National and International News Roundup: Monday 03 February 2020

The office of Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, in Tombel in Cameroon’s restive South West region was reportedly razed to ashes yesterday. Mimi Mefo Info understands from locals that it was followed by a gun battle between Ambazonia fighters and government forces. “There was an exchange of bullets between the separatist fighters and the military from 9 p.m. to about midnight,” says a resident. While a relative calm has returned to the area, locals say they are still in a state of fear and uncertainty.

The head of the UNIVERS party in the Vina Division, Adamawa Region has left the party for the ruling CPDM. Ousmanou SHEBOU made the decision over the weekend on the basis of the “incompetence” of his running mate one week after the start of the electoral campaigns. The move is expected to have dire consequences on his former party during the February 9 elections.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe today presided over the opening ceremony of the annual conference of heads of central and decentralized services of his ministry. This was under the theme “the revitalization of large value chains with a view to operationalizing the agricultural revolution: the case of cocoa and rain-fed rice”.

Secondary Education Minister, Pauline Nalova Lyonga Egbe today presided at the official launching ceremony of activities for the 15th edition of the national bilingualism week. Held under the theme “Bilingualism, an essential springboard to national unity, a foundation for peace and the emergence of Cameroon.” The ceremony was hosted in Edea, in the Littoral Region.

Three civilians are reported dead in a military raid in Ikata, Muyuka Subdivision, Fako Division, South West region.
Houses are said to have also been razed to ashes, as residents flee for their lives. Locals of Owe village confirmed earlier today that a similar raid was also ongoing in their locality, leaving them in a state of uncertainty.

A Cameroonian infected by the coronavirus in China is receiving medical and psychological care in the hospital. Wang Yingwu, China’s ambassador to Cameroon in a press conference in Yaounde today said the Cameroonian student is one of 17.238 people infected by the coronavirus in China as of the 2nd of February 2020. 21.000 suspected cases are under examination, he said. The diplomat calls on Cameroonians not to panic while reassuring that his government is doing all to contain the virus.

Elections Cameroon says 95% of voting materials have already been dispatched to the field. ELECAM in the days ahead will organise training for presidents of polling centres. To them, the workers also need the training to minimise fraud.

34 out of 58 political parties running for elections in Cameroon next Sunday are campaigning on the field. This means 24 parties are not campaigning. This is an observation by the National Communication Council in Cameroon. The President, Peter Esoka says some media houses are not giving equal air space to political parties. He equally frowns at limited media coverage of women running for the election.

The government of Cameroon says over FCFA 40 billion constituting part of internal debts have been paid. The money is paid directly to the account of people and enterprises concerned. The Ministry of Finance is to pay FCFA 100 billion internal debt by the end of the exercise .

Political parties and candidates in the North West are today sceptical to get into the hinterlands for campaigns. This follows weekend’s attack of a convoy of the CPDM party that was heading to Mbengwi in Momo Division. In the process, six people were wounded.

Cecilia Momo, candidate for legislative elections in Wouri East has called on people to vote for her political party, PADDEC. The wife of Cameroon’s Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Justice says she masters problems affecting women and young people in the constituency.

Locals in several villages in Mayo Tsanaga Division, Far North region of Cameroon are fleeing their villages because of frequent attacks from militants of Boko Haram. They say the insurgents kill, destroy and set ablaze villages. They are calling on the Cameroon government to help.

At least 13 pupils have been killed in a stampede at a primary school in western Kenya, local media report. The stampede broke out at Kakamega Primary School, north-west of the capital Nairobi, on Monday afternoon. Reports say children were leaving classes for home at about 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT) when the stampede happened.

Thirteen people in Rwanda have been killed after heavy rain struck on Sunday night, causing landslides, authorities say, quoting provisional figures. Six of those died inside their homes in the capital, Kigali.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has held a historic meeting with Sudan’s sovereign council head Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. This is the first sign of the thawing of relations between the two nations following the overthrow of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir last year. He was a fierce opponent of Israel, and his government was accused of helping arm militant Palestinian group Hamas. Sudan is also on the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism” because it once gave refuge to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Libya’s warring parties are meeting at the United Nations in Geneva for a round of talks involving their military representatives. The meeting was agreed as part of continuing dialogue to end nearly ten months of fighting around the capital Tripoli.

Hopes have been dashed that an experimental vaccine could protect people against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The National Institutes of Health has stopped its HVTN 702 trial, of more than 5,000 people in South Africa, as it found the jab did not prevent HIV. Experts expressed “deep disappointment” but added the search for a preventive HIV vaccine must continue. Such vaccines do not contain HIV and therefore do not pose any danger of giving HIV to an individual.

China’s Wuhan city which is at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak is home to approximately 5,000 African students. Many are drawn to the city by the large number of universities. Some would have left the city before the outbreak, but those that have stayed have watched many of their international classmates evacuated from the city by their own governments. Many African students we have spoken to feel angry that their governments have no plans to evacuate them.

(Source for Foreign News: BBC Africa)

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