Month: October 2013

KENYANS REBUKE POLICE RESPONSE TO GANG-RAPE

The Kenyan police’s response to a recent gang rape has sparked up a wave of petitions, against what is considered a shameful response. According to reports, alleged culprits of gang-rape, after being arrested by the police, were simply asked to cut grass around the police offices.

Kenyans have taken to the streets, carrying placards in protest to that decision, for justice to be served a 16 year old teenager, named Liz, for identity protection, who was attacked and repeatedly gang-raped in the village of Busia in Western Kenya, on her return from a grand-father’s funeral. After being gang-raped, she was thrown unconscious in a pit latrine where she broke her back. She now moves in a wheelchair.

About .2 million Kenyans have signed a petition to the police, asking for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the 3 alleged culprits. An online petition on her plight was made by activist Nebila Abdulmelik, calling attention to justice for Liz.

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MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST BIONIC MAN

Rex, the iron human

Rex, the iron human

True to the statement that “wonders would never end”, only the end may be a wonder. Rex was recently presented to the world as the first bionic man. Though with a human face, he has artificial organs, synthetic blood, robotic limbs and he can speak and listen, too.

Robotic limbs

Robotic limbs of the “human”

Unveiled at a special exhibition at London’s Science Museum this week, the artificial human was created for a Channel 4 documentary called How to Build a Bionic Man. The project cost £640k ($1m) and showcases the latest achievements and advancements in bionic technology and prosthetic science.

According to Channel 4’s science editor Tom Clarke, “his parts aren’t designed to work together, but each one either is, or soon could be, part of a living human being.”

PIRATE ATTACKS BECOME RAMPANT IN BAKASSI

Attacks by pirates in the Cameroonian peninsular of Bakassi, have been on the rise, ever since the territory was formerly handed over to Cameroon, on August 14, 2013.

Recently, on October 16, 2013, pirates, believed to have travelled from the Nigerian side, attacked three trawlers in the Bakassi waters around Rio Del Rey, shot the captain of one of them, and took two others hostage.

According to reports on a local newspaper, the victim, Jude Ajie, was spared, only after his ship engineer paid the pirates the sum of FCFA 1 million. This is obviously not new, as ransoms have been paid in past cases to pirates, notably, for the release of two CDC Malaysian workers; the French hostages taken in the North of Cameroon, to name but these.

On another instance, it was reported by another local newspaper( Mutations), that pirates hit the Cameroonian side on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. This time around, a group of 10 Nigerian pirates targeted a Nigerian fisherman, who operated with a Cameroonian license in Cameroonian waters. They took the captain of the trawler, together with his mechanic.

Though trusted sources reveal that the 10-man group could well be responsible for the last attack, the group is yet unnamed. However, the security element, BIR Delta, charged with ensuring the safety of all on the peninsular, attests to the proper organization of the pirates as compared to other known groups, which are well armed.

These pirates, target not only humans to demand a ransom, but equally seize flying boats, outboard engines, and any other valuable that can bring in cash.

A top military official however believes these recurrent attacks are as a result of BIR Delta’s concentration around oil fields, to the detriment of the population, whom he says, have to be the focus. He therefore proposes, as remedy, that elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR Delta, be in every boat, to curb the worsening situation of pirate attacks, especially in Cameroonian waters.

AU DECRIES ICC BIAS TOWARD AFRICA

The African Union has cried foul, to seeming bias, demonstrated by the International Criminal Court, toward African Heads of States.

With both Kenyan and Sudanese presidents facing ICC cases, African leaders have long complained that the court unfairly targets them.

 Uhuru Kenyatta, facing charges for violence after 2007 elections

Uhuru Kenyatta, facing charges for 2007 post elections violence

Addressing the summit, Mr. Kenyatta accused the court of bias and “race-hunting”, AFP reports.”The ICC has been reduced into a painfully farcical pantomime, a travesty that adds insult to the injury of victims. It stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers.”

“In advanced countries, sitting presidents are not hauled before courts. It’s for the courts to wait for the president to finish their terms before proceedings can be instituted,” Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s foreign minister told a news conference.

The AU leaders, meeting in Addis Ababa, agreed to back immunity for any sitting African head of state. The African Union summit in Ethiopia has demanded a deferral of The Hague trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to start in November.

According to Mark Kersten’s (London School of Economics researcher, who set up the Justice in Conflict blog) word to the BBC, “The Kenyatta and Ruto trials have brought tensions to a head.” “The perception that the court is neo-colonialist and anti-African has burgeoned and solidified [in the AU].”

Though the AU has amongst others agreed on a resolution stating no sitting African head of state should appear before an international court, senior figures including Kofi Annan have criticized plans to quit the ICC.

All the same, Ethiopian Prime Minister and AU chairman Hailemariam Dessalegn said the summit was not a crusade against the ICC but a call for the court to address Africa’s concerns seriously.

 

“Your Greatest Strength”

30 Days of Purpose

It has been said that the two hardest things for a person to say is, “I was wrong” and “I am sorry”.  But there is one more that seems to be equally if not more difficult to say, and that is the ability to sincerely tell a person “I forgive you”.  For a number of reasons forgiveness is one of the hardest character traits to develop; but for those of us who desire to live our lives on purpose, I say this is truly your greatest strength.  Our lack of forgiveness does not hurt the person who offended us, but it keeps us forever tied and locked into the offence.  But somehow we have come to believe that withholding forgiveness gives us some sort of power, makes us more right, or makes people pay.  But who really has the power when we say things like, “I will never forgive him…

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HONOUR FOR REUNIFICATION DAY?

This day marks exactly Fifty-two (52) years, since the reunification of Cameroon; the reunion of former British Southern Cameroons, with former East Cameroon. (1 OCTOBER 1961)

Infrastructure for reunification celebrations

Infrastructure for reunification celebrations

Cameroonians pride themselves in the soon-to-come celebrations marking 50 years of reunification, but fail to honour the actual date when the foundation for the celebrations was laid.

52 years after John Ngu Foncha of former West Cameroon, and President Ahmadou Ahidjo of former East Cameroon put their signatories at the historic Mountain Hotel in BUEA, giving birth to a reunified Cameroon, Cameroonians are still bustling with preparations for the celebrations of 50 years of reunification, and one wonders what becomes of the remaining 2 years.

The new reunification stand

The new reunification stand

According to an interview granted President Paul Biya to State TV, the celebratios for 50 years of reunification, will effectively take place before the end of this year 2013, as he awaits technical irregularities to straigthen up.

Even as the day rides away, no mention of the date’s importance is hinted. Could you wait until you’re 80 years to celebrate your 78th birthday.  You may though, as that’s the reality soon to come to fruition.

THE FUTURE: FOR AGED PERSONS

Today is celebrated the world over, the International Day of Older persons. In Cameroon,  the day is celebrated under the theme: “The future we want: what older persons are saying”.

The theme of the 2013 commemoration, “The future we want: what older persons are saying” has been chosen to draw attention to the efforts of older persons, civil society organizations, United Nations organizations and Member States to place the issue of ageing on the international development agenda.

Activities marking the celebrations, will be launched in Cameroon on October 8, 2013, at the Yaounde “Cercle Municipal”, under the patronage of Catherine Mbakang Mbock, Minister of Social Affairs.

HISTORIC TWIN POLLS END IN CAMEROON

Cameroonians the nation over, finally cast their votes yesterday, September 30, 2013, for the twin Municipal and Legislative elections , as they had to elect 180 parliamentarians, and 10.632 councillors in the country.

like every other Cameroonian in his own municipality, the Head of State, President Paul Biya, together with the first lady, Chantal Biya, cast their votes at the Government Bilingual Primary School Bastos polling station, where cheery and eager crowds stood, awaiting their turns.

The elections, which acording to most chiefs of polling staions, has been on the most part hitch-free, are peculiar, first in thier duality (municipal/parliamentary), as well as its feature of the biometric voter registration: first of its kind.

This may in most regards, stamp out electoral fraud, often decried by electorates and opposition parties in the nation, as they eagerly await the publication of results.