Cameroonian bloggers working under the banner of the Cameroon Bloggers Association have launched a campaign to mobilize the Cameroonian public around the urgency of defeating the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. The goal of the campaign is threefold: highlight the threat posed by the terrorist group in Cameroon, show support for Cameroonian troops who have so far held back the Boko Haram onslaught, and express solidarity with the people of the North region who have been hardest hit by Boko Haram.
The first part of the campaign will be primarily online and begins today, January 19, 2015, with bloggers publishing articles on various aspects of the fight against Hoko Haram and encouraging Cameroonians on social media to replace their Twitter profile pictures and Facebook cover and profile pictures with special banners and buttons specifically created for the campaign. The campaign organizers also hope to engage a worldwide audience on twitter using the #StopBokoHaram hashtag.
The second phase of the campaign will include activities on the ground in Cameroon.
To download banner, click on image below for a full size pop-up, then right click on pop-up image.
Impact of Boko Haram Insurgency on (Northern) Cameroon Whatever the reasons for the failure of Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, the consequences have been disastrous for Cameroon, with the Far North region bearing the brunt of the group’s indiscriminate savagery. The Cameroon side of the border with Borno state is now dotted with ghost villages, many razed to the ground by Boko Haram or simply abandoned by frightened inhabitants who now make up the estimated 30,000 internally displaced persons in the region. In addition, over 100 schools remain closed since the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year. A bridge connecting Nigeria and Cameroon destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in May 2014 (c) AFP
Boko Haram’s attacks have brought the once thriving economy of the “Grand North” to a screeching halt. The economic downturn in the region which began in 2012 had by June 2014 become a full-fledged economic crisis. According to Rene Sadi, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration,
Cameroon can no longer remain on the defensive under the guise of respecting a neighbor’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when there is no effective sovereign on the other side of the border, and when that neighbor’s territory is being occupied by a mutual enemy.
Funeral procession of 26 Cameroonian soldiers who died during clashes with Boko Haram in the Far North region in August 2014(c) LCCLC Facebook page.
During the May 2014 Paris Summit on security in Nigeria, Cameroon’s president Paul Biya, along with other leaders from the region, declared total war on the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram following a series of high profile kidnappings of foreign nationals in Cameroon and the kidnapping of over 200 school girls from the town of Chibok in Nigeria. That declaration of war seemed to have had the opposite effect as Boko Haram stepped up its attacks on Cameroon. In fact, the Paris summit had barely begun when about 200 Boko Haram militants carried out an unprecedented attack on Cameroonian soil, kidnapping 10 Chinese engineers in the town of Waza.
Here is the full text in English of Law No. 2014/028 of 23 December 2014 on the suppression of acts of terrorism: Members of Cameroon's Rapid Intervention Battalion practice their marksmanships skills (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Elsa Portillo).
CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION I: PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This law relates to the suppression of acts of terrorism
The provisions of the penal code, the criminal procedure code and the military justice code that are not repugnant to this law shall remain applicable.
The offences provided for in this; law shall fall exclusively under the jurisdiction of military tribunals.
Artist: Daphne EP: Reflection Label: Stevens Music Entertainment Genres: World, Afro-Soul, Reggae Released: November 2014 Available on: iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play In an era where anyone with a catchy hook and access to a voice processor can be promoted as the next big recording artist by a horde of eager promoters and fawning supporters, buying into the social media hype and hysteria surrounding the pre-release of new songs and albums is generally a recipe for disappointment. The budding Cameroonian urban music scene, for example, is replete with a dizzying number of songs and artists who promised more than they delivered and then faded into oblivion - or stubbornly stayed around to the dismay of the listening public. Once in a while, however, an artist comes along who actually lives up to the hype.
On November 4, 1982, Ahmadou Ahidjo, president of the United Republic of Cameroon resigned from office and handed over to his Prime Minister, Paul Biya, who was sworn in on November 6, 1982. In this audio excerpt, we listen, first, to Ahidjo announcing his resignation in a speech to the nation, then to Biya being sworn in as President of the Republic by Solomon Tandeng Muna, Speaker of the National Assembly.
In this fiery Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) interview, Mola Njoh Litumbe explains why the 1961 (re)unification between the British Southern Cameroons and the French-speaking "La Republique du Cameroon" remains an unconsummated act, an illegal union.
This interview was broadcast during the Feb. 23, 2014 special edition of "Cameroon Calling" dedicated to the union of the two Cameroons.
Barnaby Philips. (September 4, 2014). Another Man’s War: The Story of a Burma Boy in Britain’s Forgotten African Army. U.K., Oneworld, 336 pages. Available on Amazon UK (sept.) and Amazon.com (Oct).
About the Book In December 1941 the Japanese invaded Burma. For the British, the longest land campaign of the Second World War had begun. 100,000 African soldiers were taken from Britain’s colonies to fight the Japanese in the Burmese jungles. They performed heroically in one of the most brutal theatres of war, yet their contribution has been largely ignored.
Isaac Fadoyebo was one of those ‘Burma Boys’. At the age of sixteen he ran away from his Nigerian village to join the British Army. Sent to Burma, he was attacked and left for dead in the jungle by the Japanese. Sheltered by courageous local rice farmers, Isaac spent nine months in hiding before his eventual rescue. He returned to Nigeria a hero, but his story was soon forgotten. Barnaby Phillips travelled to Nigeria and Burma in search of Isaac, the family who saved his life, and the legacy of an Empire. Another Man’s War is Isaac’s story.
Click here to go to the companion website for the book.
About the Author Barnaby Phillips is a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera English, which he joined at the time of its launch in 2006. His documentary Burma Boy won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. Previously, he was for fifteen years a correspondent for the BBC, reporting primarily from Africa. Phillips grew up in Kenya and now lives in Islington, North London. This is his first book.
We have never delayed cooperation [with Nigeria]. We always agree to exchange information. We said that if the Nigeria government is ready to undertake a very important attack against Boko Haram, they have to inform us in order to protect our border in order to put troops and information services in order to prevent [Boko Haram] from entering our country. This has always been the principle accepted by both countries.
“What we were reluctant to accept is to authorize a foreign army to penetrate our soil, because we already have what we need in order to face the situation,” said Tchiroma. “We are ready to engage a coordinated cooperation ... so together we deal with them. This has always been the position of our government.
Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon's Information Minister and Government spokesperson.
Click on player below to listen to complete interview.
In July 2006, I wrote an article in reaction to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Part of that article was published on my blog under the title Israel: The Right to (Self) Defend and not to (Collectively) Punish. However, I never got around to publishing the other part of the article which was a more personal perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it joined scores of other articles that I have never completed or published for one reason or the other. As Israel’s 2014 ground offensive in Gaza continues unabated, I have gone back to my archives to unearth this long forgotten article which I am now sharing with my readers – unedited – exactly eight years after I wrote it. Needless to say my views remain unchanged by events of the last eight years and by the ongoing offensive in Gaza. Read on:
As part of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, a Zimbabwean poet Batsirai Chigama added her voice to campaign with this poem dedicated to the missing girls of Chibok.
Us the gentle souls whose wombs bear scars not erased by time Us whose hearts militants brutalize, death they sow recklessly our future they take liberties to destroy time stands still deeper each day that passes the void erupts ... to this gnawing, mad-like disbelief silent clouds hover on the sad empty chair like vultures in wait as we watch the dinner grow cold again, tonight.
Befeqadu Hailu, Abel Wabela, Atnaf Berahane, Mahlet Fantahun, Zelalem Kibret, and Natnael Feleke (all members of the Zone 9 blogging collective) and journalists Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye were arrested on April 25 and 26, 2014 in Addis Ababa. We are particularly saddened that four Global Voices translators — Hailu, Wabela, Kassaye and Kibret — are among those detained. Since 2012, the Zone 9 blogging collective has worked to foster civic engagement and critical commentary about social and political issues in Ethiopia. Despite difficult conditions, they have exercised their right to free expression in the interest of promoting peaceful dialogue and debate.
Global Voices is a community bloggers, activists, writers, and translators from 137 countries. The universal human right to free expression is fundamental to our mission: to tell underreported stories from around the world and defend the rights of everyone to speak freely and without fear. We are outraged by this flagrant violation of our friends’ rights to free expression and deeply concerned for their safety. We cannot remain silent.
Blogging is not a crime. On May 3 — World Press Freedom Day — we as a community demand that Ethiopian authorities release our blogger colleagues and friends, and all other jailed journalists in Ethiopia.
Interviewed by Dibussi Tande for Global Voices Online (View original interview in Frenchhere)
Global Voices Online: Although the Cameroonian blogosphere is not so well known, it is certainly a source of crucial information about Cameroon, especially during this current period of uncertainty that has seen a minister arrested and kidnappings on the rise. Dibussi Tande talked with Florian Ngimbis, president of the Cameroonian Bloggers Association (CBA) and winner of the Best Francophone Blog award during the 2012 Best of the Blogs Awards (the BOBs), to assess the state of the local blogosphere.
Florian Ngimbis receiving the Young Francophone Writer Award in 2008.
Kah Walla is the first woman to ever run for the Presidency of Cameroon. At 47, this entrepreneur, activist and political leader is internationally recognized for her expertise in management and her strong stance on Africa, its women and its youth. In 2008, Kah was featured by the World Bank among 7 women entrepreneurs working to improve the business environment in Africa. In 2011, Newsweek & The Daily Beast as well as New African, respectively cited her as one of 150 women and one of the 100 Africans who shake the world.
Over 17 years, Kah Walla has developed STRATEGIES!, an African consulting firm which offers services in leadership and strategy respecting the highest international norms. For 22 years, Kah has developed solutions and policies with business, governments and civil society throughout Africa to foster sustainable economic growth and democratic governance.
The opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) has relaunched the acrimonious dual nationality debate in Cameroon by drafting a private members' bill to amend the country’s nationality code adopted in 1968.
While the SDF’s proposed amendments are fairly modest considering widespread calls for a vast overhaul the law, they nonetheless tackle the key issue of dual nationality head-on. In the unlikely event that the amendment becomes the law of the land, “Any Cameroonian citizen who acquires another nationality retains the Cameroonian nationality, except repudiation thereof.”
In the same vein, individuals who previously lost their Cameroonian nationality because the country does not recognize dual citizenship will regain their Cameroonian nationality under this law: "Restoration to [sic] Cameroonian nationality is granted de facto without condition of age or probation, but subject to necessity of proof that the applicant… has been deprived of the Cameroonian nationality as an effect of having willfully acquired or kept a foreign nationality."
Here is the full text of the proposed amendment along with its explanatory statement.
"Lapiro de Mbanga Ndinga Man e mandat don bolè today for Etaz! Erreur or no erreur die na ndos! Waka nayo Ndinga man. We go di follow ya 4 chapters di listen ya mutumbu until we own mandat bolè. We go di mimba you tara! All man must go one day ... RIP." Sarli Sardou Nana.
Singer and musician Lapiro de Mbanga from Cameroon – the “unceremonial sheriff of the backyards” – has died, 56 years old.
Lapiro de Mbanga was a musical “freedom fighter” who articulated the daily injustices he witnessed in his songs – and was punished hard for his right to express them.
On 16 March 2014, Lapiro de Mbanga died of cancer in USA, the country which gave him asylum in 2012 at a time when he had to leave Cameroon under dramatic circumstances.
“Authorities in Cameroon continued to harass and threaten Lapiro even after he was released. He needed to get out of the country, and we needed to find an urgent solution,” told Freemuse Director Ole Reitov. With the help of Freedom Now, Lapiro was given refugee asylum in the United States.
“Lapiro said that Freemuse ‘saved his life’. He often told us that he ‘was ready to die’, but we never felt we were ready to loose him,” said Ole Reitov. “His songs will never die. He will always be remembered as ‘the people’s voice’ against corruption and power abuse.”
Charles Ateba Eyene, the political maverick who gave the leaders of the ruling CPDM party a constant migraine due to his nonconformist positions (he was a member of the party’s Central Committee) died on Friday at the young age of 42. Eyene had a fan base that spread across the entire political spectrum especially among the youths enamored by his anti-establishment writings and utterances. No wonder the most effusive tributes have come not from his colleagues within the CPDM but from opposition circles that would normally be indifferent to his passing.
I was quite intrigued a couple of days ago, when writer George Ngwane described the new reunification monument in Buea, which I had not yet seen, as "ahistorical", that is, lacking historical perspective or context. It was therefore with great interest that I watched its unveiling today by President Biya to see what this was all about. Structurally, the monument is an imposing edifice which weighs 162 tons, is 17.2 meters in diameter and 10 meters high. It consists of 10 pillars around a 2-ton reunification logo made of glass fiber. Impressive indeed. Nonetheless, as soon as I saw the first images of the monument, I immediately understood what George Ngwane, a cultural and historical purist, meant by an ahistorical monument.
In March 1973, Guinness Cameroon S.A. organized the first ever Mount Cameroon race – a grueling 29 KM endurance race up and down an active volcano which takes athletes through a dense tropical rainforest to a frigid summit sometimes covered with snow, passing through a prairie-like Savannah region and a barren moon-like area covered with molten lava. 1989 - Britain's Jack Maitland crosses the finish line to become the new King of the Mountain
The first three editions of the Guinness Mount Cameroon Race were won by local Bakweri runners. By the time of the 4th edition in 1976, an aura of superstition had already enveloped the race. There was a widely-held belief, even among non-natives, that efas’a moto, the mountain god, would never allow a “stranger” to “conquer” the sacred lair of the Bakweri people who lived at the foot of the mountain. In fact, during the first three races, there were numerous stories of supernatural happenings up the fog-covered mountain which disoriented and frightened non-native runners into submission. This would all change in 1976.
"It must be hoped that [the people of Southern Cameroons] will not regret their choice, for few states have ever embarked upon independent self-government in more inauspicious circumstances."
After more than 40 years of separation under British and French Trusteeship, the main parts of the old German colony of Kamerun will be reunited on October 1 as an independent African State. This was the vision that carried the people of the British-administered Southern Cameroons to the poll in February of this year to vote for union with the neighbouring (and already independent) French Cameroon Republic.
Enoh Meyomesse (2014). Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison. UK, English PEN. Paperback, 108 Pages. Price, $11.90. Available on Lulu.com.
In late 2013, English PEN launched a crowd-sourced translation of the volume of poetry Cameroonian activist and poet Enoh Meyomesse has written in prison, in order to raise funds for him and his family, and greater awareness of his case. The full collection Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison is now available to print-on-demand. As with the ebook version, all proceeds will be used to support Enoh Meyomesse and PEN's ongoing work on behalf of writers at risk around the world.
"I am a supporter of the extremely valuable work that English PEN does to support writers at risk and keep them in the public eye. It’s both an inspiring and an important organisation and I was truly thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved in a small way with their work when they asked for translators of Enoh Meyomesse’s work. I didn’t know anything of his poetry but was moved by its extreme rawness, his words a savage cry into the void, tempered by a profound spiritual hope."
Natasha Lehrer, translator, Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison
As a teenager, I loved and read up what we called "cowboy novels", for lack of a better name.
In one of the novels from The Saint series - (I believe it was) - the novelist describes the scene in a pub in the Wild West. It is one of a tired cowboy, riding across rolling hills into the sunset, seeking out a place to stay the night but also more importantly looking out for where to quench his thirst. In this particular scene, the Saint rode into the town center, climbed down his horse, tethered it next to other horses outside a pub, walked inside, ordered a drink and settled to enjoy it. Hardly had he taken a sip of the drink than the bullies rallied, trying to intimidate him.
"Hey, stranger!" the self-appointed chief of the bullying cowboys called out.
The Saint looked around for the stranger and seeing no one to whom he could ascribe the appellation, he returned his attention to his drink.
A new Guinness TV campaign launched today in the UK pays tribute to the "Sapeurs" (Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People) of the Congo whom Daniele Tamagni describes in Gentlemen of Bacongo as "elegant and immaculately dressed dandies" who "dress to impress, whilst also being ambassadors of etiquette, peace and music, as well as the essence of style."
Sam-Nuvala Fonkem (Editor). December 2013. Incisive Journalism in Cameroon: The Best of "Cameroon Report" (1978-1986). Langaa, Bamenda, 276 pages. [Paperback].Available on Amazon.com.
About the book:
Working for Cameroon state-owned Radio in the 1970s and '80s meant toeing the official line and learning not to sing out of tune. While the rather scanty private press that existed at the time was subject to prior censorship, a different kind of censorship—self-censorship—prevailed at the Radio where topics for commentaries were vetted by the Minister of Information or his delegate.
But for Anglophones working in a predominantly francophone environment, once topics were approved, the authorities could not be sure which direction commentaries were going to take as the journalists applied the tactics of 'bite and blow', sometimes giving full expression of their Anglo-Saxon spirit of debate and critical analysis as evidenced in this selection of commentaries from the Sunday morning commentary programme, "Cameroon Report" (now "Cameroon Calling") of the late 1970's up till 1986.
It is a showcase of the irrepressible seed of freedom of expression that Anglophone journalists were imbued with and demonstrated at a time when subjects related to coups d'état, human rights and governance were considered taboo. It was and shall remain the indelible input of the Anglophone character that has had a positive influence on Cameroon's media landscape.
Nelson Mandela was a man, always, of his time. Yet he was, paradoxically, one who in some ways stood apart from – and even above – that time. It was in this that his greatness lay. Mr Mandela, who died on Sunday night aged 94, was a towering figure in the 20th century. He did not just bestride the continent of Africa but became a political colossus of the entire world stage.
Yet he was more even than that. The magnanimity he displayed, as the white rule of apartheid crumbled in his native South Africa in 1990, created a paradigm shift in what was possible - or even thinkable - in modern politics.
The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.
The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem.
Hover on the map below to see how your country fares.
The Commonwealth Expert Team which monitored the September 30, 2013 legislative and municipal elections in Cameroon has released its final report. The team observed among other things that:
Biometric registration brought about better management of the voters’ register. This resulted in smooth registration operations at polling stations and no instances of double voting were observed. The new registration methodology marked a substantial improvement in the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.
Nonetheless, it noted that there were some significant issues that have to be addressed to increase the credibility of future elections, for example,
In relation to the electoral campaign, three key issues emerged. Firstly, while funding was made available to political parties for campaigning, these funds were insufficient and were not made available in time to enable use by political parties for their campaign. Secondly, opposition parties reported that obtaining authorisation for meetings and rallies remained challenging. Lastly, opposition parties deemed that the absence of a defined electoral calendar put them at a disadvantage in campaigning effectively.
Justice Phillip Louis Ulrich Cross, Attorney -General for West Cameroon from 1961 to 1966 has died in Port of Spain, Trinidad, at age 96.
A native of Trinidad, Justice Ulrich Cross arrived in the British Southern Cameroons in 1960 from Ghana to serve as Assistant Attorney General/Senior Crown Counsel. When Southern Cameroons merged with the French Cameroons to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon in 1961, Cross stayed on to become the Attorney General of the territory which was now known as the federated state of West Cameroon. He held this position until 1966 when he left Cameroon for Tanzania.
During his time as Attorney General of West Cameroon, Justice Cross was also a member of the West Cameroon cabinet, the House of Chiefs, and the House of Assembly, and Advocate General at the Federal Court of Justice of the Republic of Cameroon.
The Governent of Cameroon knighted Justice Cross with the Order of Merit – First Class and the Order of Valour for his services to the country.
Described as “the quintessential man of the world” by President Anthony Carmona of Trinidad and Tobago, Ulric Cross was also the Caribbean’s most decorated RAF officer during the Second World War.
A feature documentary film about Ulric Cross's life has been in the works for about a year now and is scheduled for release sometime next year. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, it is titled Ulric Cross: A Hero for All Time.
On October 16, 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 1352 (XIV) confirming that the people of the UN Trust Territory of the British Cameroons would achieve independence by deciding, via a plebiscite, to join either the Federation of Nigeria or the independent Republic of Cameroon. It also ordered that the plebiscite take place no later than March 1961. The plebiscite was ultimately scheduled for February 11, 1961.
On January 22, 1961, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, addressed the people of Southern Cameroons via Radio Nigeria. He reassured them of their future if they decided in the plebiscite to rejoin Nigeria and also presented them with the stark choice before them:
In 1983, her entire family left Cameroon after the political
falling out between her father, former President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and his hand-picked
successor, President Paul Biya. Her family has remained in exile since then, stripped
of their Cameroonian citizenship and unable to return to Cameroon – Ahmadou
Ahidjo died in exile in Senegal in 1989 without ever stepping foot again on
Cameroonian soil. Former first lady Germaine Ahidjo has also not returned to Cameroon
since 1983, and even when her mother died a few years ago, she couldn't travel
to Cameroon to bury her. There is therefore no love lost between the Ahidjo
family and President Biya….
So Cameroonians on both sides of the political divide were
visibly stunned when Aminatou Ahidjo, Ahidjo's youngest daughter, turned up in Yaoundé
wearing the uniform of the ruling CPDM bearing Biya's effigy, and publicly
declared her allegiance to the President who had condemned her father to death
in 1984 and has thus far refused to facilitate the repatriation of her father's body to Cameroon. Some say this is the first step towards a much need "national reconciliation," others say she's being exploited by the Biya regime, while others lambast her actions as political opportunism at its worst. In the end, history will be the ultimate arbiter...
Yaounde, May 20. 1972: The young Aminatou Ahidjo, sandwiched between her father President Ahmadou Ahidjo and her older sister Babette Ahidjo, accompanies her father as he heads to the polling station to cast his vote for the 1972 referendum.[Source: Cameroon Census group on Facebook]
National Episcopal Conference Pastoral Letter of the Archbishops and Bishops of Cameroon on the Occasion of the September 30, 2013 Twin Elections.
"During this upcoming election... The candidates you will choose must be men and women... who have shown proof of the respect of the common good, fundamental
human rights, justice and peace... As Archbishops and Bishops, pastors and witnesses to our people’s living conditions, it is important that we draw your attention to some of the fundamental pressing problems that should guide the conscience of candidates and voters."
To all priests, religious men and women, To all Catholic Faithful, And people of goodwill,
Dear brothers and sisters,
1- We implore God’s grace and peace for each Cameroonian, through His Son Jesus Christ, for He Himself is our peace (Eph 2:14), so that we may pursue “the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom 14:19), and that we may walk with dignity towards the construction of a peacefully, just and loving Cameroon.
The first issue of RJRAlive, the new online publication of Rhodes Journalism Review, pays a glowing tribute to the Radio, that "resilient medium" which has stood the test of time and held its own against newer communication technologies. This maiden issue features "an array of stories from across the continent and from those for whom radio still continues to matter regardless of how free their politics or how sophisticated their technology."
Here are some choice excerpts:
Living in exile far away from home can take a toll on one’s well-being. Just ask the refugees of Darfur living in harsh and dire conditions in eastern Chad. But, if you at least have a radio that broadcasts news, music and weather reports, and debates current affairs, survival doesn’t seem so far off....
Digital didn't kill the Radio star; Shortwave and satellite help radio reign supreme. Radio threatens many of Africa’s big men. Thugs working for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe have recently been confiscating and destroying receivers. Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki stopped issuing import licenses. Other iron-fisted rulers such as Swaziland’s King Mswati III and Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir rarely hand out frequencies, thus reducing the range of independent radio....
The actions taken by these big men merely confirm radio’s supremacy in Africa. It may be old technology, but it is still relevant and appropriate. While not everybody owns a radio, most people have access to one.
Sankie Maimo, one of the foremost English speaking writers in Cameroon, has died. He died on September 4, 2013 at the St. Elisabeth hospital Shisong in the Northwest Region of Cameroon - a monumental loss for Cameroon Anglophone literature. Find below Maimo's biography written by Joyce Ashuntantang and I, which apppeared in the French language daily Le Jour in October 2008 as part of a series on writers from English-speaking Cameroon.
In 1959, Sankie Maimo (born in 1930), published the first known work of fiction by an Anglophone Cameroonian with the Ibadan University Press in Nigeria titled I am vindicated. Maimo’s later works include a children's book titled Adventuring with Jaja (1962), Sov-Mbang the Soothsayer (1968), The Mask (1970), Succession in Sarkov (1981), Sasse Symphony (1989) and Retributive Justice (1992).
Sov-Mbang the Soothsayer was the first English book ever published by Editions CLE, the main publisher in Cameroon for several years. In fact, CLE did not publish another book by an Anglophone Cameroonian for nearly three decades. The lack of access of Anglophone writers to CLE is one of the reasons why Anglophone Cameroon literature failed to develop at the same pace with Francophone literature.
On September 4, President Biya signed decree N°2013/288 fixing the modalities for the restitution of misappropriated public property, this, in compliance with Section 18 (3) of Law No.2012/011 of 06 July 2012 to amend and supplement certain provisions of law No.2011/28 of 14 December 2011 to set up a Special Criminal Court which stipulates that: “Modalities for the restitution of the corpus delicti shall be fixed by rules and regulations.”
As a reminder, according to Section 18 (new) of Law No.2012/011 of 06 July 2012,
“The United States hereby informs the Court that President Biya is immune from this suit...this determination is controlling and is not subject to judicial review. No court has ever subjected a sitting head of state to suit once the Executive Branch has determined that the head of state is immune." U.S. Department of Justice.
An excerpt from Dibussi Tande, Reform and Repression: A Chronicle of the Smoldering Years, 1990-1992.(Forthcoming).
Plans for nationwide CPDM rallies in favor of early elections were scuttled when First Lady Jeanne-Irène Biya died suddenly in the early hours of July 29 from an undisclosed illness. "Madam is Dead" - Cameroon Tribune, July 30, 1992.
Only a week earlier, a beaming and and apparently healthy First Lady had been on TV receiving American musician Stevie Wonder at Unity Palace. Her sudden death, just hours after President Biya left for a meeting in Dakar, Senegal, led to widespread rumors that she had been assassinated:
The film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize-winning novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, will make its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here is the first trailer from the movie. Click here to read my 2007 review of the novel which is set in Nigeria before and during the secession of Biafra.
President Biya today appointed the 30 Senators who will complete Cameroon's 100-person Senate, 70 of whom were elected by indirect suffrage on April 14, 2013. As a reminder, According to Chapter 1, Section 3 of Law No 2006/005 of 14 July 2006 to lay down conditions governing the election of Senators:
"(1) Each region shall be represented in the Senate by 10 (ten) senators 7 (seven) of whom shall be elected by indirect universal suffrage on a regional basis and 3 (three) appointed by decree of the President of the Republic." Apart from a few exceptions such as Dakolle Daissala, a longtime ally of the President and leader of the MDR party, or Pierre Flambeau Ngayap of the UNDP, which is traditionally part of the “presidential majority,” practically all the Senators are from the ruling CPDM party.
Excerpt of a speech by US ambassador to Cameroon, Robert P. Jackson, to a gathering of Cameroonian civil society leaders.
"Perhaps it’s a somewhat banal notion, but in the end human rights is not much more than a fancy term for the kind of relationships we’d like to have with our neighbors: When we do wrong, we must make amends and treat each other fairly; when we disagree, we each speak our mind; when we’re different, we must live and let live."
[...] In the end, however, my role, and the role of the U.S. Embassy, in the promotion and maintenance of human rights is limited. For there is no amount of advocacy or support the United States can offer that is more potent or more fundamental for the respect of human rights than grassroots mobilization. We can talk until we’re blue in the face (trust me, we can, we’re diplomats), but we cannot make changes in this society from the top down. We can suggest and we can cajole, but only you are capable of truly persuading those around you to be the change they want to see. Contrary to what conspiracy theorists might tell you, change doesn’t start in my Embassy, it starts in your neighborhoods, your villages, your towns, and your regions.
At 4 P.M. President Ahidjo was the guest of Long Island University [New York] which conferred upon him the degree Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa. Citation: Mr. President: I have the privilege of presenting to you His Excellency Ahmadou Ahidjo, President of the Federal Republic of Cameroun.
Born to the respected Fulani of northern Cameroun, he came south to study in the capital Yaounde, and here he was soon drawn into the swift political eddies of a people aspiring to independence. In 1947, when his country was yet a United Nations trust territory administered by the French, he won his first elected office, a seat in the Representative Assembly. He was then 23 years old. Sagacious beyond his years, quick-witted and persuasive in debate, he rose to become Prime Minister in 1958 and from this high office, guided his country to independence on the first day of January 1960.