National and International News Roundup: Tuesday 10 December 2019

There has. been widespread condemnation of the adoption of a bill on the promotion of bilingualism at the national assembly today. The bill gives rights for English and French to be used in all parts of Cameroon without consideration. Common law lawyers say the bill will progressively wipe out English language. MPs of the Social Democratic Front staged a walkout in protest. The Bill according to critics, is aimed at subjugating, assimilating and dominating minority Anglophones.

The rejection of all lists deposited by four factions of Union de Population du Cameroon (UPC) for next year’s elections has been raising debates. The oldest political party deposited more than one list in electoral districts and thus all were rejected by ELECAM. To some militants of the party, it is a calculated attempt to get the party out of the political scene.

Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) is still to make public the list of candidates that will participate in the 2020 twin elections.  Yesterday, the electoral body proclaimed the list of political parties validated. Meantime, parties rejected still have the room to appeal at the constitutional council.

Political parties whose candidacy files ahead of the February 9th, 2020 municipal elections were rejected by ELECAM have a total of seven days to appeal according to the electoral code. Those vying for parliamentary seats have two (2) days to appeal before the constitutional Council in Yaoundé, while those vying for the local elections have five (5) days to contest before local administrative courts in their respective municipalities according to the electoral code.

At least thirteen commercial motorcycles are still at the gendarmerie brigade in Mile 4 Limbe. The motorcycles were impounded today for transporting more than one passenger at a time. The forces of law and order are enforcing a decision from the administration aimed at reducing the high rate of insecurity.

Cases of human rights violation in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon are constantly on the rise.  From education to health and other social activities, those who live in the North West and South West are victims of human rights violation on daily bases perpetrated by security forces and separatist fighters.

A state of total fear and panic now reigns in Tokoulmari, a village in Kolofata subdivision in the Mayo Sava Division, Far North Region of Cameroon, following the slaughter of Five (5) family heads by members of the Boko Haram Terrorist group. Local reports say the men whose ages range from 45 to 56, were kidnapped and held hostage for several days before being gruesomely murdered. The unreported incident took place on the night of Sunday 8th and Monday 9th December 2019.  Locals say such acts are recurrent in the Far North, as soldiers have been redeployed from the area and sent to the Anglophone regions.

Inhabitants of the Adamawa region of Cameroon are still in shock following the death of eight (8) women in a road accident along the Tibati-Ngouandal stretch of road. They died on the night of Sunday, December 8th, 2019.  Local sources say the women were returning from a religious crusade when their vehicle collided with a truck transporting wood and coming from the opposite direction.

Securing elections and the electoral process was at the centre of a workshop at Hotel La Falaise in Douala today. The event brought together stakeholders of defence and security in Cameroon. The United Nations-led seminar in Douala is training security men on how to maintain peace during elections. Similar training has taken place in three different towns in Cameroon.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has pardoned more than 5,000 prisoners in a move aimed at reducing congestion in prisons. The president made the announcement on Monday as the country marked its 58th anniversary of independence.

Twenty-six male cross-dressers have been arrested at a birthday party in Kano state, northern Nigeria, the Islamic police say. Deputy commander Tasiu Ishaq said the young men, who were dressed as women, were detained on Sunday. “It is a shame that men and good citizens can put up such behaviour and act like women,” he said.

Heavy rains have battered parts of South Africa, submerging whole neighbourhoods and flooding coal mines and power stations in a nation already hit by electricity blackouts. At least 700 homes have been washed away near the capital, Pretoria, public broadcaster SABC reported.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is returning home early from a trip to Egypt to deal with the “electricity crisis”, a statement from his office says. The flooding of power stations after heavy rains has exacerbated electricity shortages, which are having an impact on the economy.

The US embassy in Liberia has temporarily suspended its non-immigrant visa operations and also limited its immigrant visa services. Consequently, a statement posted on the embassy’s website says, previously scheduled appointments have been cancelled.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has spoken movingly about his experiences during the Ethiopia-Eritrea war as he accepted this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. He was awarded the prize mainly for his efforts in ending the tension between the neighbouring countries. “War is the epitome of hell for all involved,” he said.

An Algerian court has sentenced two former prime ministers to long jail terms amid a huge corruption investigation. Ahmed Ouyahia was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Abdelmalek Sellal got a 12-year sentence. They were accused of abusing authority in a car manufacturing embezzlement scandal, AP news agency reports.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is hearing opening arguments accusing Myanmar of genocide. The case was brought by The Gambia. Its justice minister, Aboubacarr Tambadou, said he wanted to awaken the conscience of the world to stop the senseless killings of Muslim Rohingyas. Myanmar’s de facto leader, Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was in court to lead the defence. is not expected to speak until Wednesday.

(Foreign News Source: BBC Africa)

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