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On Cameroon Inner City Press Asked Belgium About A May 13 UNSC Meeting No Answer Despite EU Day

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 9 –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. Now after whispers from the UN Security Council about a belated UNSC meeting on May 1, as of the morning of May 9, there was no Cameroon listed on the UNSC's Program of Work. Photo here. Early on the morning of May 6 Inner City Press submitted written questions, this one to the UN Mission of Belgium which has done nothing at all about Guterres' now 309 days of banning Inner City Press: "Press Q re Cameroon, any UNSC meeting, Belgian Mission's position on that and continued banning of Inner City Press from entering UN - To: peter.verbrugghe [at], isabelle.bardijn [at], newyorkUN [at] this is a Press request to the Belgian Mission as a member of the UN Security Council to be informed this morning of your Mission's knowledge of any upcoming UNSC meeting about Cameroon of any kind, including Any Other Business informal consultations, whether May 13 or any other date. Inner City Press wrote to you about this in July 2018, below.     Also, what is your country's position on the situation there and what will / would it seek to accomplish at any UNSC meeting (and if there is no meeting, why not). Relatedly, please explain how it is legitimate for the UN to bar entry to Inner City Press after ousting it while it covered the 3 July 2018 Fifth (Budget) Committee then chaired by Cameroon, and asked about this situation and other under-performance by the UN. Inner City Press' most recent application for re-accreditation to enter and cover the UNSC stakeout, submitted on 15 April 2019, was denied without explanation on April 17. ("Greetings Matthew LEE from ICP     INNER CITY PRESS,  Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M66561081, has been declined.") What has your Mission does, or what will it do, about this?" Two full days later, after one UN noon briefing in which the first questioner ask about the UK royal baby, and a second promoting Guterres' and Dujarric's current European junket, and still no answer. We'll have more on this.

  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.

  More here.


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