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After Cameroon Biya Justice Minister Threatens Opponents With Holocaust US Waldhouser Explains Aid Cut

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 8 –After Paul Biya who has ruled Cameroon for 36 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. On February 6 the United States says it is belatedly cutting its military aid to Paul Biya:  $17 million in security aid, including funds for  four defender-class patrol boats, radar, nine armored vehicles, training programs for C-130 airplanes and helicopters and the revocation of an ill considered, Guterres-like offer for Cameroon to be a candidate for the State Partnership Program. A planned US funded upgrade to a Cessna aircraft belonging to Cameroon's elite Rapid Intervention Battalion has also been terminated. Tellingly on February 7 colonial power France entirely affirmed its allegiance to Biya, with nothing said about his minister's Holocaust comment. “France is bound by a defense partnership agreement that it conducts according to the international standards,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said.  “In accordance with international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict, this cooperation is also intended to help Cameroon’s defense and security forces combat terrorism, especially against Boko Haram in the north of the country, while protecting the people. This cooperation continues." Does it ever.  By contrast on February 7 speaking in Washington the head of the U.S. Africa Command Gen. Thomas Waldhauser told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he had met with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya alongside the U.S. ambassador before elections in October to discuss issues of rights violation in the country.  The US General said he was “very emphatic with president Biya that the  behavior of his troops  portraying a lack of transparency could have a significant impact on our ability to work with him.”  He spoke just after the US signaled significant military aid to Cameroon.  Here's an excerpt of Gen. Waldhauser’s presentation:  “In October of 2017, the Anglophones said they wanted to actually form their own state; the Ambazonia state. They have been issues there with atrocities… issues with allegations of law of war… issues… that brings all of this to a head.  Over the last several months or so, the State Department has put on hold several security forces assistance programs. Right before the elections in October (2018)  I with Ambassador Peter paid a visit to president Biya. We had a very direct conversation with him with regards to investigations of atrocities, transparency of these atrocities and appropriate battlefield behaviour.  Since that time, the State Department has made a decision not to allocate significant money but at the same time they have released some money that has been on hold to things like scan eagle…aircrafts that assist in the Boko Haram fight in the North.  We still have programs that we continue with them… all kinds of small engagements as well as exercises. We did  have… we talked about the state partnership program with Nebraska. We put that on hold. In conjunction with the ambassador of AFRICOM we decided not to pursue that because it wouldn’t have been a good place for that particular group  to be. So we put a hold to that.  The bottom line is that right now in Cameroon they have been a good partner with us counter-terrorism wise but you cannot neglect the fact that there are alleged atrocities on what is going on there. And so we continue to take our queue from the State Department and the Ambassador and all level of engagement will continue but not to get ahead of what the State Department will say if we have to take other actions. We were very emphatic with president Biya that the  behavior of his troops  portraying a lack of transparency could have a significant impact on our ability to work with him.” The US cut comes while Inner City Press' Freedom of Information Act request remains pending. Inner City Press on 7 September 2018 filed its second Freedom of Information Act request, receipt confirmed by US AFRICOM: "Good Afternoon Mr. Lee, This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act Request received on September 10, 2018 for 1)  the Cameroon Investigation regarding human rights violations and 2) other records concerning abuses by the Cameroon security forces. Your request is being processed in accordance with Title 5 U.S.C. § 552, the Freedom of Information Act.  The actual processing time for the records you requested may depend upon our administrative backlog and records that may require consultation with other DoD components and other agencies. Therefore we must deny your request for expedited processing." We'll have more on this - and this: in Cameroon Biya's Minister Delegate of Justice Momo Jean de Dieu has on camera warned that Biya's opponents "might end up like 'arrogant' Jews whom Hitler put in gas chambers" - his words, video here. Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres, his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, his USG Alison Smale and lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "a formal question for immediate answer and confirmation of receipt   Cameroon Biya's Minister Delegate of Justice Momo Jean de Dieu has on camera warned that Biya's opponents "might end up like 'arrogant' Jews whom Hitler put in gas chambers" - his words, video here.      What is the SG's comment and action on this?" Four hours later and counting, nothing. Nothing at all. This from Guterres who hours after skipping a human rights meeting about Venezuela in the UN Security Council intoned, "the efforts of the UN system in countering hate speech and to devise a global plan of action to deepen this essential work. We had, just last Saturday in Park East Synagogue, a very moving testimony from Rabbi Schneier proposing that we should gather Ministers of Education all over the world to make sure that in schools these questions are clearly introduced in the curricula and that students will never be able to deny these facts. Because indeed, countering hate speech is essential to preventing hate crimes." He is not countering. In fact, he tried to have the Press which covers his hypocrisy removed from the Park East Synagogue. Now, tellingly, with Guterres and his team refusing to respond in any way to the Holocaust statements of the minister of justice of Paul Biya, with whom Guterres bragged at a briefing Inner City Press was banned from he has spoken with at least six times, Biya's defense is in state media of China, which Guterres supports.  Absurdly, they claim the minister's rant, speaking on Cameroon state television, was "strictly personal," and seem to respond only has a matter of diplomatic relations with another state. Rene Sadi, Cameroonian minister of Communication and government spokesman said "The government of Cameroon strongly deplores the irrelevant comments of (Jean de Dieu Momo) and completely dissociates itself," said Sadi in the statement, adding that the minister's comments were "strictly personal."   During an interview on state media on Sunday, Cameroon's Minister Delegate in the Ministry of Justice Jean de Dieu Momo compared Cameroon's opposition party, Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) to the Jews "who were crushed by Hitler because of arrogance." "It (Cameroonian government) wishes to recall that Cameroon and the state of Israel maintain excellent and historic relations," Sadi said.  Really? Even banned, Inner City Press exclusively reported that inside the UN in a closed door meeting with staff Guterres said that human rights questions to governments are impolite and arrogant. Video here. Maybe that's why the most his Resident Coordinator in Cameroon Allegra Baiocchi can muster, as Biya's slaughters Anglophones after Guterres' envoy Francois Lounceny Fall equated secessionist with extremists is to re-tweet a group that didn't consider Cameroon a top 90 problem in its 2018 World Report, on the proposition that If you say, 'Killing civilians is acceptable, because we’re fighting terrorists,' Then you’d probably make a pretty good terrorist. Was that passive aggressive pseudo-trolling of Paul Biya? To this has the UN been reduced by Guterres. And this, on supposed reform: after the power grab of the Resident Coordinator system from UN Development Programm to Amina J. Mohammed, now coming to Cameroon as UNDP's new "Resident Representative" is a PhD student at Science Po Bordeau, Jean-Luc Stalon. Can you see, FrancAfrique? This is how Guterres' UN works, or doesn't.    More here.


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