National and International News Roundup: Wednesday 12 February 2020

Human Rights Watch says separatist fighters and Cameroonian military subjected people of the North West and South West Regions to gross human rights violation from November to February 9th. In a report published today, Human Rights Watch says kidnappings, killings, intimidation and threats from the military and separatists before elections characterised this period. The international human rights watchdog accused both Ambazonian Separatists for rights abuses and the Cameroon government of failing to protect citizens that took part in Sunday’s elections. To the body, “rather than protecting civilians from these attacks, government forces committed their own violations against them”, harming “several civilians, including two men with intellectual disabilities”. Several irregularities have also been reported about the process. The report also says the boycott call made by separatists and the CRM party greatly affected the turnout and participation of Cameroonians in the 2020 twin elections

Activities today gradually resumed in Bamenda and other towns in the North West Region of Cameroon, after a lockdown imposed by separatist fighters. The aim of the lockdown was to paralyse voting and the celebration of the National Youth Day.

Classes resumed timidly on the campus of the University of Buea today following a weeklong ghost town imposed by Ambazonian separatists. Today’s classes were held despite warnings from Ambazonian separatist, Eric Tataw that anyone spotted out of their house in the restive North West and South West regions will be shot dead. As the lockdown comes to an end, many students are returning to the regions in preparation for exams.

The president of the Cameroon Association of English-Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ), Viban Jude says journalists’ lives are as valuable as those of authorities they travel with and should be treated as such.  The secret to getting better treatment, Viban Jude suggests, is for journalists to start telling their own stories as no one else will do so for them. He was talking with regards to a journalist who almost lost his life covering elections on Sunday in the South West Region of the country.

The National Episcopal Conference has discredited Cameroon’s twin elections that held on Sunday. His Lordship Abraham Kome, president of the conference mentions that in a polling station in Sangmelima, just 85 people voted out of 310 names on the electoral list. In Batouri, an 80.7% rate of absence was recorded. Several instances of fraud were also recorded alongside post-electoral violence.

The final CAF inspection team for CHAN 2020 has started its mission in Douala. The team arrived today and is expected to visit infrastructure to host the tournament. The team is set to stay until the draws for the competition are known.

The dead body of a suspected bandit has been removed from a pit toilet at Misondo in the Mvan neighbourhood of Yaoundé, Centre region of Cameroon. Local sources say the man was on the run, after being chased by the local inhabitants who accused him of stealing.  Running through the neighbourhood, he is said to have fallen into a pit toilet and died. His body was retrieved by the army rescue unit.

The deadline for the deposition of petitions by political parties that are not satisfied with the conduct of February 9th polls is 12:00 midnight today Wednesday, February 12. This is in conformity with article 133 of the Cameroon electoral code.

Three petitions from two political parties have been tabled at the constitutional council in Yaoundé as of 5:pm Wednesday, February 12th. Two petitions are from UDP and one from the CPDM party. UDP wants election results from Ndawara polling station and in Misaje town cancelled for fraud while the CPDM wants election results from Ngaoundere 1,2 and 3 to be cancelled for non-respect of campaign time by UNDP. In a correspondence addressed to Clement Atangan President of the constitutional council, the CPDM outlines two reasons, one of which they say is the failure of the UNDP party to respect the dates limited for campaigns ahead of the elections. The CPDM says the UNDP party campaign extended to 2 am Sunday 9 February 2020

PURS political party of Serge Espoir Matomba wants municipal elections cancelled in Obala Center Region of Cameroon. According to a complaint filed by Nke Fridolin, head of the PURS party municipal list for the Obala council, they won the municipal elections, but the victory was stolen by the CPDM in complicity with ELECAM officials

Five political parties will run 40 councils in the West region of Cameroon. These parties include the CPDM, SDF UMS, CDU and MCNC. The CPDM has the highest number of councils winning 30 of the 40 councils.

The Cameroon People’s Democratic Party (CPDM) wins Douala 4 and 5 councils.  Despite 20.3% participation rate at Douala 4, CPDM wins 31seats, the SDF 7, PURS 3 while UFDC political has no council seat. At Douala 5, the CPDM won the council with 43 seats. PCRN 11 seats, SDF 7 seats and PADDEC party have no seat.

Complete Official Results of the Municipal elections in the City of Douala are now known.  The economic capital of Cameroon will henceforth be controlled from its six subdivisions by the ruling CPDM party, for the next five years. According to official results, the CPDM won in all the 6 councils, with an absolute majority in Douala 2 and 6 municipalities

A soldier has been killed by a member of a vigilante group in the mayo Tsanaga Division Far North region. Local sources say the civilian was preparing to go on a security mission with soldiers when he wrongly operated his weapon killing the soldier.

The British government has suspended its funding of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the body that runs the international organisation from London, the BBC has learned. UK diplomats have told Lady Scotland, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, that Britain’s annual £4.7m voluntary contribution will be withheld until her secretariat improves its financial procedures. The Secretariat insisted it was implementing recommendations made by external auditors. The UK decision came after Lady Scotland was criticised by auditors for “circumventing” usual competitive tendering rules when she awarded a lucrative consultancy contract to a company run by a friend.

It is “way too early” to predict the end of the coronavirus epidemic despite an apparent slowdown in the number of new cases in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. “This outbreak could still go in any direction,” WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus warned. Earlier, China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases – 2,015 – for two weeks. The virus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected 44,600. The number of new daily infections reported by Chinese authorities hit a peak last week at close to 4,000. The WHO has been able to track down the source of transmission in all but eight of the 441 cases of the virus outside China, its head of emergencies Michael Ryan said.

Lawyers for South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma have dismissed reports that he will be in parliament on Thursday for his successor Cyril Ramaphosa’s annual state of the nation address, saying is still receiving medical treatment abroad. A tweet posted earlier on the official Twitter account of parliament said Mr Zuma would attend the event, along with his two predecessors – Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki. (Foreign News Source – BBC)

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