join forces and eradicate Boko Haram insurgency. He was speaking today while receiving New Year wishes from diplomatic representatives and ministers in Cameroon. Paul Biya said terrorism, migration and economic hardship threatened the world in 2019 and demanded a collective fight effort.

Diplomatic representatives in Cameroon have recognised the non participation of separatist fighters in the national dialogue last year. Paul Patrick Biffot, Dean of the Diplomatic Corp addressing Paul Biya Thursday said he is optimistic that more measures will be taken for lasting peace in Cameroon. He also congratulated the regime for measures taken regarding the crisis already.

One day after her husband, First lady, Chantal Biya is set to receive New Year greetings tomorrow Friday, January 10, 2020. Wives of members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ministers and other guests are expected to be present. The ceremony will also take place at the Unity Palace in Yaounde.

Tension persists in Kidongi, Meme Division, South West region of Cameroon. Inhabitants are still off the streets following a tense gun battle between the Army and Ambazonian fighters, according to local sources. They add that the gun Battle began late Wednesday January 8, and extended to Thursday January 9th, 2020.

A peaceful strike by disgruntled PhD and Doctorate Degree holders sidelined from recent recruitment process in Cameroon has been called off. The protesting candidates announced the suspension of the strike action Thursday January 9, after a meeting with the minister of higher education, Jacques’s Fame Ndongo and members of the committee charged with their recruitment process. The minister in the meeting acknowledged, there were lapses in the initial phase of recruitment.

Some 350 government troops have arrived Bamenda ahead of the February 9 2020 elections. The soldiers are to be dispatched to the different divisions and sub divisions for peace maintainance according to the government. A similar measure has been taken in the country’s restive South West region.

The Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Bello Bouba Maigari has signed a decree appointing officials in the central and decentralized services of his ministry. Critics say the tourism sector has great potentials and can contribute immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product – GDP but it is underexploited. The World Bank places Cameroon among countries whose tourism contributes between 1 and 1.9 % of its country’s GDP.

Minister of sports, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi has received International boxer, Francis Nganouin Yaounde. Francis who is in Cameroon for vacation was received yesterday. The Minister says they talked about the boxer’s exceptional journey and global success as well as his development projects aimed at providing rural areas in Cameroon with sporting infrastructures.

Legendary artist, late Charles Lembe will soon be laid to rest in Yabassi, Littoral region. The funeral celebration of the artist who passed away on December 6, 2019 starts on Thursday and he will be buried on Saturday January 11, 2020.

The Minister of Justice yesterday signed a decree appointing officials in the central and decentralized services of his ministry. Minister Laurent Esso ‘s move specifically affected the penitentiary administration, a sector that has been widely criticised over the years. According to a prison insider, a majority of prisons in Cameroon are old and unsanitary with poor hygiene conditions and difficulties accessing health care, compounded by overpopulation.

At least 17 prisoners have died over the past week in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest prison, a charity says. Aid workers say the deaths were caused by a lack of food and medicine, as well as poor hygiene.

Police in northern Nigeria say they have rescued 27 children from two illegal orphanages operating in Kano and Kaduna states.The children were reportedly rescued from the Du Merci orphanage, which has existed for 25 years.

The Nigerian doctor who led a team of more than 70 medics to separate conjoined twins Goodness and Mercy Martins has told the BBC he is confident they are strong enough to go home and begin their lives. Emmanuel Ameh said the girls, who have spent their first 15 months at the National Hospital Abuja, are now able to stand up on their own. They were operated on at the government-run hospital in the capital, Abuja.

Somalia-based jihadist group al-Shabab says its attack on a Kenyan naval base used by US forces was carried out with “guidance” from the head of al-Qaeda. Its spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage made the comments in a 20-minute audio message released on Wednesday.

A protest against the alleged rape and sexual assault of women by police officers has turned violent in Malawi, against the organisers’ pleas. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital, Lilongwe, to demand the arrest and prosecution of police officers named in an official report by the Malawi Human Rights Commission as having sexually assaulted women in Nsundwe, west of Lilongwe. Angry protesters reportedly threw stones at police officers, buildings and passing cars.

The Ukrainian plane that crashed Wednesday killing 176 people was shot down by two Russian-made surface to air missiles (SA-15), according to a US official familiar with the intelligence. The US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down. The morning after the incident, US analysts discovered the data but took another day to verify. Canada which lost 63 of its citizens has said the strike may have “been unintentional”. (Source Foregn News: BBC Africa)

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