Somalia suicide car bomb attack rocks capital, killing at Least 79

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(The lack of a moral/religion ‘code’, such a spiritual sickness) (oldpoet56)

 

Somalia suicide car bomb attack rocks capital, killing at Least 79

A soldier is seen next to the wreckage of car that was damaged during the suicide attack in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN)At least 79 people are dead and 149 more injured after a massive car bomb exploded at a busy intersection on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, according to a government official.

Government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar also earlier told CNN that the attacker drove his vehicle into the “Ex-control Afgoye” checkpoint, a well-known junction that links the south of Somalia to the capital.
Mukhtar added that university students were among the dead.
The attack happened during rush hour in the Somali capital at about 8 a.m. local time, and civilians and soldiers are among the dead, police said.
Police conduct security searches at the checkpoint, but there is also a taxation office located nearby and the area is heavily populated with civilians and security forces.

Nurses from Mogadishu's Madina Hospital push a wounded person on a stretcher.

Police have warned that the death toll could rise as many of the wounded have been rushed to hospitals.
Images from the scene showed multiple wrecked vehicles with shards of twisted metal nearby as well as a minibus marked with blood.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu confirmed two Turkish citizens had died in the attack.
“May Allah’s mercy be upon our 2 citizens and innocent Somali brothers&sisters who lost their lives in the heinous terrorist attack,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on his Twitter account. He added Turkey would continue to stand with Somalia in the fight against terror.
Saturday’s attack came two weeks after at least five people were killed in a seven-hour battle at a hotel popular with lawmakers and security officials in the Somali capital.
In February, the group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a crowded shopping mall that left at least 10 dead. It was also behind three car bombings last November that killed at least 52 people with about 100 more injured.

China: Fraud suspects caught in Ivory Coast

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Fraud suspects caught in Ivory Coast

Chen Huizhi
Fraud suspects caught in Ivory Coast

Shanghai police / Ti Gong

The two suspects who are said to have been running a hotel in the Ivory Coast when they were apprehended by Shanghai police.

Two people alleged to have been involved in a fundraising fraud have been flown back to Shanghai from the Ivory Coast, police said on Tuesday.

A man surnamed Peng and a woman surnamed He left China in March 2017. They had been wanted by Interpol since October last year.

Peng, a native of Hunan Province who worked in the iron ore industry, and He are said to have established investment companies in Shanghai and Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, in September 2010 promising high returns.

Police said they established another company in Shanghai in April 2013 and by December 2014 the three companies owed investors from Shanghai over 70 million yuan (US$10 million), while branch companies in Chongqing and Shandong Province also had problems paying investors.

With the total owed amounting to over 100 million yuan by January 2015, police said, the two continued to collect 180 million yuan from the public by promising 35 percent returns from an investment project that didn’t exist.

Police said these funds were used to pay previous debts and for the pair’s own benefit.

An investigation began in September 2017 when police in Changning District received reports from some investors, but the two suspects had left the country.

Police said they received information in February this year that the two were running a hotel in Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

Together with their Ivory Coast counterparts, Shanghai police apprehended the two at the hotel on November 28 and they were flown back to Shanghai on December 2.

Fraud suspects caught in Ivory Coast

Shanghai police

The two suspects alleged to have been involved in a fundraising fraud are accompanied by police as they arrive in Shanghai from Ivory Coast.

Worldwide “Fox Hunt”

Shanghai police said they caught 108 suspects from over 20 countries and regions so far this year as part of China’s “Fox Hunt” campaign targeting economic crime refugees.

On September 5, a man surnamed Ma was extradited from Greece to China.

Ma, who ran a website said to be linked to illegal fundraising sites and who is alleged to have taken kickbacks from those sites for attracting investors, left China in June last year after the case came to light, police said.

Ma was apprehended by Greek police on March 25 this year when he was about to take a flight from Athens.

On November 2, a suspect was returned to Shanghai from Ethiopia after turning himself in.

The suspect, a man surnamed Lu, who worked for a flooring company, is alleged to have illegally sold company products at low prices along with a colleague surnamed Fang. Fang was arrested on a charge of embezzlement.

On November 21, a man surnamed Jia who is said to have issued fake value added tax invoices resulting in a loss of over 2.3 million yuan in tax to the government turned himself in to Shanghai police. He went to Brazil in June 2017.

Algeria´s Presidential Campaign Marred by,Protests, Apathy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Algeria´s Presidential Campaign Marred by,Protests, Apathy

Sunday, 1 December, 2019 – 12:45
In this Oct. 18, 2019, file photo, Algerians take part in a protest against the government in Algiers. Algeria’s presidential campaign is in trouble. Candidates are struggling to fill rally venues, two campaign chiefs have quit, voters have pelted candidates’ headquarters with tomatoes and eggs, and a 9-month-old pro-democracy movement calls the whole thing a sham. Poster reads “An illegitimate Government that decides the Future of the Country.” (AP Photo/Toutik Doudou, File)
Algiers- Asharq Al-Awsat
Algeria´s presidential campaign is in trouble. Candidates are struggling to fill rally venues, campaign managers have quit, voters have pelted campaign headquarters with tomatoes and eggs, and the country´s 9-month-old pro-democracy movement calls the whole thing a sham.

The five candidates seeking to replace President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the Dec. 12 election have failed to captivate a disillusioned public. Bouteflika was pushed out in April after 20 years in power amid an exceptional, peaceful protest movement, and now demonstrators want a wholesale change of political leadership.

Instead, the election is managed by the long-serving power structure of this oil- and gas-rich country with a strategic role in the Mediterranean region. Instead of new faces, two of the candidates are former prime ministers and one is a loyalist of Algeria´s influential army chief.

The Hirak protest movement held their 41st weekly demonstrations Friday, denouncing the presidential election. But for the first time, thousands of pro-government supporters held their own rally Saturday.

The candidates have tried to convince voters that taking part in the election is the only alternative to chaos, an allusion to the civil war that ravaged Algeria in the 1990s. But that argument falls flat among the protesters, who have been overwhelmingly peaceful, with demonstrators calming each other down and ensuring that no one provokes police. It´s a sharp contrast to the sometimes deadly protests and security crackdowns shaking Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries in recent weeks.

Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, considered a leading candidate, was heckled in Tlemcen, Guelma, Oued Souf, Annaba, while he had to cancel a meeting altogether in Maghnia on Algeria´s western edge.

His campaign director in the important region of Kabylie resigned, citing pressure from his family. Many in Kabylie oppose holding the election at all.

Candidate Abdelamdjid Tebboune, considered the candidate of army chief Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, had to cancel his first rally in Algiers because not enough people signed up.

His campaign manager also resigned, without explanation. And then one of his leading campaign funders was jailed on corruption charges.

Another candidate, Abdelakder Bengrina, began his campaign on the esplanade of the central post office in Algiers – the emblematic site of the protest movement. He had to interrupt his speech to dive into his car under police cover to escape a crowd of angry demonstrators. The portrait on the balcony of his campaign headquarters has been bombarded with eggs and tomatoes.

Many poster boards around Algiers meant to hold candidates´ portraits remain empty. In other sites, Algerians have covered the portraits with garbage bags and signs reading “candidates of shame.”

In some towns of the Kabylie region, protesters have blocked access to campaign offices by piling the entrances with bricks.

Tensions mounted last week when Algerians started holding evening marches to denounce the elections. Several demonstrators were arrested, and some have already been convicted to prison terms for disturbing election campaigns or destruction of public property, according to protest organizers.

Given troubles in the capital and Kabylie, the candidates are focusing on small campaign events in areas where the protest movement is less active.

The president of the body overseeing the election, Moahamed Charfi, has minimized the campaign troubles, saying the candidates are “accepted by the population.”

Army chief Gaid Salah has yet to publicly acknowledge the problems either, instead praising Algerians in a recent speech for “the adherence of the people around their army, chanting, with one voice, patriotic slogans expressing their collective the will to head massively to the polls on December 12, in order to make the presidential election succeed and thus contribute to build a promising future.”

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round, the election goes to a second round in the ensuing weeks.

Sudan: Hundreds March in Khartoum Seeking Justice for Dead Protesters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Hundreds March in Khartoum Seeking Justice for Dead Protesters

Saturday, 30 November, 2019 – 12:45
FILE PHOTO: Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a rally calling for the former ruling party to be dissolved and for ex-officials to be put on trial in Khartoum, Sudan, October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Hundreds of protesters marched Saturday through downtown Khartoum to demand justice for those killed in demonstrations against Sudan’s now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.

More than 250 people were killed and hundreds injured in the months-long protests that erupted in December 2018, according to umbrella protest movement Forces of Freedom and Change.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was deposed by the army on April 11 after the demonstrations triggered by an acute economic crisis.

Crowds marched from a central Khartoum square to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s offices, demanding authorities deliver justice for those killed and also find out about protesters who went missing.

“Blood for blood!” chanted protesters gathered in front of Hamdok’s offices in the capital, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

Dozens of policemen stood guard.

“We want justice for martyrs. We are afraid that the criminals might not be judged,” said protester Nizar bin Sufian.

He said protesters welcomed Thursday’s decision by the new authorities to dismantle Bashir’s regime and former ruling party.

“But we have not seen any moves by the government to find those missing or to begin trials of those responsible for the killing of protesters,” bin Sufian told AFP.

Bashir and several senior members of his regime are in prison, while the veteran leader himself is on trial for alleged graft.

Since August, Sudan has been ruled by a joint civilian-military sovereign council headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

A transitional cabinet led by Hamdok has been tasked with the day-to-day running of the country.

The sovereign council is tasked with overseeing an overall transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.

10 animals were killed in a fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

10 animals were killed in a fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio

At least one giraffe was seen running away from the fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park on Thursday.

(CNN)Ten animals were killed when a fire broke out Thursday at the African Safari Wildlife Park in northern Ohio, Danbury Township police said.

Firefighters were called to the Port Clinton park at 6:15 p.m. after reports of a fire at a barn housing animals, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and park officials said.

 

Three giraffes, three red river hogs, three bongos and a springbok had been inside the barn before the fire, Officer Carolyn DeMore with the Danbury Township Police told reporters. A bongo is a large forest antelope and the springbok is a medium-sized, gazelle-like antelope.
Holly Hunt, the co-owner of park, told CNN there are 300 other animals in the park and all have been accounted for.
“We are grateful that our staff is safe and no one was injured, but the loss of the wildlife that we care for every day is tragic for our team members who love these animals,” park officials said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Hunt said a caretaker initially spotted the fire Thursday following a power flicker in the property. She said the facility had briefly lost power on Wednesday.
Some of the park’s animals are usually housed in the heated barn during this time of the year.
The fire was not fully contained Thursday night and firefighters were expected to continue battling the blaze overnight, Danbury Township Fire Chief Keith Kahler said.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The Ohio State Fire Marshal will arrive at the park Friday to investigate the blaze, Kahler said.
Firefighters found propane tanks stored inside the barn, Kahler said.

 

A video recorded by a bystander shows two giraffes running away from the flames as smoke pours from the barn. DeMore said first responders found at least one giraffe at a nearby pond.
Visitors to the 100-acre drive-thru park can feed several animals on their drive, including giraffes, zebras and bison, according to the park’s website.
The park was closed for Thanksgiving. It will remain closed Friday as authorities investigate the incident and the staff mourns the loss.
The African Safari Wildlife Park was established in 1969. It’s located about 37 miles southeast of Toledo, Ohio.

At least 25 dead as plane crashes into homes in Congo

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

At least 25 dead as plane crashes into homes in Congo

A small passenger plane carrying at least 17 people crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday in Congo’s eastern city of Goma.
Image: Smoke rises from the scene after a small plane crashed in Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Nov. 24, 2019.

Smoke rises from the scene after a small plane crashed in Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Nov. 24, 2019.Pamela Tulizo / AFP – Getty Images

By The Associated Press

GOMA, Congo — A small passenger plane carrying at least 17 people crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday in Congo’s eastern city of Goma, killing at least 25 people, including people on the ground.

There are two survivors, including one member of the crew, according to the National Border Health Program, which confirmed 25 dead in a statement later Sunday. The survivors are being cared for at a local hospital, it said.

The 19-seater aircraft crashed into residential homes in the Mapendo district near Goma’s airport in the North Kivu province shortly after “missing” its takeoff, according to provincial governor Nzanzu Kasivita Carly. Black smoke rose from the plane in the morning, whose wreckage could be seen amid destroyed homes as dozens of men tried to help with the rescue efforts. The smoke cleared as rescue workers carried bodies in stretchers and hundreds gathered at the scene.

Image: Rescuers and residents gather near debris of a small plane after it crashed in Congo's eastern city of Goma on Nov. 24, 2019.
Rescuers and residents gather near debris of a small plane after it crashed in Congo’s eastern city of Goma on Nov. 24, 2019.Justin Kabumba / AP

Placide Kambale, a local pilot, said he took a taxi to the scene of the crash to help out. When he got there, the plane was on fire.

“I called other young people from the neighborhood, they helped me to try to remove those who still moved,” he said. “We have managed to recover two that was quickly sent to the hospital,” but then the fire expanded.

Joseph Makundi, coordinator of the North-Kivu civil protection, said that at least 25 people had been killed.

The Dornier 228-200 was owned by private carrier Busy Bee and was headed to Beni, about 220 miles north of Goma in the same province.

Congo’s government said there were 17 passengers aboard the plane, according to the manifest.

The U.N. mission in Congo said it sent an Emergency Crash and Rescue team with two fire engines to support Congolese authorities.

Plane crashes are frequent in the central African nation of Congo because of poor maintenance and relaxed air safety standards. None of Congo’s commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are allowed to fly into European Union airspace because of safety concerns.

Lack of Food Pushes S.Sudan Opposition Troops to Desert Training Camps

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Lack of Food Pushes S.Sudan Opposition Troops to Desert Training Camps

Sunday, 20 October, 2019 – 09:15
A South Sudanese SPLA soldier is pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equator state on August 20, 2015. (Getty Images)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Hundreds of South Sudan opposition fighters are leaving cantonment sites set up to register and train them under a deal to end the country’s war, claiming lack of food and medical supplies, authorities say.

The process of gathering fighters into military camps with a view to forming an 83,000-strong unified army is a cornerstone of a September 2018 peace deal.

But the operation has been riddled with delays and lack of funding, hampering the readiness of the force.

The problem is one of the major stumbling blocks as a deadline looms on November 12 for President Salva Kiir, his longtime rival Riek Machar and other rebel groups, to form a power-sharing government.

At one of the largest opposition cantonment sites in the village of Pantit near the northern town of Aweil, hundreds of soldiers sleep under trees and are forced to shelter with locals in their mud huts, known as “tukuls,” when it rains.

Lieutenant General Nicodemus Deng Deng, who is in charge of the cantonment site, told AFP that it had been over two months since they had received any food.

“The food got finished and now we are left with no food on the ground,” said Deng, adding that about 700 registered troops had since left the camp due to the conditions.

“We do survive on community food, we go to cultivate with them, go and collect groundnuts from their farms as a way of survival,” said Deng.

The peace agreement required that at least half of the 83,000 forces be barracked, trained and deployed by September 2019.

Last week the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement, said that of 25 designated opposition cantonment sites, 24 were operational and of 10 barracks for government forces, six were operational.

However, registration was still ongoing and training had yet to begin.

‘Desperate, angry’

William Gallagher, head of the ceasefire monitoring entity CTSAMM, told AFP during a visit to Pantit that it was positive the forces there had been registered.

“However, unfortunately, many of those soldiers that have been registered have since deserted because of unacceptable living conditions,” he said.

“It is a very, very, severe problem that thousands and thousands of soldiers and their family members are facing right now across South Sudan at the cantonment sites, without food, mostly without water, and all of them without medicine of some kind and they are desperate, they are angry and they see no solution to the problem.”

Japan and China have donated money for water and rice at the cantonment sites, but western donors have been loath to fund the process, with diplomats fearing it could be used as a recruitment exercise, and citing a lack of fiscal transparency from Juba.

Meanwhile, the situation at the barracks has heaped pressure on local communities, themselves struggling to survive.

“We have (soldiers) who come to us here and they have no water for drinking and they also don’t have jerry cans for collecting water, but we the hosts are also suffering, when… our children fall sick with malaria we don’t always get medicine,” said 50-year-old Pantit resident, Ajok.

South Sudan’s war, which broke out two years after achieving independence in 2011, after a falling out between Kiir and Machar, has left nearly 400,000 dead and displaced nearly four million people.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said last week that while food security has improved, more than half of the population was still going hungry and millions depend on food aid.

Machar arrived in Juba Saturday for another round of talks with Kiir in a bid to salvage the peace deal and resolve the security issue and the thorny question of determining the number of states and their boundaries.

Tunisian Judiciary Rejects All Appeals Against Presidential Elections Results

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Tunisian Judiciary Rejects All Appeals Against Presidential Elections Results

Tuesday, 24 September, 2019 – 11:00
Presidential candidate Kais Saied speaks as he attends a news conference after the announcement of the results in the first round of Tunisia’s presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia September 17, 2019. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed
Tunis – Mongi Saidani
The Administrative Court in Tunisia rejected six appeals by former presidential candidates who lost in the first round of elections, limiting the second round to candidates Kais Saied (Independent) and Nabil Karoui for Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia Party).

Tunis Administrative Court’s spokesperson Imed Ghabri told Asharq Al-Awsat that Seifeddine Makhlouf, Abdelkrim Zbidi and Slim Riahi’s demands were rejected for not meeting the formal requirements to file the appeal.

Neji Jalloul, Hatem Boulabiar and Youssef Chahed’s demands were also rejected.

Thus, the administrative court, which specializes in resolving electoral disputes, has initially legitimized the results of the first round of the presidential race, pending the possibility of appeal by appealing candidates.

The appeals submitted against the results of the first round accused the winning candidates of relying on political publicity in the election campaign as well as violating the rules of the campaign.

While announcing the election results on Sunday, Independent High Authority for Elections (IHAE) President Nebil Baffoun said violations committed are not election crimes and don’t affect the results announced.

The first round of the presidential elections resulted in the victory of law professor Saied, who was ranked first among 26 candidates and won 18.4 percent of the votes, and Karoui, ranked second with 15.6 percent of the votes.

They will both compete during the second round, which is scheduled to be held on October 6 or 13.

On the other hand, Chahed suggested forming an alliance with Zbidi, the resigned defense minister who is backed by Nidaa Tounes party, following their loss in the first round of the elections.

Observers say both parties need one another to return to the competition in the parliamentary elections, during which power-sharing will be determined for the next phase.

Ebola virus: Tanzania failing to provide details, WHO says

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Ebola virus: Tanzania failing to provide details, WHO says

Ebola workers in DR CongoImage copyright REUTERS
Image caption Ebola workers in DR Congo, where the latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rebuked Tanzania for failing to provide information about possible Ebola virus infections.

The WHO said it had learned of one suspected fatal case in Dar es Salaam and two others but, despite repeated requests, was given no information.

Tanzania has said it has no suspected or confirmed cases.

The latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000 in eastern DR Congo, with Uganda battling to stop any spread.

An epidemic that ravaged parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016 killed more than 11,000 people.

What is the WHO complaining about?

A statement on Saturday said that on 10 September the organisation had learned of a suspected infection in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s most populous city, in what would be the country’s first Ebola case.

It said the patient had been to Uganda, shown symptoms of Ebola in August, tested positive and died on 8 September. It said that the woman’s contacts had been quarantined.

The WHO said it had unofficial reports of two other possible cases.

It said: “Despite several requests, WHO did not receive further details of any of these cases from Tanzanian authorities.”

It added: “The limited available official information from Tanzanian authorities represents a challenge for assessing the risk posed by this event.”

What has Tanzania said in response?

On 14 September, Tanzania said there were no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in the country.

Media caption Fear and myths: Why people are still in denial about Ebola

However, it did not directly address the case of the woman mentioned by the WHO and provided no further information.

Last week, US Health Secretary Alex Azar criticized Tanzania for its failure to share information on possible cases.

Tanzania is heavily reliant on tourism, which could be affected by confirmed cases.

What is the latest on the outbreak?

It began in the eastern DR Congo in August last year and is the biggest of 10 Ebola outbreaks to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola crisis in the country a “public health emergency of international concern”.

There have been more than 3,000 cases and more than 2,000 deaths.

Other nations are on high alert. Four people have died after being diagnosed with the virus in Uganda, which has maintained largely successful screening centers along its border.

The disease can spread rapidly and similarly rapid measures are needed to control it, including hand-washing regimes and quarantines.

What is Ebola?

The Ebola virusImage copyright BSIP/GETTY IMAGES
  • Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat
  • It progresses to vomiting, diarrhea and both internal and external bleeding
  • People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, feces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola
  • Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure

Cameroon on a path to ‘national dialogue’ as Anglophone crisis continues

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Cameroon on a path to ‘national dialogue’ as Anglophone crisis continues

A man in Cameroon wears a shirt featuring President Paul Biya, taken March 20, 2008, via RNW media/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0.

Cameroon’s leader Paul Biya, in an infrequent outing on Tuesday, September 10, announced talks to put to rest the crisis rocking the country’s English-speaking northwest and southwest regions – an impasse elapsing for the fourth year.

The conflict broke out in late 2016 when English-speaking Cameroonians began to protest the ongoing marginalization from the Francophone majority, who say the French-speaking majority government has consistently oppressed their language, culture and economies.

The protest movement, led mostly by teachers and lawyers, evolved into a militant separatist movement calling for the secession of English-speaking Cameroon. The government clamped down on Anglophone separatists and the conflict led to close to 2,000 people killed and over 500,000 displaced, according to the United Nations.

President Biya, who has been in power for 37 years, said the discussion would pull together people from a vast array of the country and will be chaired by Anglophone Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute.

“The dialogue in question will mainly concern the situation in the northwest and southwest regions. The dialogue will, therefore, rally all the sons and daughters of our beloved and beautiful country, Cameroon, to reflect on values that are dear to us, namely: peace, security, national unity and progress,” President Biya said on public television CRTV.

Gina Sondo 🇨🇲@GinaSondo

In view of the National Dialogue, ’s PM Dion Ngute will meet the following…

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
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However, there are concerns the dialogue may be limited and remote-controlled by the country’s leadership.

Agbor Nkongho, a human rights lawyer, who was part of the initial protests, wrote on Twitter on September 11, reacting to the President’s speech:

Agbor Nkongho@AgborNkonghoF

The call for an inclusive dialogue is very appreciated. I urge those who will be attending to call for the release of all those detained in connection with the crisis, the need for constitutional amendment and also to ensure that the form of the state is equally discussed.

169 people are talking about this

The Anglophone crisis in context 

After World War I, Britain and France shared control over Cameroon. France ruled French Cameroon and Britain administered a territory then-called British Southern Cameroons.

French Cameroon gained independence in 1961 as La Republique du Cameroun while British Southern Cameroons voted to join La Republique du Cameroun to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon, made up of two states: West Cameroon (English-speaking) and East Cameroon (French-speaking).

However, the first president of Cameroon, Ahmadou Ahidjo, who held power from 1960-1982, abolished the federal system in 1972. Today, there are 10 regions in the United Republic of Cameroon, made of 8 French regions and 2 English regions.

Anglophone Cameroonians have long lamented suppression from Francophone Cameroonians, who have dominated the country’s leadership since inception.

In 1991, efforts made to incise the abscess of the Anglophone problem with a similar call for dialogue fell flat. The All Anglophone Conference in 1993 and 1994 also made no impact:

Dibussi Tande@dibussi

When Anglophone members of the Committee on Constitutional Reform, set up by @PR_Paul_BIYA in 1993, proposed an alternative Federal Constitution, the President instead convened a “Grand Debat National” to water down & sidestep Anglo demands

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Nonetheless, President Biya recently announced a national dialogue to take place at the end of September, and several groups have already submitted proposals on how to resolve the crisis.

In one of them, the opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, led by vice-president Joshua Osih called for a neutral personality to chair the talks. Several Anglophone separatists are calling for the release of their leaders from prison after receiving life sentences.

Doubt, hope, fear ahead of talks

Netizens took to Twitter to express hope as well as doubt about the impact of the national dialogue plan. Solomon Amabo called for the need for a third-party presence to ensure transparency and inclusivity:

Solomon Amabo@solomon_amabo

Dialogue:’Who will I dialogue with?asked Mr Biya?He turns around and calls for National Dialogue,to dialogue with who then?Dialogue with ready-made resolutions-One and indivisible Cameroon?Only negotiations with 3rd party presence(UN,USA,etc)can be binding.We are not in 1961!

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Peter Tah also worries about inclusivity and wonders how peace is possible without a clear ceasefire:

Peter Tah@TFomonyuy

It’s increasing clear that the national dialogue will focus on issues like bilingualism, social cohesion, cultural diversity, return of refugees, reintegration of ex-combatants & rebuilding of affected areas in the Northwest & Southwest regions of .

Peter Tah@TFomonyuy

Looking at how predialogue talks are unfolding, it’s evident that this will be far from being inclusive. The regime seems to be picking & choosing those who would attend. Plus if this is dialogue on a crisis involving two parties, how come one party gets to draw up the agenda?

See Peter Tah’s other Tweets

However, Biya clarified on Monday, September 16, that the national dialogues will focus on “bilingualism, cultural diversity and social cohesion, the reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas, the return of refugees and displaced persons, the education and judicial system, but also decentralization and local development,” according to Cameroon Online.

The United Nations says it has taken in the resolve by Cameroon’s leader Paul Biya to settle the armed conflict in the country’s English-speaking regions.

The UN urged inclusive talks to end the conflict that has persisted for nearly four years:

The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement made today by President Paul Biya on the launch of a national dialogue process in Cameroon. He encourages the government of Cameroon to ensure that the process is inclusive and addresses the challenges facing the country. He calls on all Cameroonian stakeholders, including the Diaspora, to participate in this effort.

Still, the September talks are announced amidst ongoing violence and a new surge of refugees fleeing insecure situations — including lockdowns and school closures for the last three years — in the northwest and southwest regions.

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India Travel BLog

A Blog about Indian Tourism

Danny's wor(l)d

have a great read here!!

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