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Posts Tagged ‘Cameroon’

Cameroon Opposition Leader Attacked by Police

In Cameroon, World Revolution on February 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM

A video has emerged on YouTube of Cameroon’s scheduled protests showing police attacking the Cameroon opposition leader Kah Walla.

The Cameroonian people rise to say no to Paul Biya, the Cameroon president for over 28 years, but as we can see from this video, the elements of the police and the army don’t hesitate to use force to suppress a legitimate manifestation of Cameroonians.

An account of the day by opposition presidential aspirant Kah Walla, who was brutally attacked in the video above.

The march was in process and when police approached, protesters sat down on the ground in the street in a non-violent posture.

Police immediately proceeded to beat the crowd with batons and when Kah stood up to say it was not necessary since the protesters were peaceful, the police commissioner yelled out directions to have her brought to him saying he would “teach her a lesson.”

She was dragged out and made to stand on the median in the middle of the street. The police commissioner then asked the truck containing water to turn around and focus on her. With the high-powered hoses directed at her, she was hosed down brutally for minutes and when she managed to escape she was grabbed, beaten on the back of her legs and dragged to a police detention truck. She had difficulty seeing and breathing due to the chemicals in the water. When she finally gained composure she was released. Many protesters with her were savagely beaten all over their bodies including the head with batons.

Cameroon Revolution Live Updates

Cameroon Starts Their #Feb23 Protests Early

In Cameroon, WikiLeaks, World Revolution on February 23, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Despite all search engines showing nothing but football for news in Cameroon, Twitter insists they are having a revolution, beginning with protests on February 23. The hashtags are being used, but there is very little under them. The Cameroon Tribune reports “Thousands of youths last Thursday, February 10 marched in the streets of Yaounde to demonstrate their patriotism and commitment to preserve peace, stability and development in Cameroon. The march in support of President Paul Biya and the institution he incarnates was in reaction to the wind of violence and destabilisation of State institutions blowing across some African countries.”

There are three pictures circulating online that say they depict “Youngsters from Cameroon protest against the government and the president Biya, willing to stay in power by changing the Constitution. The crowd was also protesting against the unemployment and the inflation. They burnt public building, cars, and even a bus.” But the pictures are from the February 2008 riots which killed between 40 and 139 people. Those riots broke out when 78 year old Biya , who has been president for 29 years, brought in a constitutional change that did away with presidential term limits and enabled him to run again. There is another presidential election due in October, but Cameroon’s elections, always regarded as some of the most corrupt in the world, received a new blow in March 2010 when parliament passed a bill giving the government oversight of poll preparations, supplanting the previous independent electoral body.

“This law is the worst law we’ve ever had because it brings back the administration and members of the judiciary into the electoral process in full force,” said Afany Ngeh, executive president of the Foundation for Human Rights and Development. “These are two very corrupt groups in this country that have paralysed elections in the past.”

Cameroonian Presidential candidate and women’s rights activist Kah Walla has warned Cameroon President Paul Biya that protests could come to Cameroon in an open letter on February 12. “It is a very bad season for presidents who have been in power for over 20 years, maintaining their power through dubious, ritualistic elections, which have credibility neither with their own people nor with the global community,” she wrote.

According to US state cable 09YAOUNDE369 from 2009, “Cameroon’s ability to track its own budget is among the worst in Africa. … The Embassy believes there is significant variance between the projected budget and the budget as it is actually executed. Embassy contacts tell us that the GRC does not have the capacity to track its own budget execution because there is no interface among various computer programs used by the Office of the Budget (which plans the budget) and the Office of the Treasury (which spends the money), meaning even the Minister of Finance is incapable of giving a detailed account for how funds were spent. Additionally, numerous civil society organizations have reported difficulty in obtaining detailed expenditure information for their efforts to track budget execution in certain localities or in certain sectors. For many years, the GRC was engaging in off-budget spending, including especially use of oil revenues to finance security and defense projects. This practice was increasingly reduced during the GRC’s participation in the IMF program, but recent reports indicate the GRC is again spending substantial sums “off-budget.”

Amnesty international describes Cameroon as routinely using killings and torture to repress political dissent,and says of the victims of the 2008 riot killings, “Amnesty International has received photographs and testimonies suggesting that some of the victims were shot at point blank range, without any effort made to arrest them.”

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Cameroon has a scheduled protest against the government on february 23, but there was earlier activity in Akwa Douala today. Police reportedly beat up protesters and arrested thier leader Moumbua, and 2 others. The protesters carried placards with messages that Paul Biya must give an account of the money stolen in Cameroon, and he must go.

The Doha Debates: Is The World Better Off With WikiLeaks?

In WikiLeaks on February 17, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Six out of ten Arabs believe that the world is better off with WikiLeaks and nearly three quarters would like to see the whistleblowing website publish more on the Arab world.

Support for WikiLeaks and a demand for greater transparency emerged from a wide-ranging Doha Debate poll that surveyed the views of Arabs in 17 Gulf, North Africa and Levant countries, including Egypt and Tunisia. Fieldwork was conducted between the 1st and 6th of February 2011 and included over 1000 respondents.

The results closely mirror the results at a public forum in Qatar where 74 percent of the audience at the recent Doha Debate carried the motion ‘This House believes the world is better off with WikiLeaks’.

In the aftermath of the fall of the Ben Ali regime Tunisia, nearly 60 percent of respondents believe WikiLeaks played a part in the events in Tunisia and the demonstrations in other Arab countries.

More than 60 percent believe that WikiLeaks will change the way governments behave.

55 percent of Arabs revealed in the poll that they believe little to nothing of what their governments tell them. This figure is highest in North Africa where 65 percent of citizens believe little to nothing of government information.

Half of those surveyed want full access to information and transparency.

Despite the support for WikiLeaks, more than half of those interviewed believed the materials released are not 100 percent accurate and truthful. Additionally, an equal number were unsure of whether WikiLeaks has a political agenda or not.

Download the Polling Data Here (PDF)

Arab youth have overwhelmingly embraced the WikiLeaks phenomenon and told their governments to stop lying to them.

In the latest Doha Debate an audience of mostly Arab and Muslim students supported the motion: This House believes the world is better off with Wikileaks, by a margin of 74 to 26 percent.

The highly-charged debate was held weeks after the whistle-blowing website published confidential US diplomatic cables, exposing official corruption in several Middle East states and a yawning gap between the private and public positions of Arab rulers on Iran.

A student won instant applause when he said:  “I would rather live in a world where I am told the truth than in a world where I am told lies”. Another female student from Qatar asked: “Is it really that wrong to know the truth?”

Panelists clashed frequently over the rights and wrongs of leaking secret State Department cables.

“WikiLeaks is not the solution,” said former Canadian diplomat Scott Gilmore, who argued against the motion.

“Democracy is a messy house with a leaking roof. Julian Assange wants to blow up the house and ruin the diplomatic system.” He added that Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was a “foreign terrorist from the old school of anarchy”.

This sparked protest from a Jordanian member of the audience. “You have no right to call him a terrorist for giving out information that should not be hidden from the public [the way] other international news channels do.”

Carl W. Ford, a former intelligence chief at the State Department, also opposed the motion.

“WikiLeaks is forcing governments to tighten up systems and become less transparent, contrary to what Assange says he is out to achieve,” he said. “Soon there won’t be anything left for whistle-blowers to do.”

Mr. Ford added: “Instead of relying on Julian, we have courts, congressional hearings, journalism and whistle-blowers,” adding that existing mechanisms were sufficient to hold presidents accountable.

Speaking in favour of the motion were Sir Richard Dalton, former British Ambassador to Iran, and Carne Ross, who resigned from the British Foreign Office over Iraq.

“The world is better off with WikiLeaks because it has exposed many wrong-doings,” said Dalton, currently Associate fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London. “We want a government that does not abuse its power. Truth and accountability are important… We have to hold governments accountable for lies and deceit.”

Recalling his first-hand experience with the British government in the run-up to the Iraq conflict, Carne Ross added: “They exaggerated the arguments for war. Parliament and the media did not do their job.  If governments told the truth we wouldn’t need WikiLeaks.”

“We still don’t know the real reason why the US and the UK went to war in Iraq.”

WikiLeaks Vindicates Those Behind Unfolding Revolutions

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