Daily Archives: May 26, 2018

English Speaking Activists in Cameroon Given Jail Sentences

A military tribunal in Cameroon sentenced seven English speaking detainees to 10 to 15 years in prison in connection with unrest that has paralyzed business in the English speaking zones of the central African state.

Among them is radio host Mancho Bibixy, the leader of the so called coffin revolution, who used an open casket in street demonstrations calling for better conditions for the poor.

Bibixy was accused of threatening Cameroon’s sovereignty when he appeared in a coffin at a protest in the north western town of Bamenda in November 2016, saying his coffin was symbolic of anglophone Cameroonians who seemed to have died before their real death and who therefore should not fear speaking truth to power.

The suspects were arrested separately in 2016 and charged with conspiracy to terrorism, rebellion against the state, incitement of civil unrest, breach of the constitution, provoking civil war by inciting the people to take arms against each other, and propagation of false information.

Shortly after the verdicts were read, Tsi Conrad, one of the activists, demanded that the presiding judge announce their sentences and stop wasting time.

Bibixy said he had expected a death sentence and added that all English speaking detainees were threatened on a daily basis by prison workers.

The suspects were also ordered pay a fine of $500,000 as damages to the civil parties, including the state of Cameroon.

They will each also have to pay $10,000 or spend additional two years in jail.

Emmanuel Simh, one of the lead defense attorneys, said they would file an appeal.

Also among the activists is journalist Thomas Awah Junior who was given an 11-year jail term.

Some people are asking for a return to a federal state Cameroon had practiced for about a dozen years after its 1960 independence. Some are asking for the independence of the English speaking from the French speaking regions of Cameroon, but President Paul Biya has repeated on several occasions that national unity is not for negotiation.

Source: Voice of America

English Speaking Activists in Cameroon Given Jail Sentences

A military tribunal in Cameroon sentenced seven English speaking detainees to 10 to 15 years in prison in connection with unrest that has paralyzed business in the English speaking zones of the central African state.

Among them is radio host Mancho Bibixy, the leader of the so called coffin revolution, who used an open casket in street demonstrations calling for better conditions for the poor.

Bibixy was accused of threatening Cameroon’s sovereignty when he appeared in a coffin at a protest in the north western town of Bamenda in November 2016, saying his coffin was symbolic of anglophone Cameroonians who seemed to have died before their real death and who therefore should not fear speaking truth to power.

The suspects were arrested separately in 2016 and charged with conspiracy to terrorism, rebellion against the state, incitement of civil unrest, breach of the constitution, provoking civil war by inciting the people to take arms against each other, and propagation of false information.

Shortly after the verdicts were read, Tsi Conrad, one of the activists, demanded that the presiding judge announce their sentences and stop wasting time.

Bibixy said he had expected a death sentence and added that all English speaking detainees were threatened on a daily basis by prison workers.

The suspects were also ordered pay a fine of $500,000 as damages to the civil parties, including the state of Cameroon.

They will each also have to pay $10,000 or spend additional two years in jail.

Emmanuel Simh, one of the lead defense attorneys, said they would file an appeal.

Also among the activists is journalist Thomas Awah Junior who was given an 11-year jail term.

Some people are asking for a return to a federal state Cameroon had practiced for about a dozen years after its 1960 independence. Some are asking for the independence of the English speaking from the French speaking regions of Cameroon, but President Paul Biya has repeated on several occasions that national unity is not for negotiation.

Source: Voice of America

DRC Ebola Outbreak Threatens Children

The UN children’s fund warned the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo threatens the health and well-being of children, and special care must be taken to help them survive.

Ebola is highly contagious, killing between 20 and 90 percent of its victims, and the UN children’s fund is engaging communities in the fight against Ebola. UNICEF spokesman, Christophe Boulierac said schools are crucial for minimizing the risk of transmission among children.

UNICEF is scaling up prevention efforts in schools across all three affected health zones,” he said. “This includes on-going efforts to install hand washing units in 277 schools and supporting awareness raising activities reaching more than 13,000 children in Mbandaka, Bikoro and Iboko.

Previous outbreaks of Ebola in DRC and most recently in the horrific epidemic in West Africa have shown the high-level of trauma experienced by children at the loss of family members. Boulierac told VOA orphaned children often become social outcasts because of their association with this fatal disease.

There is as you mention, rightly, the risk of stigma and the risk that the child when his father, his care-giver, his mother is affected; the child is psychologically affected, he said.

Boulierac said UNICEF is taking preventive measures, including providing trained therapists to families affected by the Ebola outbreak and helping children cope psychologically with the trauma of losing loved ones.

Source: Voice of America

DRC Ebola Outbreak Threatens Children

The UN children’s fund warned the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo threatens the health and well-being of children, and special care must be taken to help them survive.

Ebola is highly contagious, killing between 20 and 90 percent of its victims, and the UN children’s fund is engaging communities in the fight against Ebola. UNICEF spokesman, Christophe Boulierac said schools are crucial for minimizing the risk of transmission among children.

UNICEF is scaling up prevention efforts in schools across all three affected health zones,” he said. “This includes on-going efforts to install hand washing units in 277 schools and supporting awareness raising activities reaching more than 13,000 children in Mbandaka, Bikoro and Iboko.

Previous outbreaks of Ebola in DRC and most recently in the horrific epidemic in West Africa have shown the high-level of trauma experienced by children at the loss of family members. Boulierac told VOA orphaned children often become social outcasts because of their association with this fatal disease.

There is as you mention, rightly, the risk of stigma and the risk that the child when his father, his care-giver, his mother is affected; the child is psychologically affected, he said.

Boulierac said UNICEF is taking preventive measures, including providing trained therapists to families affected by the Ebola outbreak and helping children cope psychologically with the trauma of losing loved ones.

Source: Voice of America

CUBA’S LINKS WITH AFRICA ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE – FM

HAVANA– In an event held for Africa Day, which commemorates the founding of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU), Cuban officials celebrated links between the Caribbean island and African nations.

I tell you that the relations between Cuba and Africa are indestructible and that we will continue reinforcing the bonds of cooperation and solidarity in benefit of our people, Vice Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra said.

He said that the links between Africa and Cuba are an essential part of Cuban history, cemented in deep cultural roots derived in shameful slavery.”

Cuba, since the revolution led by the late Comandante Fidel Castro, has consistently shown its solidarity with African countries, from the revolutionary fighters they sent to Angola, to the doctors sent to West Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

The Foreign Minister spoke on the importance of African countries in international relations and emphasized their right to have permanent representation in the United Nations Security Council.

According to Sierra, Cubans are working on projects in nearly every African country, with more than five thousand Cubans offering services ranging from healthcare, education, construction, sports, and agriculture. Nearly nine thousand African students are currently studying in Cuban universities, he said.

In addition to Sierra, the event was headed by the Cuban Vice President, Salvador Valdes, the Foreign Relations Minister Bruno Rodriguez, and the Head of International Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Jose Ramon Balaguer.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK