Category Archives: Sports

Nigerians in Cameroon Call for Help After Separatist Attacks

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – Nigerians living in Cameroon are asking both their government and their host country for help after at least 20 Nigerians were killed in separatist violence.

Ngozi Ester, 27, says she, her husband and three children escaped from the English-speaking northwestern town of Kumbo after suspected separatists attacked them one week ago.

“I pleaded with them that I am a Nigerian, but they insisted that since they are using the money for the taxes I pay to buy weapons and kill Anglophones, I am supporting the crisis, and they burned all of my goods and they destroyed everything I was doing,” she said from Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

Separatists in north- and southwestern Cameroon ordered all businesses to close to protest the lifetime prison sentence given to their leader, Ayuk Tabe, by a military tribunal in Yaounde.

Joseph Ukah Mbila, president of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says they have taken in at least 100 Nigerians who fled the crisis. He says many of them were kidnapped and released only after ransoms were paid.

“Nigerians in those two regions have suffered a lot,” he said. “You know, we do not depend on salaries; we depend on our business and when you see they are not doing business, they have children, they have house rents to pay, they have electricity bills to pay, water bills and other things, they are suffering a lot. Many of them have packed out to Yaounde, to Douala, to Bafoussam.”

North- and southwest Cameroon have been rocked by violence since 2017, when English-speaking separatists began pushing to secede from Cameroon and its French-speaking majority.

Since Friday, a series of special church services has been organized in Yaounde to raise funds to assist stranded Nigerians. John Ibe, secretary general of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says the beneficiaries will include families of 12 Nigerians who died in a shipwreck in late August.

He says the 12 victims, like thousands of commuters between Cameroon and Nigeria, had avoided traveling to Nigeria by road for fear of being killed or kidnapped by fighters.

“In less than one year, we have had four shipwrecks between Nigeria and Cameroon. This kind of loss of life, this kind of wanton loss of material resources. … Nigerians cannot take it anymore,” Ibe said.

Mbila says Nigerians want their government to help the government of Cameroon find a lasting solution to the crisis.

“There should be dialogue because there is nothing in this world that cannot be resolved on a round table,” he said. “There should be an exchange of ideas so that peace will come back to this great nation. We suffered civil war in Nigeria and we know what it means.”

It is estimated that between four and five million Nigerians live in Cameroon, the majority living in the English-speaking regions. The government has advised foreigners who feel threatened to leave, but says it is protecting everyone.

Source: Voice of America

Nigerians in Cameroon Call for Help After Separatist Attacks

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – Nigerians living in Cameroon are asking both their government and their host country for help after at least 20 Nigerians were killed in separatist violence.

Ngozi Ester, 27, says she, her husband and three children escaped from the English-speaking northwestern town of Kumbo after suspected separatists attacked them one week ago.

“I pleaded with them that I am a Nigerian, but they insisted that since they are using the money for the taxes I pay to buy weapons and kill Anglophones, I am supporting the crisis, and they burned all of my goods and they destroyed everything I was doing,” she said from Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

Separatists in north- and southwestern Cameroon ordered all businesses to close to protest the lifetime prison sentence given to their leader, Ayuk Tabe, by a military tribunal in Yaounde.

Joseph Ukah Mbila, president of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says they have taken in at least 100 Nigerians who fled the crisis. He says many of them were kidnapped and released only after ransoms were paid.

“Nigerians in those two regions have suffered a lot,” he said. “You know, we do not depend on salaries; we depend on our business and when you see they are not doing business, they have children, they have house rents to pay, they have electricity bills to pay, water bills and other things, they are suffering a lot. Many of them have packed out to Yaounde, to Douala, to Bafoussam.”

North- and southwest Cameroon have been rocked by violence since 2017, when English-speaking separatists began pushing to secede from Cameroon and its French-speaking majority.

Since Friday, a series of special church services has been organized in Yaounde to raise funds to assist stranded Nigerians. John Ibe, secretary general of the Nigerian Union in Yaounde, says the beneficiaries will include families of 12 Nigerians who died in a shipwreck in late August.

He says the 12 victims, like thousands of commuters between Cameroon and Nigeria, had avoided traveling to Nigeria by road for fear of being killed or kidnapped by fighters.

“In less than one year, we have had four shipwrecks between Nigeria and Cameroon. This kind of loss of life, this kind of wanton loss of material resources. … Nigerians cannot take it anymore,” Ibe said.

Mbila says Nigerians want their government to help the government of Cameroon find a lasting solution to the crisis.

“There should be dialogue because there is nothing in this world that cannot be resolved on a round table,” he said. “There should be an exchange of ideas so that peace will come back to this great nation. We suffered civil war in Nigeria and we know what it means.”

It is estimated that between four and five million Nigerians live in Cameroon, the majority living in the English-speaking regions. The government has advised foreigners who feel threatened to leave, but says it is protecting everyone.

Source: Voice of America

Fate of Dadaab Refugee Camp in Limbo as Kenya Presses for Closure

NAIROBI More than once in recent years, Kenyan officials have called for the closure of Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, home to more than 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom fled Somalia during or since the 1991 civil war. In February, Kenya’s government wrote to the U.N. refugee agency, ordering the camp closed by mid-year.

The fate of thousands of refugees is in limbo.

Mohammed Aden says his parents fled Somalia’s Gedo region for Kenya 27 years ago. He was just three years old when they arrived at Dadaab.

Now 30, he says he was able to get an education, good health care, and a family of his own that knows no other home but Dadaab. And constant threats of its closure now gives them sleepless nights.

“We do not have a nice place back in our country,” he said. “We have been here for almost 27 years. What we are provided here � the key is education, health, and also water, sanitation, even food � we are provided for by UNHCR. So if we go back, first no education, so when we go back to our country � no life at all there.”

Working on ‘solutions’

The camp would be closed by the end of August if the Kenyan plan is followed through.

The United Nations refugee agency says it is working with the Kenyan government to provide “solutions.”

Speaking to reporters, UNHCR Kenya representative Fathiaa Abdallah noted that Dadaab camp “has been in life since 1992.”

“There are generations born in Dadaab and there is a large number of refugees living in Dadaab, more than 280,000,” she said. “Therefore we are looking for a solution. Everyone agrees that we should have a solution for that situation. A solution lies in different strategies, one, the voluntary repatriation to Somalia. You know the majority of refugees in Dadaab are from Somalia and that program is ongoing.”

Abdallah said relocation of some of the refugees to other parts of Kenya is another option.

“We are hoping to relocate some of the refugees in Dadaab to Kakuma, and again that is something we will not force,” she said. “We will talk to them and see who would like to be relocated to Kakuma because we have an office there and we have a program there as well and this is all jointly with the government.”

Aden, like some of the refugees VOA spoke to, hopes his family will get resettled to a third country instead of being “plucked” from their “home” to different part of Kenya.

Abdallah says the UNHCR is listening.

“Many of the refugees outside express that they would like to be resettled,” she said. “And that is something I said earlier is not in our hands. It is a small number, it takes longer and it is for all vulnerable refugees, but we try our best to address that.”

‘Unconstitutional’ move

In 2016, the Kenyan government said it would close Dadaab, asserting it was there that the 2013 Westgate terror attack was planned.

But in 2017, Kenya’s High Court said the move was unconstitutional and a violation of the U.N. Convention on refugees.

After the attack on the Dusit D2 hotel complex in Nairobi in January, there were fresh calls to close Dadaab. Twelve of the suspects linked to the attack were arrested in Dadaab.

For Aden, his request to the Kenyan government is that they hold off closing the camp at least until peace returns to his country.

Source: Voice of America

Fate of Dadaab Refugee Camp in Limbo as Kenya Presses for Closure

NAIROBI More than once in recent years, Kenyan officials have called for the closure of Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, home to more than 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom fled Somalia during or since the 1991 civil war. In February, Kenya’s government wrote to the U.N. refugee agency, ordering the camp closed by mid-year.

The fate of thousands of refugees is in limbo.

Mohammed Aden says his parents fled Somalia’s Gedo region for Kenya 27 years ago. He was just three years old when they arrived at Dadaab.

Now 30, he says he was able to get an education, good health care, and a family of his own that knows no other home but Dadaab. And constant threats of its closure now gives them sleepless nights.

“We do not have a nice place back in our country,” he said. “We have been here for almost 27 years. What we are provided here � the key is education, health, and also water, sanitation, even food � we are provided for by UNHCR. So if we go back, first no education, so when we go back to our country � no life at all there.”

Working on ‘solutions’

The camp would be closed by the end of August if the Kenyan plan is followed through.

The United Nations refugee agency says it is working with the Kenyan government to provide “solutions.”

Speaking to reporters, UNHCR Kenya representative Fathiaa Abdallah noted that Dadaab camp “has been in life since 1992.”

“There are generations born in Dadaab and there is a large number of refugees living in Dadaab, more than 280,000,” she said. “Therefore we are looking for a solution. Everyone agrees that we should have a solution for that situation. A solution lies in different strategies, one, the voluntary repatriation to Somalia. You know the majority of refugees in Dadaab are from Somalia and that program is ongoing.”

Abdallah said relocation of some of the refugees to other parts of Kenya is another option.

“We are hoping to relocate some of the refugees in Dadaab to Kakuma, and again that is something we will not force,” she said. “We will talk to them and see who would like to be relocated to Kakuma because we have an office there and we have a program there as well and this is all jointly with the government.”

Aden, like some of the refugees VOA spoke to, hopes his family will get resettled to a third country instead of being “plucked” from their “home” to different part of Kenya.

Abdallah says the UNHCR is listening.

“Many of the refugees outside express that they would like to be resettled,” she said. “And that is something I said earlier is not in our hands. It is a small number, it takes longer and it is for all vulnerable refugees, but we try our best to address that.”

‘Unconstitutional’ move

In 2016, the Kenyan government said it would close Dadaab, asserting it was there that the 2013 Westgate terror attack was planned.

But in 2017, Kenya’s High Court said the move was unconstitutional and a violation of the U.N. Convention on refugees.

After the attack on the Dusit D2 hotel complex in Nairobi in January, there were fresh calls to close Dadaab. Twelve of the suspects linked to the attack were arrested in Dadaab.

For Aden, his request to the Kenyan government is that they hold off closing the camp at least until peace returns to his country.

Source: Voice of America

AFRICAN FREE TRADE AREA GIVES KENYA, DJIBOUTI OPPORTUNITY TO INCREASE PARTNERSHIPS

NAIROBI– Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) signed earlier this year offers Kenya and Djibouti the opportunity to increase public and private partnerships towards better prosperity.

The agreement provides solutions to removing bottlenecks which have traditionally hampered intra-Africa trade, he said Wednesday when he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a State Banquet in honour of Djibouti’s visiting President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is in Kenya for a three-day State visit.

He said the continental trade pact is a significant milestone for Africa as it heralds the dawn of a new era for Africa. This will provide impetus towards achieving the African Union flagship projects as projected in Agenda 2063, said President Kenyatta.

He thanked President Guelleh for being among the leaders who ushered in the historic agreement for Africa.

Kenya has signed and ratified the agreement is expected to deposit the instruments of ratification of the AfCFTA with the African Union Commission this week.

President Kenyatta said President Guelleh’s visit to Kenya will give new energy to drive the co-operation between Kenya and Djibouti especially in people-to-people partnerships.

I am delighted to note that we have a vibrant community of Kenyan diaspora in Djibouti, who have been working well with our Djiboutian friends in the various sectors of the economy, including the education, banking, hospitality, transport sectors and in the non-governmental organizations, he said.

President Guelleh said Kenya and Djibouti had comparative advantage which can be optimized and put into qualitative combination to broaden the scope of regional integration. Kenya has successfully positioned itself as the African leader in geothermal energy exploration and exploitation, and Djibouti is very much eager to learn from the expertise and know how so as to exploit its enormous geothermal resources, he noted.

He pointed out that the signing of Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments would go along way in promoting trade between the two countries as it creates conducive environment for investment.

Earlier in the day the two Presidents oversaw the signing of agreements to deepen the trade and bilateral ties between Kenya and Djibouti.

The agreements signed included Trade Agreement, MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Livestock Sector, Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments and an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK