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Heading UNSC Equatorial Guinea Dodged on Cameroon Despite No Program Now Bridge In Chinese State Media

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 3 – When the Presidency of the UN Security Council was taken over by Equatorial Guinea on February 1 its Ambassador Ndong Mba held a press conference to take questions. But it was only from the media NOT banned by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his Alison Smale and spokesman Stephane Dujarric. Nevertheless, one of the few remaining independent minded journalists asked Mba why there is no meeting this month on Cameroon (where Paul Biya is slaughtering Anglophones daily). Mba archly replied, video here, that he had no comment as Cameroon is not on the Council's agenda (colonial power France, and turncoat UK haven't even asked, as UK Minister Liam Fox bragged about a New Age natural gas deal with Biya). Remarked on only by banned Inner City Press: Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema was the first to congratulate Paul Biya on his seventh term, on 20 October 2018, two full days before the dubious results were announced. But who's counting? Now this, from Chinese state media: Officials of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea said on February 2 that they have agreed on plans to construct a bridge to link both countries.  "It is an integrating project that establishes the possibility of movement between the two countries. Once this project is realized, we will have another possibility of traveling by land through Cameroon and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea," said Paul Tasong, Cameroonian ministerial delegate from the Ministry of Economy Planning and Regional Development.  At the end of the day, the agreement was reached during a meeting in Cameroon's commercial capital Douala between delegations led by Tasong and Baltasar Engonga Edjo, Equatorial Guinean minister in charge of regional integration.  The bridge will be constructed over the Ntem River, on the corridor linking Kribi, Campo in Cameroon and Bata in Equatorial Guinea.  A memorandum of understanding will be signed between both countries on March 15. One Belt One Road?  On Cameroon, Mba said he could not comment on Cameroon because "it is not on the program of work of the Security Council." Video here. But there IS no program of work, still - so it's a strange defense, a bridge to nowhere. On February 1 in the mere eight questions taken there was not one about human rights in Equatorial Guinea, which has had the same president for forty years. The first question was taken by the United Nations Correspondents Association, whose Valeria Robecco said there are two issues in Africa: Boko Haram and the DR Congo. That'll all? This UN Correspondents Association - which at most represents 10% even of the journalist who come into the UN each year, and did nothing about its partners Guterres, Dujarric and Smale's censorship - has said nothing about, for example, the automatic exclusion by Guterres' UN of journalists from Taiwan. We'll have more on this UNCA and the permanent seat they devote to China. On February 1, Inner City Press live-tweeted the increasingly craven "press conference" until, at the end, one of the few independent thinking and asking correspondents made it a point to ask why Cameroon was not on the agenda. Ngong Mba answered archly that he would not say anything about Cameroon, since it is not on the Security Council's agenda. That's deference, from a country with a 40 year president to another with a 36 year ruler, currently slaughtering Anglophones with very little said by UNSG Antonio Guterres including in his meetings with Mba's Cameroonian counterpart when he was chair of the UN Budget Committee where Guterres wanted favors. Mba to his credit did reveal that Kuwait has asked for an Any Other Business meeting about Hebron. The session was brief, perhaps in part because there was no Program of Work handed out. Those who want to knock Kosovo off the quarterly reporting schedule refused to agree to a February 7 meeting. Mba cited the US in September as also not having a program of work. But there was a hand out of the rest of the schedule. Not so with Equatorial Guinea. They should be sending their information to Inner City Press which covers the UN Security Council closely - in person until roughed up and banned by Guterres amid its questions about his spending and silence on Cameroon, Obiang style -  but we'll see. Watch this site, daily.  In the eight questions there was no follow up on the expulsion of Guterres' envoy Nicholas Haysom from Somalia.  Nothing on Burundi, or Gabon or Togo.  But on those, the answer presumably would have been the same. This is today's UN, so far unchanged by the other "new" UNSC members Germany, Indonesia, South Africa and Belgium...


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