Human Interest/Society

Les Victimes des Inondations Reçoivent de l’aide dans l’Extrême Nord

Suite aux inondations qui a causé d’énormes dégâts matérielles et de pertes en vie humaine dans la région de l’extrême nord, 1432 sinistrés enregistré dans le département du Diamaré pour le compte, 3 communes de la ville de Maroua.

L’honorable député du FSNC Salmana Amadou Ali vient d’offrir 3000 sacs de riz de 25kg répartis aux 1432 sinistrés de la ville de Maroua donc chaque personne se retrouve avec 3 a 2 sacs en moyenne selon la charge de la famille. Alors qu’il a 2 semaines environ d’autre sinistrés ont reçu du Gouvernement Camerounais, des matelas, nattes, et bien d’autre matérielles de couchages.

Certains familles ont préféré revendre ces matérielles de couchages en échange des d’ancrées alimentaires pour avoir de quoi survivre. Mais selon les investigations des hommes des médias sur le terrain, beaucoup des victimes des inondations ont été oublier dans le partage du gâteau du Gouvernement constater ici. Et là, des personnes bénéficiaires qui n’ont rien perdu, mais qui ont plutôt profité sur le dos de ces malheureux sinistrés.

Après la remise symbolique des dons, partager par l’honorable Salmana Amadou Ali, tout ont été remis avec transparence dans chaque quartier avec le suivi d’un responsable désigné pour la circonstance. Un geste hautement nécessaire qui va un peut à léger la souffrance de ces populations qui n’ont pas de quoi manger a leur faim.

L’honorable Député Salmana Amadou Ali dit avoir répondu a ces personnes qui ont fais de lui un député de la nation. Rappelons toute fois que la commune de Maroua 2éme revient au FSNC diriger dans les années antérieures par le RDPC. De même pour la députation du Diamaré centre revient au FSNC diriger par l’UNDP.

Un bénéficiaire avec son sac de riz

La cérémonie de remise se dérouler au Stade Municipale Lamido Yaya Dairou avec la présence du représentant personnel du président national du FSNC Issa Tchiroma Bakari. Des milliers des personnes militants du FSNC ont pris part pour accompagné leurs frères et sœurs victimes de ces inondations dans la ville de Maroua. 

Human Interest/Society

Civil Marriage Celebrations: Widening the linguistic Divide in Cameroon

The past four years have heightened the language divide in Cameroon, with the gulf between the English-speaking and French-speaking sections of the country significantly amplified.

In addition to the many political arguments provided to explain the feeling of marginalisation expressed by Anglophones for many decades, there are other socio-cultural issues that have also reared their ugly heads. One of the areas that systemic social injustices seem to prevail is the current conduct of civil marriages east of the Mungo.

Many Anglophones who have had the ignominy of conducting their marriage in some parts of Cameroon have a sad story to tell.

A wedding day shattered
That moment when he was asked out of the Yaoundé III council building by the mayor, in the presence of his family members, is the main image that Nkah Rogers holds of the civil marriage ceremony of his brother.

“Everything was in French and the couple themselves were only struggling to understand French, but without success. The legal text about marriage was read entirely in French”

Rogers said.

“At a certain moment, people started grumbling in the hall, that they were not understanding, but the mayor continued as if there was nothing wrong, until the eldest man of the family stood up to tell the mayor that the family were not following the ceremony being conducted in French.

The mayor in a rather cavalier manner told them to make an effort. When I stood up to suggest English language, or that an interpreter be used for English-speaking couples especially when it comes to reading the legal text about marriage, the mayor asked me out of the hall,” Rogers recounted.

The civil marriage ceremony that took place in late July 2020 at the Yaoundé III council went bitter, not only for Roger, but for their parents and family members who braved smoking guns, rampant killings and bad roads, from the enclaved war-torn Anglophone North West Region of Cameroon to be part of the civil union.

They will become frustrated and disappointed by the decision of the civil executive for Yaoundé III council, to conduct the marriage in the French language, in disregard to English which is the first language of the couple and family.

The Anglophone family felt cheated especially as nothing could be understood from the French-speaking municipal executive official.

Qualifying it as social injustice, Rogers, who is teacher in Douala, stood up to the mayor on behalf of the family, to object the choice of French language, which according to him, has left their parents lost in the midst of the ceremony.

His concern unfortunately earned him a chase out of the council ceremonial hall by the mayor who told him that, they were not the first Anglophones to perform their civil marriage rituals at the council. The mayor according to him, said Anglophones have always had their marriages officiated in French there.

Speaking to Mimi Mefo Infos, Rogers imagined a marriage when couples are told what the law says about marriage, in a language they do not understand. He thinks many Anglophones go through that ‘injustice’ on a daily basis in many facets of their lives such that it is almost convinced as ‘normality’.

The case of French-speaking couples in Anglophone regions

To Better understand the legality of the choice of language of the mayor, MMI tried without success to get to him. Speaking to the mayor of the Bamenda III council on what obtains in a similar situation west of the Mungo, when couples are French-speaking, Mayor Fongu Cletus Tanwie says English, as the first official language west of the Mungo, often times takes precedence.

“When you choose to conduct your marriage in Bamenda III for example, what you should keep in mind is the fact that the first language of the municipal executive is English”

Mayor Fongu clarified.

“The use of French in any marriage here is only possible, when the civil magistrate can understand and speaks French” the Mayor reiterated.

To the Mayor, couples should always take into consideration the first official language of the Council executive, while deciding whether to conduct their civil marriages east or west of the Mungo.

The Mayor of Bamenda III however, says his council sometimes make use of interpreters, and/or pidgin language depending on the request of the couple.

What does the law say?

To understand what the Cameroonian law provides for, in this context, MMI sought the opinion of Barrister Richard Tamfu, a member of the Cameroon Bar and of the Nigerian Bar, based in Douala, Cameroon.

To the legal luminary, the law demands mayors to use any of the official languages in Cameroon, French or English in conducting civil marriages.

“The choice of French over English is legally dependent on the municipal official concerned”

Barrister Tamfu added.

The Barrister however regretted that a long-awaited Family Bill which would have clearly addressed all these issues, is still pending tabling, at the National Assembly.

While related concerns of social injustice suffered by English-speaking Cameroonians, is the reason why the Anglophone crisis persists, MMI, found that far from being simply a matter of marginalisation, the issue of dual language presented a challenge that ought to have received more cogent attention. The discomfort of Anglophones with the Francophone dominance in every sphere of life within the country, is probably responsible for the feeling of dissonance expressed by Roger and his family at their ceremony.

Civil law Vs Common law
Placing the common and civil law systems in this conflicting context, Barrister Tamfu says the law regulating marriages in Cameroon, is Ordinance No. 81, which is the harmonisation of both systems since 1981. What this implies is that at the level of the law, efforts have long been made to find middle ground between the two systems, as far as marriage ceremonies are concerned.

However, the experience of Roger’s family and the views expressed by the Mayor of Bamenda III and Barrister Tamfu, confirm that the practical interpretation of the law leaves much to be desired.

Could Misunderstanding be avoided?

Within the prevailing situation, one wonders if a misunderstanding such as what ensued in the Yaoundé III council could have been averted. In the absence of an interpreter, and the inability of the Mayor to speak English, what was the other alternative that could have made the wedding Anglophone entourage feel at home in Yaoundé?

A civil society leader and a prominent Anglophone voice, Dr Nick Ngwanyam says the problem is with the Yaoundé III Council Mayor’s attitude which leads him to conclude that the Mayor “is an uneducated idiot” though literate. Dr Ngwanyam says the mayor lacks emotional intelligence which would have permitted him to better manage the situation.

“Such intelligence warrants an official to understand that the language he has chosen, is not doing effective communication, irrespective of the context or situation” Dr Ngwanyam opines.

Dr Ngwanyam goes on to add that

“the problem is not with the president or the laws, but with these uneducated natives who misuse power at their deferent levels, just like a priest delivering a message and not minding the language in which it is delivered “.

Dr Ngwanyam

Dr Ngwanyam fears that such problems are recurrent in Cameroon and might continue if “uneducated literates” are not educated on how to manage the diverse population that makes up the Cameroonian polity.

Given that the ongoing crisis has forced and continues to necessitate many English-speaking Cameroonians to seek refuge within the French sections of the country, it is the sad reality that many older persons for whom it might be too late in the day to learn French, have very little choice.

While the French-speaking Cameroonians in the Anglophone regions can opt to travel and conduct their marriage in a council where the language is that which they understand and are comfortable with, the same cannot be said of Anglophone families who have been condemned by conflict to stay away from the comfort zones.

For many families such as that of Rogers Nkah, it seems there is currently very little alternative, than to attend their own marriages, where there are ‘strangers’ who are spoken at, without being communicated to.

Mimi Mefo Info

Human Interest/Society Security/Insecurity

Inondations: Près de 30 000 personnes sans-abris au Cameroun

Environs 4heures le matin du 25 Août à Bilonguè dans le 3è arrondissement de Douala, Jeanne d’Arc voyant des officiels arrivés dans son quartier tient absolument à faire voir à la presse les dégâts de fortes averses tombées il y a quelques jours.

Au domicile familial de la jeune élève, tout est séché à l’extérieur. Des fournitures scolaires aux souliers, en passant par les matelas, la famille tente ainsi de tirer profit de quelques rayons de soleil qui traversent la ville.

Trois jours plutôt les eaux d’une rivière située à quelques mètres de la maison sont montées mouillant tout jusqu’au chambre. Au salon, on aperçoit sur les meubles la limite de près de deux mètres de hauteur atteinte par les eaux.

Depuis lors la demoiselle, ses 06 frères et sœurs ainsi que sa maman chacun passe la nuit que chez un ami, ou un généreux voisin. Dans cet arrondissement de Douala, ils sont plus de 1 000  habitants dans cette situation. A près de 2 kilomètres d’ici, l’on est à Maképè Missokè. Le quartier situé dans le 5è arrondissement de la capitale économique est le cœur des inondations.

En raison d’un habitat précaire et des constructions  anarchiques, les eaux  sont montées par endroit jusqu’aux plafonds, racontent des habitants.

Les habitants de Maképè Missokè

Dans l’ensemble de la commune, ce sont plus de 2 mille personnes pour celles recensées par les autorités qui sont sans abris. Ces dernières semaines, de fortes pluies sont tombées sur Douala privant environs 5000 personnes de leurs toits d’après le ministère de l’administration territoriale.

Dans la ville, les transports ont été impraticables par endroit après ces fortes pluies et notamment celles du 21 Août. Pour la première fois, la quasi-totalité des quartiers de la ville avaient les pieds dans l’eau y compris les quartiers administratifs ou d’affaires comme Bonanjo et AKWA. De fortes montées des eaux liées à des pluies inédites qui ont sorti pour la première fois de son lit le fleuve Wouri.

L’Extrême Nord et l’excès

Ces inondations semblent avoir surpris le gouvernement Camerounais si l’on s’en tient à l’attitude des autorités. Aucun système de gestion des sinistrés n’a été mis sur pied.

Une Surprise manifestée également à l’extrême nord. Dans cette région, plus de 200,000  personnes sont poussées hors  de leurs domiciles d’après des données publiées par nos confrères du trihebdomadaire régional l’Œil du Sahel.

Plus de 200,000  personnes sont poussées hors  de leurs domiciles à l’extrême nord.

l’Œil du Sahel

Dans l’extrême nord, les cultivateurs attendaient les pluies pour semer mais la gravité des précipitations constituent désormais un obstacle. Puisque de vastes cultures ont été détruites par les inondations et les localités les plus affectées sont Maga, Maroua, Bogo, Dargala.

Le Gouvernement a initié une campagne de distribution des produits de première nécessité mais sans répondre aux questions de fond pour l’instant. Notamment la restructuration des villes Camerounaises avec l’un de ses aspects les plus sensibles, l’occupation anarchique des sols.

Human Interest/Society

Les oubliés de la nation: Insécurité au nord du Cameroun

Les départements du Logone et Chari, du Mayo Sava et du Mayo Tsanaga dans la région de l’Extrême-Nord Cameroun sont les théâtres des attaques de djihadistes de Boko Haram. Depuis le début de cette crise, une centaine des membres de Comité de Vigilance y ont trouvé la mort.

Ils sont pour la plupart des pères de famille et exercent en majorité l’agriculture et  l’élevage qu’ils ont dû abandonner pour appuyer les forces de défense et de sécurité.

Les membres de comité de vigilance de Kolofata et leur chef de groupe dans la localité de Mozogo

Ils ont donné leur vie en voulant participer  au renforcement de la sécurité et  lutter contre Boko Haram. Ils ont perdu sommeil en sauvant des vies aux côtés des forces de défense et de sécurité. Parfois très mal équipés, ils n’ont que leur courage et leur rêve de participer au retour de la paix dans leur localité. 

Abandonnant leurs épouses et enfants au milieu de la nuit, exposés au danger en pleine obscurité.

Les femmes et enfants des membres du comité de vigilance

Leurs machettes, couteaux, torches, flèches et bâtons, voilà des matériels utilisés pour affronter les assaillants lourdement armés de fusils AK-47, Kalachnikov et autres armes lourdes.

Un membre du comité de vigilance en plein séance de répétition pour les éventuelles attaques Boko Haram

’Nous traversons les moments difficiles dans la lutte contre Boko Haram. Ils nous arrivent parfois de rester 3 à 4 jours pour cotiser l’argent des piles de nos torches.’’

Mamadi Blama, Membre Comité de Vigilance dans l’arrondissement de Kolofata

’Nous traversons les moments difficiles dans la lutte contre Boko Haram. Ils nous arrivent parfois de rester 3 à 4 jours pour cotiser l’argent des piles de nos torches.’’ indique Mamadi Blama cinquantaine bien sonné membre comité de vigilance dans l’arrondissement de Kolofata.

Les riverains vaquent à leurs occupations

Au début, ils ont reçu des dons du Chef de l’État. Les médailles pour ceux qui sont tombés les armes à la main, avec des maigres enveloppes pour les obsèques des disparus. Pourtant, ces braves personnes ont laissé derrière des enfants orphelins qui n’ont pas eu la chance de recommencer l’école, faute des moyens. Ils se disent abandonnés par l’état qui ignore leur combat, aux côtés de forces de défense durant 5 bonnes années.

Jour du marché à Kolofata, les membres de comité de vigilance en alerte

Aujourd’hui plusieurs familles ne savent plus à quel saint se vouer avec la disparition de pères de famille, principaux piliers. D’autres familles sont restées avec une simple médaille, accrochées au cercueil de leur mari sans soutien, après les obsèques, ni l’encadrement de la famille encore moins le suivi de ces orphelins pour continuer les études.

’Plusieurs membres de comité de vigilance ont abandonné le combat. Ce qui favorise aujourd’hui le retour des attaques,’’

selon un officier de l’armée de terre en fonction dans le département de Mayo Sava.

 ‘’Les dons envoyés par le Chef de l’État aux membres de comité de vigilance pour leur courage et leur bravoure sont partagés à moitié par les autorités administratives’’ 

affirme un chef traditionnel de 2éme degré de Mayo Tsanaga

Le retour en force des attaques de la secte Boko Haram dans le Mayo Sava et Mayo Tsanaga démontre à suffisance que Boko Haram sévit toujours. Surtout en saison pluvieuse où certains membres des comités vigilance vaquent à leurs activités agricoles.

Surveillance de nuit dans la localité de Amchide

Ces  membres de  Comités de Vigilance, courageux et héros sont malheureusement les oubliés de la nation.

Human Interest/Society

Moloundou: Arbitrary arrests, detentions raise tempers

The population of Moloundou, Boumba et Ngoko division in the East region of Cameroon is at the verge of launching a protest action against security and defense forces in the area.

This follows the arrest and detention of over a dozen adults and minors by the gendarmerie and police.

The victims are detained at the gendarmerie brigade in Moloundou for non-possession of national identity cards.

In a publication Monday, September 14, 2020, by Mandela Centre International, the nongovernmental organisation demands the immediate release of people in detention, stressing that government is violating their fundamental rights.

To Mandela Centre International, “Adults without ID cards are forced to pay between FCFA 10.000 to FCFA 15.000 for their release while minors pay between FCFA 5.000 and FCFA 10.000.Those who have refused to pay are detained in very inhuman conditions since the 12th of September 2020.”

According to the NGO, the establishment of national identity cards at the police station in Moloundou has long been suspended by the Cameroon government following violence in the neighbouring Central African Republic.

The NGO adds that people living in Moloundou who wish to establish ID cards are obliged to spend over FCFA 40.000 to travel to Yokadouma (230km away) with all the risk of insecurity and bad roads involved.

Mandela Centre International regrets that even those who established the cards hardly see the originals.

By arresting people without ID cards and demanding such sums of money, the NGO has rated such actions as real fraud end expropriation of money from poor civilians in the area.

By Mbatho Ntan

Human Interest/Society

Insecurity in Bamenda forces buses to overload, passengers exposed to immeasurable risks

Passengers leaving Bamenda recently have been faced with the unwanted prospect of being overloaded into buses due to the precarious security situation that the town has found itself in.

Many agencies that ply the Bamenda-Yaounde road, especially, have had a spike in the number of passengers they usually carry due to continued increase in tensions in the town.
Several persons are desperate to leave the town for the time being.

Some frustrated passengers have complained bitterly about the loaded buses and the risks that passengers stand to incur should any wrong move be made on transit.

“We all know there is a carrying capacity for every transport medium, yet agencies still go about violating these basics…a bus from one of the agencies in Bamenda, with a capacity of 70 seats has boarded between 90 to 100 passengers who have all paid the same amount of transport fare,” grumbled a disgruntled passenger. “This explains why we still have multiple accidents on a daily basis.”

Furthermore, despite the risk of passengers being exposed to the risk of accidents, they are increasingly likely to be exposed to the COVID-19 so easily transmissible in such tight conditions. Such is the extent of the power tussle in the chief town of the Northwest region. Many fear what might become in the long run if the government does nothing to solve the problem of movement in Bamenda.

“I think the government still has to look into this, if not casualties will always surface due to this,” said a passenger.

Mimi Mefo Info

Human Interest/Society

Bamenda: Teenager arrested over rape of 5-year-old

A 16-year-old boy is being held by the forces of law and order in Bamenda in the North West region of Cameroon.

He is accused of raping a 5-year-old.

The incident, sources say occurred at a place called Joe Corner Water at Mile 3.

A source said “He called for the 5-year-old claiming it was the elder brother of the girl that called for her. When the girl came the boy took her into his room.”

“After he raped the girl the 5-year-old, she started crying … He gave her rice to eat but as she continued to cry neighbors came in and … discovered she had been raped” our source says.

The suspect was locked up in his room as they awaited the arrival of the police.

Today’s incident in Bamenda adds to many alleged rape cases that have been witnessed over the last weeks.

Mimi Mefo Info

Human Interest/Society

Bamenda: Three shot dead as government-separatists standoff ensues

Three persons have been shot dead in Bamenda, capital city of Cameron’s North West region.

Media reports name two of the victims- Konfor Gilbert Ngalla and Akum Shallot.

They were allegedly killed by soldiers who opened fire on a vehicle yesterday.

Security forces have made no official statement, but had earlier indicated that they are on a mission to weed out separatists through operation “Bamenda clean”.

The latest casualties in the close to four-year long crisis come after close to two weeks of terror in the town following the killing of a police officer by separatist fighters.

The situation has been worsened by the limitation in modes of transport, leaving civilians helpless.


Human Interest/Society

Douala: Lady accuses husband of sleeping with his stepdaughter

The quarter head and inhabitants of the Non-Glacier neighbourhood in Douala II have launched findings into an alleged rape case that reportedly took place this Thursday morning.

A lady’s distress cries from a private residence alerted neighbours who storm the area to find out what was going on.

The lady in question accused her husband of having sexual relations with her 14-year-old daughter, who is his stepdaughter.

Though her claim has not been verified, it has left many surprised.
“She had gotten married before, where she had three kids, and then she remarried this man and brought her three children with her ex-husband with her. Only the outcome of investigations will tell if the young girl was violated,” narrated a source.

Reports say the 14-year-old will be taken to the hospital for medical checkup.

Mimi Mefo Info

Human Interest/Society

Douala: Another Anglophone inmate dies chained to hospital bed

Douala: Another Anglophone inmate dies chained to hospital bed Sama Ivo, who hails from the North West region was arrested months back in connection with the prevailing armed conflict in Anglophone Cameroon.

He was apprehended alongside several young people and transferred to the Douala New Bell prison, where has passed away August 9, 2020. Sources describe his detention condition as inhumane and degrading.

“Ivo died in chains at the Douala Laquintinie hospital, he had been unwell for months, but authorities were unmoved,” says an inmate.
Our source adds that Ivo had developed a mental illness after he was brutally tortured while in custody. “He had undergone torture and it affected him mentally…he died this morning after pains sustained from the torture. His remains are in the Laquintini Hospital in Douala,” he reveals.

Ivo Sama is one of the thousands of youths, arrested in connection with the Anglophone crisis. Penitentiary Authorities are yet to respond to our requests for comments, on the alleged torture of Ivo as well as his death in custody.

Weeks back, another Anglophone detainee, Thomas Nganyu died in Yaounde chained to his hospital bed. This was despite several criticisms of the inhumane treatment meted on him by security officials while in hospital.

Calls for the release of Anglophone detainees locked up due to the crisis have multiplied – as one of the steps towards initiating an inclusive dialogue for peace to return to the regions.

Mimi Mefo Info