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From Cameroon UN Guterres Credibility Questioned By Kamto In Letter To Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP

UN GATE, Sept 25 – From a prison in Yaounde in Cameroon, on September 25 Inner City Press received an open letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres from CRM leader Maurice Kamto who though his intermediary in the US asked that Inner City Press, banned from the UN by Guterres, publish its contents. We immediately do, retyping from PDF and prepared to ask Guterres and his spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming about it in writing:

"Dear Mr. Secretary General, We are very skeptical about your role as an honest broker and neutral facilitator in the resolution of Cameroon's multiform crisis, as would be expected from the UN Secretary General. Our appreciation is based on the following observations: Soon after the presidential election, we wrote to you to warn of the chaotic situation in which Cameroon has been locked up for 37 years, due to a biased and unreliable electoral system....

We notably pointed out the rigging of this election and other resulting crises our country is confronting, epitomized by the Anglophone Norht-West and South-West (NOSO) regions' conflict and related humanitarian drama...

No concrete actions from the UN Secretariat were noticed afterwards. To the same extent, whereas, the recent visit to Cameroon of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Michelle Bachelet, was very disappointed by its poor achievement: an audience with Mr. BIYA, her decoration and a short meeting with some political activists. No field visit to the NOSO afflicted regions and no meeting with the political prisoners. 

Mr BIYA unwillingly undertook the Geneva dialogue initiative. Following its announcement, we were surprised by your prompt endorsement of a process that was bound to fail, as this unilateral approach underlined by a divisive rationale is far from the required broad-based, consensual process and undercuts its credibility... your prompt rush to applaud this initiative without ensuring of the fulfillment of the key conditions for its success. 

In consequence, the credibility of the UN Secretary General is questioned. Truly yours, Mauice Kamto Christian Penda Ekoka Political prisoners, Yaounde, Cameroon, 24 September 2019."  We'll have more on this.

After Paul Biya who has ruled Cameroon for 37 years on January 28 had his opponent Maurice Kamto arrested, Inner City Press again asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his spokesmen for their comment and action, if any. This came after Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up on 3 July 2018 after it interviewed Biya's Ambassador about the two men's Budget Committee deals and banned from the UN since - Guterres even tried to get Inner City Press banned from the Park East Synagogue, here, which was denied / dodged by his French spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who put up then took down a podcast in which he brags about his "mutually assured destruction" relationship with journalists, here.

  On September 18 and again on September 23 Inner City Press submitted to Guterres, Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming, among others, questions about Guterres' and the UN's failures on Cameroon, see below. None were answered; Guterres has banned Inner City Press from the UN for 448 days amid these questions. But there's a protest at the UN gate, and others in Nigeria and Canada. And Guterres has no comments on these.

Inner City Press as of September 25 is being banned by Guterres and Melissa Fleming from covering the UN General Assembly, presided over by Nigeria's ambassador Tijjani Muhammed-Bande. We'll have more on this.

Inner City Press live tweeted the shameful May UNSC session and uploaded Guterres' envoy Francois Fall's failing statement here.

  More here.


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