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On Cameroon UN Bachelet Cravenly Welcomes Invitations From Paul Biya Rep of Guterres Silent on Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 6 –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, which was denied / dodged by his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who put up then took down a podcast in which he brags about his "mutually assured destruction" relationship with journalists, here. Guterres' head of human rights Michelle Bachelet has now gone and PRAISED Paul Biya, shamefully: "Bachelet welcomes Cameroon’s willingness to cooperate to tackle human rights crises     GENEVA (6 May 2019) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, after concluding a visit to Cameroon, has welcomed the Government’s openness to work with the UN Human Rights Office, and the rest of the UN, to seek effective solutions to the major human rights and humanitarian crises caused by the serious unrest and violence taking place in the west and north of the country.     “I believe there is a clear – if possibly short – window of opportunity to arrest the crises that have led to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, as well as the killings and brutal human rights violations and abuses that have affected the northern and western areas of the country,” Bachelet said. “But it will not be easy to turn these situations around. It will take significant actions on the part of the Government, and substantial and sustained support from the international community – including us in the UN.”     “The challenges are immense, and the situation involving some ten or more separatist movements in the North-West and South-West regions risks spiraling completely out of control, if serious measures are not taken to reduce tensions and restore trust. There is also a general understanding that the root causes and underlying grievances must also be tackled if long-term stability is to return to a country that had, until just a few years ago, been one of the most settled and peaceful in the region.”     The UN Human Rights Chief noted that the Government is also facing other major challenges, including cross-border incursions by armed groups and criminal organizations along its eastern border with the Central African Republic. At the same time, in the north of the country, the armed forces are struggling to cope with the depredations and suicide attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram and, in the far north around Lake Chad, the population is being terrorized and  attacked by another extremist organization, the so-called Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA). In addition, Cameroon is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.     In several regions, civilians and soldiers have been killed and mutilated, and entire villages have been burned.  Children have been abducted and forced to join the armed groups, and have even been utilized as unwitting suicide bombers by Boko Haram. In the two western regions, schools, hospitals and other key infrastructure has been targeted and destroyed by the various separatist groups; and government employees, including teachers who have dared to continue teaching, have been targeted and killed or abducted.     The security forces have also been accused of committing serious violations, including extra-judicial killings and torture, against civilians and captured fighters in both the north and the west.     During three days of meetings and consultations in the capital, Yaoundé, the High Commissioner had an in-depth discussion with President Paul Biya on the human rights challenges facing the country, and initiatives the Government has taken to deal with them, as well as their broader linkages with peace, security and development. She also met with the Prime Minister and the Minister of External Relations; the Minister of Defence, alongside top army and police officials; the Minister of Territorial Administration (Interior), the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Women, Empowerment and Family, and the Minister of Secondary Education.     The UN Human Rights Chief thanked the President for inviting her, and expressed appreciation to him and the members of his Government, as well as her other interlocutors, including civil society organizations and media, the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, the President of the National Assembly and Vice-President of the Senate, opposition and ruling party politicians and seven senior leaders of various religious communities, as well as the diplomatic corps.     She also noted with appreciation the briefings she received from the leaders of two new bodies set up by the President to tackle specific issues related to the problems in the west and the north, namely the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, and the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee." We'll have more on this. Now after the US Mission to the UN has been silent on Guterres' corruption about Cameroon and his censorship, and did nothing after Inner City Press asked then Ambassador Nikki Haley about Cameroon in October 2017, here (and then after she left the charge Jonathan Cohen, again nothing), the US Mission and its spokesperson who has repeatedly refused Inner City Press' questions about Cameroon has whispered to Agence France Presse (AFP), which praises Gutteres, that it has gotten a UNSC meeting on May 13. It will be closed door, and the way the US Mission has done things to date, it may accomplish little. In fact, as of the morning of May 6, there was no Cameroon listed on the UNSC's Program of Work. Photo here. (There is talk of Biya's government bragging of a postponement, while the "Deputy Chief Strategist at Cameroon Ministry of External Relations" Paul Elvic Batchom claims to Inner City Press that there are no mass killings, here.

  But others who fiddled while Buea burned, like HRW which told Inner City Press Cameroon was not in their view a top 90 problem to be included in their World Report 2018, now belatedly scramble, amid admonishing fight back, with previously withheld citations to torture in the Yaounde "detention" facilities of Biya's State Defense Secretariat (Secrétariat d’Etat à la défense, SED). Nor has Inner City Press' September 2018 Freedom of Information Act request, here, been responded to. From the request: "On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity as its United Nations bureau chief, Matthew Russell Lee, this is a request pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 for the following information: 1) most pressingly, for the report on human rights abuse by the Cameroon military and of the US' knowledge thereof, on information and belief headed by Brig. Gen. Timothy McAteer and concluded in November 2017; 2) any and all other records in your possession concerning abuses by the Cameroon security forces, including but not limited to in the North-West and South-West regions, from January 1, 2017 to the date of your response to this request.  This request, particularly (1) above which can and should be treated separately, should be afforded expedited treatment. Inner City Press is reporting on abuses in Cameroon, including with the knowledge of the US - and why there has been no UN Security Council meeting on Cameroon. The US is for this month the president of the US Security Council and this request should be fully responded to in that time frame, including any necessary appeal."  Not a single document yet. We will have more on this.

n the run up to the so-called National Day on May 20 - in New York, before having Inner City Press roughed up and banned, Guterres' chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti and his Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed partied with Tommo Monthe in a Manhattan townhouse singing "Buvez du champagne," Video here, from 4:30 -- this: "The insecurity in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon keeps paralysing activities in that part of the country despite the failure of administrative officials to admit the fact. The Divisional Officer of Alou, Lebialem Division of the South West region has convened a meeting in Dschang to prepare for the National Day celebrations.  Due to the insecurity in Alou, the meeting can not hold in the locality but in neighbouring Dschang in the West region of Cameroon." We'll have more in the approach to this ghoulish Cameroun National Day, including in New York. I
n the village of Ikata in SW Cameroon on April 26 Paul Biya's soldiers shot unarmed civilians including a woman named as Glory, and burned houses down.
While Guterres' UN does nothing about the outrage of Nigeria sending back to military custody refugees and asylum seekers, Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine others are expected in court on Monday April 29 where their hearing continues but they have now released a statement through their defense team saying they will not be appearing.  Their lawyers say given the fact that they have taken the matter to Appeal court all proceedings at a lower jurisdiction (military tribunal) must be halted as per the law on criminal proceedings.  The lawyers have since appealed a decision by the Military tribunal to judge the detained leaders in Cameroon despite the fact that they are refugees and asylum seekers. One would have thought that former UNHCR chief Guterres would not collude in this, but that was before the golden statue and UN Budget Committee deals with Biya's ambassador Tommo Monthe.  Guterres is killing what's left of the UN's credibility with his corruption and no due process censorship. Of course, Guterres and Dujarric won't answer questions from Inner City Press not only about Cameroon but even about how 27 new Resident Coordinators are being recruited. Their UN is increasingly corrupt. Guterres' envoy
Mohammed Ibn Chambas is ghoulishly lavishing praise on Cameroon and Amina J. Mohammed's Nigeria, which illegally refouled 47 to Cameroon, and on himself for what he called “remarkable progress” in demarcating the disputed Cameroon-Nigeria maritime border over the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula.  Obeying international law on non-refoulement? Not so much. But Big Tony doesn't care about that, quite the contrary. Chambas gushed, “The UN is doing everything it can to continue to make progress,” in Yaounde, after briefing Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute. 

  More here.


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