The Nigeria Consul General to the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, Ambassador Lawal Bappah, mni, has called for a peaceful and harmonious relationship between Nigerians and Cameroonians in Bamenda, during a courtesy call on the Northwest Regional Governor, Adolphe Lele L’Afrique recently.
Ambassador Lawal Bappuh indicated that the prevailing insecurity in the Northwest region is a huge concern to the Consulate in Buea and it is preoccupying the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. « It’s a huge challenge to the two friendly countries. The peace we need in Cameroon is the peace we also need in Nigeria. When there is no peace in Cameroon, definitely there will be no peace in Nigeria, » he told the media.
The Nigerian Consul General emphasized that authorities in Abuja and Yaoundé would continue to explore areas of collaboration to restore normalcy. « We must find a lasting solution to what is happening, » he noted. The Nigerian CG has also cautioned the newly elected executive members of the Bamenda Chapter of the Nigerian Union to live harmoniously and respect the laws of Cameroon. The call was made during the official installation of the executive recently in Bamenda. The installation ceremony was chaired by the Consul General of Nigeria for the South West and North West Region, Ambassador Lawal Bappah.
Present on the side of Cameroon was the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, of Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh, who represented the Governor of the North West Region, Divisional Officer, DO, of Bamenda II and HRH the Fon of Mekong.
Before presenting the newly elected executive to the Nigerian community in Bamenda on Sunday, the Consul General had earlier presented them to Governor Adolphe Lele L’afrique where discussions were centered on peaceful coexistence and addressing the insecurity that is plaguing some parts of the region.
During the event, authorities urged the Nigerian community in Bamenda to make sure that they conduct themselves well, be peaceful and not be involved in any illegal activity. « My strong message to them is to respect the laws of the Republic of Cameroon. This is a very challenging environment; so I ask them to continue conducting themselves very well. Since it’s a border community, Nigerians should avoid getting involved in illegal activities because doing so will attract the wrath of the law,” Ambassador Lawal.
Bappah said. The Consul General also called on his compatriots to focus only on their businesses, stay neutral and not be involved in the domestic politics of Cameroon. Bappah enjoined the newly installed executive to follow in the footsteps of the previous executive, who maintained peace amongst the community members during their term in office.
In his remarks at the occassion, the SDO of Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh, also tasked the executive to work closely with local authorities in Bamenda. He called on them to ensure reconciliation among all Nigerians in Bamenda and ensure they have their valid residence permits.
The newly installed President of the Bamenda Chapter of the Nigerian Union, Nze Clifford Edozie, said the entire executive is going to follow all the advices. Nze Clifford, while commenting on their projects, revealed that the union has a project to build a community hall for the Nigerians in Bamenda.
« May be by March or April 2024, we will lay the foundation and start building a hall for our own, so that we may not continue to pay rent during our events,” Nze Clifford said.
The newly installed executives revealed that they will embark on uniting all the Nigerians in Bamenda under one union. He regretted the fact that the over seven-year armed conflict in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon has forced many of his people to migrate to other regions.
The Secretary General of the union, Chukwu Humphrey, in his speech, pleaded with the newly installed chairman and his executive to support Nigerians who do business. According to him, security forces have been extorting huge sums of money from them. Chukwu also begged Ambassador Lawal Bappah to help the union in repatriating stranded Nigerians. He added that this is becoming a difficult task for them.
The occasion also saw Ambassador Lawal Bappah decorated in the famous North-West traditional regalia « Togho’ by the Nigerian traditional council in Bamenda.
3 million children at risk in Sudan as civil war engulfs – U.N
The war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed 12,190 people, according to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data project. It has displaced 5.4 million people inside the country, according to the UN, and sent over 1.3 million fleeing abroad.
Sudan’s raging civil war threatens the lives of almost 3 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Thursday, as fighting imperils what had become a haven for hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
Fighting in the huge northeastern African nation has now reached Jazeera state, the country’s breadbasket with a population of 5.9 million people — half of whom are children, UNICEF said.
« This new wave of violence could leave children and families trapped between fighting lines or caught in the crossfire, with fatal consequences, » the organization’s executive director, Catherine Russell, said in a statement Thursday.
The latest about of violence broke out on April 15, as Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary force vied for power. Since then, heavy fighting has left hundreds of thousands of people facing the agonizing decision of whether to flee their homes or stay and risk injury or death in the violence. Cease-fires have failed to halt the power struggle and fueled the growing humanitarian crisis.
Civilians are often caught up in the crossfire as neighborhoods are divided between the armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.
Some 9,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to the U.N., but local doctors groups and activists say the death toll is likely far higher.
Almost 300,000 people have fled Jazeera state, moving to the nearby Sennar state, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Wednesday.
‘Nothing for me in Cameroon’: Waiting in Tunisia, one eye on Europe
Having lost everything and everyone precious to him, Joseph tries to hold things together, waiting to leave Africa.
Joseph Afumbom is a big man who has faced unimaginable tragedy.
The conflict in Cameroon between Anglophone separatists and the government killed the 27-year-old’s mother, father and siblings. It also took his home in Bamenda in the country’s northwest.
“I was there when the war started. The war took everyone,” he said, “It was three years ago. My brothers and sisters are all gone.”
With his home and family destroyed and no jobs available, Joseph felt he had no option but to gather his fiancee, Esther, and their three-year-old daughter and travel the 5,000km (more than 3,000 miles) overland to the Mediterranean coast. They arrived in Algeria, where they considered crossing into Tunisia and from there to Europe.
However, both Joseph’s fiancee and daughter died in El Menia. “They are all gone because of the cold,” he says. “That was last month.”
“I’m just trying to act normal, you know,” he tells Al Jazeera. “See, I’m smoking. I’m whiling away my thinking, trying to act like a normal person, but I’m not.”
He paused, allowing his thoughts to drift back. “We had been together for years. My daughter was three. I called her ‘Little Joy’.”
Eventually, Joseph crossed into Tunisia, making his way to the coastal city of Sfax before travelling by shared taxis to the capital, Tunis. He didn’t eat for two days.
“There is nothing left for me in Cameroon,” he says. “I will continue to Europe if I have the opportunity.”
This article is the third of a five-part series of portraits of refugees from different countries, with diverse backgrounds, bound by shared fears and hopes as they enter 2024. Read the first and second parts here.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
Chad: Supreme court approves ‘yes’ referendum vote
Chad’s Supreme Court definitively validated the results of the referendum for a new constitution organized by the military junta that has been in power for the past two and a half years, a key step intended to pave the way for elections in the country at the end of 2024.
According to the final results, the « yes » side won with 85.90% of the vote, while the « no » side won 14.10%, with a turnout of 62.8%, the president of the Supreme Court told a press conference.
For some members of the opposition and civil society, the result of this ballots a plebiscite resembles designed to pave the way for the election of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Bloc Fédéral, an opposition coalition which had called for the results to be annulled on the grounds of several irregularities in the voting process.
The opposition, which had widely called for a boycott, denounced, in the words of Max Kemkoye, president of the Groupe de concertation des actors politiques (GCAP), « a second coup d’état by Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno », in the face of results which, in his view, were not credible.
The new constitutional text is not very different from the one already in force, and still gives great power to the Head of State.
Mahamat Déby, 37, was proclaimed transitional president by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed by rebels on his way to the front. Idriss Déby Itno had ruled the country with an iron fist for over 30 years.
The young general immediately promised elections after an 18-month transition period, and made a commitment to the African Union not to run. Eighteen months later, his regime extended the transition by two years and authorized him to stand in the presidential elections scheduled for late 2024.
On the anniversary of the 18-month transition, October 20, 2022, between 100 and more than 300 young men and teenagers were shot dead in N’Djamena by police and military, according to the opposition and national and international NGOs.
They were demonstrating against the two-year extension of the presidential term.
More than a thousand were imprisoned before being pardoned, but dozens were tortured or disappeared, according to NGOs and the opposition.