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Nigeria’s CG to Southwest/Northwest Cameroon, Bappah gets Exequatur



The Nigeria Consul-General for the North West and South West regions of the Republic of Cameroon, Hon. Lawal Bappah, has been presented with an official letter of Exequatur by the Cameroon Governor of the South West region, Bernard Okalia Bilai.

Speaking during the official ceremony designated for the handing of the “Exequatur” to the newly appointed Nigerian Consul General, Bilai hailed the excellent diplomatic, economic, social relationship between both countries thus far.

According to him, the Republic of Cameroon has remained a strong ally and strategic partner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the African continent. “By choosing to be an ally of Cameroon, Nigerian Head of States have shown the world the kind of influence Cameroon has in trade and political relationship. However, it has not been without challenges of security but both nations continue to fight together,” he said.

Bilai said, both governments have continued to show resilience through the Trans-border Security committee.

“This expresses the zeal to maintain confraternity as people who have coexisted even before the establishment of both modern states,” he added.

Upon handing the Exequatur, the governor enjoined Consul Lawal to promote and conserve the economic dynamism of Nigeria in Cameroon and ensure the preservation of its interest as stipulated in the Exequatur, and coordinate the activities of the Nigerian community in his area of jurisdiction. He also called on Nigerians to always collaborate with the CG in the excise duty which is to be executed in strict compliance with the laws and regulations.

It was a colourful event that brought scores of regional administrative and traditional authorities together, such as the Nigeria High Commissioner to Cameroon, Amb. Abayomi Olonisakin, Consul General of Nigeria in Douala, Queen Efe Alexandra Clark-Omeru, Defense Adviser, Captain (NN) Bimbo Agunbiade, members of the Consular and Diplomatic Corps, members of the Nigerian community, collaborators of the governor, religious and traditional leaders, executive directors of companies and international organisations, Bappah’s wife, children, relatives among others.

In his remarks, CG Lawal Bappah counted it a great honour and privilege to have been graced by the presence of the Governor of the South West Region, H.E. Bernard Okalia Bilai, he expressed appreciation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama for finding him worthy of appointment as the Consul General of Nigeria to the North West and South West Regions of the Republic of Cameroon. He also appreciated His Excellency Paul Biya, for graciously signing and transmitting his Exequatur through the Ministry of External Relations to the Governor of the South West Region.

“This benevolent act of the President of the Republic of Cameroon is a clear and undeniable expression of the excellent and unique bilateral relations that exist between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon,” he noted.

Consul Lawal did not leave out the contributions of the Nigerian foreign envoys to Cameroon to the success of his ceremony.

“I thank His Excellency Gabriel Abayomi Olanisakin, the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Cameroon, HRM (Hon.) Queen Efe Alexandra Clark-Omeru, the Consul General of Nigeria to Littoral and West Regions of the Republic of Cameroon and all distinguished guests, both from within and outside Cameroon, who spared their precious time to attend today’s ceremony.

“Undoubtedly, the Republic of Cameroon is home away from home. It is in that light that I see it as a unique privilege for me to have been called to serve in the South West and North West Regions of the Republic of Cameroon to complement the efforts of our indefatigable High Commissioner with a view to strengthening and deepening bilateral relations with Republic of Cameroon; especially by addressing the consular needs of Nigerian nationals in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963,” said Bappah.

“As we continue to work and collaborate together in moving our two friendly countries forward, I wish to testify, without any reservation, that Buea is indeed a City of Legendary Hospitality and the entire Republic of Cameroon is Home away from Home,” Bappah concluded.

The newly installed CG H.E Lawal Bappah, was born on July, 2, 1962 in Bauchi State. Before coming to Cameroon he had served with the Nigerian foreign service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the then secretary of the consular and immigration department from 1988-1991, he was later appointed as second secretary at consular officer at the Consulate of Nigeria in Kuwait, 1992-1995, from then he was appointed as first secretary and counselor at the directorate to the ministry of foreign affairs.

From 2003 to 2007, he was appointed Minister High Commissioner at the Nigerian Consul in Accra Ghana, other similar appointments and recognitions followed until his appointment as Nigerian Consul General for the South West and Northwest regions in 2021 following the departure of former Consul-General Ibrahim Bashir.

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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.


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‘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.


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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.


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