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Cameroon’s Paul Biya vows to crush separatists

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NDI EUGENE NDI

By NDI EUGENE NDI
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Cameroon President Paul Biya has said government troops will crush those who disrupt of peace in the restive English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions.  

In a televised New Year message Tuesday night, President Biya, who has ruled Cameroon since 1982, said the security situation in the two Anglophone regions is one of the country’s the most urgent problems at the moment. Armed groups have continued pushing the regions’ secessionist agenda.

He said the government had in the recent months tried to engage young Cameroonians who are fighting, most of who he said have been brainwashed.

He said they have been called upon to surrender their weapons.

“For those who persist in going down the wrong road and continue to use violence, we will have no other choice but to combat them in order to protect all our fellow citizens,” President Biya said.

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“Our Defence and Security Forces will, once again, perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness. I wish to reassure them of my full support,” the president added.

Separatist fighters are yet to comment on the president’s address. It is not the first time the Head of State is issuing such a warning. 

Cameroon is deeply divided with the Anglophone region agitating for secession into a republic of Ambazonia.

They claim that political leadership and allocation of resources is skewed in favour of the Francophone regions.   

The agitation for secession, which started in 2017, led to a crisis that has left 3,000 people dead.

At least 500,000 others have been displaced   internally, while 40,000 have been forced into exile in Nigeria, according to an International Non-Governmental Organisation.

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The government, however, claims the figures have been inflated. 

“Cameroon has only 152,000 internally displaced persons in the Northwest and Southwest regions,” Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Nji told a press conference in Yaounde last weekend.

President Biya called a national dialogue in October 2019 to seek solutions to the crisis. The talks were undermined by absence of rebel leaders and claims that government officials handpicked delegates.

But in his New Year message, the president said the peace talks marked a great opportunity for communion where participants expressed the need for peace and national unity.

“I noted with satisfaction that all Cameroonians welcomed many of the proposals made during the Major National Dialogue,” Mr Biya said.

As part of the proposals from the dialogue, parliament adopted two bills; one on the promotion of bilingualism and another granting a special status to the troubled regions.

The leader said he was convinced that effective implementation of the language law would strengthen Cameroon’s bilingual nature, a task however complicated by different cultures, education and judicial systems in the two regions.

“The special status granted the Northwest and Southwest regions takes into account the specificities of the Anglophone education sub-system, common law and traditional authorities,” the president said.

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Virus poses cultural threat to Brazil’s Amazon people » Capital News

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Amajari, Brazil, Jul 10 – In the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, the advance of COVID-19 presents indigenous people with a cruel cultural dilemma — remain in their villages with little medical help, or seek safety in the city and risk being deprived of their ancestral funeral rites.

Lucita Sanoma lost her two-month-old baby to suspected coronavirus on May 25. The boy was buried, without her knowledge, 300 kilometers (185 miles) from her village.

The infant died in hospital in Boa Vista, capital of the northwestern state of Roraima.

The burial followed government health guidelines that run counter to Yanomami culture, which dictates that the deceased must be cremated.

The authorities “have to understand and respect the cultural issue,” indigenous leader Mauricio Yekuana told AFP, outraged at the suffering of the young mother and three other women with similar experiences.

As part of the Yanomami’s funerary rites, the remains are displayed in the forest before they are cremated. The ashes are collected in an urn to be buried in a new ceremony much later.

“I want to bring my son’s body back to the village, we must mourn him together,” Lucita Sanoma told AFP through an interpreter.

Her long black hair falling over her shoulders, the young woman wiped away tears as she described her distress in her own language.

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“I went straight to the hospital with my son…The last word I received is that he died. I never saw him again,” she said in a soft, rhythmic voice.

Not being able to mourn in her community, according to her ancestral rites, “is a lack of respect, which has a strong psychological effect on the mother,” said Junios Yanomami, president of the Yanomami Indigenous Health Council.

After her ordeal, Lucita Sanoma returned to her village in the region of Auaris, in Brazil’s northwest.

But her son’s body remains in an unmarked grave in a Boa Vista cemetery, until the authorities decide if she can bring him home to grieve with her relatives.

– Disregard for indigenous culture –

Mauricio Yekuana said such situations are the result of health policies that disregard the indigenous perspective.

“The government just wants to impose its view of things on the indigenous people and force them to listen to what it wants to do,” he told AFP. “It uses them for propaganda.”

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Members of the Brazilian Armed Forces medical team speak with a member of the Yanomami ethnic group at a Special Border Platoon, where tests for COVID-19 are being carried out, in the indigenous land of Surucucu, in Alto Alegre, Roraima state, Brazil © AFP/File / NELSON ALMEIDA

An online appeal for donations has been started by the Uniao Amazonia Viva collective to buy medical equipment, including respirators, to avoid sick people having to travel to the city.

In the meantime, the villagers are trying as best they can to respect social distancing measures and wear protective masks.

But their task has been made even more difficult by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. On Wednesday, he watered down a law that would force the government to provide indigenous people with access to health care and clean drinking water.

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Of the nearly 8,000 cases of COVID-19 the government has registered in indigenous communities, 186 are from the Yanomami, four of whom died. Most were infected in the city.

Although there are no confirmed cases in Auaris, home to some 4,000 Yanomami and Yekuana people, the concern is palpable.

– ‘We are afraid’ –

Many locals wear masks and gloves, and the word “coronavirus” has entered the vocabulary.

“We are afraid,” said Paulo, a community leader who wears a mask, a T-shirt and shorts and uses an arrow as a cane. He says that many went into the jungle to escape the virus.

Last week, the army distributed medicines and protective equipment to the indigenous people in the Auaris region.

“Nobody dares threaten our Amazon,” reads a sign at the entrance to the military base where rapid COVID-19 tests are being carried out.

Nearby, youngsters play football in a field, oblivious to a sudden, soaking downpour.

The government minister for indigenous health, Robson da Silva, says the main reason indigenous people contracted the virus was due to their constant movement.

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But the Yanomami, who measure distances in terms of the time it takes to walk somewhere, say the danger to them has come from outside, especially from illegal gold miners who make regular incursions into their 96,000 square kilometer (37,000 square mile) territory.

“Without that, we’d be safe,” says Mauricio Yekuana, whose white mask contrasts sharply with the black genipap-based paint that lines his face.

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Magical Kenya Open scheduled for 12th to 15th November

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The Magical Kenya Open will now take place between 12th and 15th of November 2020 at the Karen Country club after it was postponed earlier in the year.  

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

The announcement by the Kenya Open Golf Limited and the European Tour comes barely a week after the Government eased on some of its guidelines in combating COVID 19.

The tournament was initially due scheduled for March 12th to 15th but was postponed after the Government effected a temporary ban on gatherings, conferences and sporting activities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

The rescheduled Magical Kenya Open is part of the European Tour’s reshaped 2020 schedule, with all tournaments subject to the Tour’s stringent medical health strategy which are in line with the Government guidance in the countries the Tour visits.

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Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman Peter Kanyago, highlighted the special relationship that the Kenya Open continues to have with the European Tour and the aim to grow the game of golf in Kenya and the region.

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“The Kenya Open has been connected with the European Tour since the mid-1970s. We held the first designated full European Tour title event last year and we were all happy with the success. We would like to keep the momentum going by hosting the second European Tour event this year,” Kanyago said.

Kanyogo further said that being a European Tour event, “the Magical Kenya Open will be televised live all over the world just like it was last year. This will give the Kenyan tourism industry the impetus it requires to start rebuilding after the devastation caused by the global pandemic.”

The prize purse for the rescheduled Magical Kenya Open 2020 will be € 1,000,000 and is expected to have a field size of 144 players. Out of these, 12 will be from the 2019-2020 Safari Tour while there will be six amateur golfers selected by the Kenya Golf Union.

Ben Cowen, the European Tour’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer International, said, “We are very pleased to be able to keep the proud tradition of the Magical Kenya Open going this November. We look forward to working with Kenya Open Golf Limited, the tournament partners and everyone in the local region in staging another successful edition as part of our reshaped 2020 season.”

 

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Kenya loses first doctor to Covid-19 – Nairobi News

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Kenya has lost the first doctor to Covid-19.

Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki, a gynaecologist, died on Friday morning at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

In a statement posted on its official Facebook account, the Kenyan Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) mourned the death of one of their own.

“We have lost a hardworking obstetrician/gynaecologist, a mother, a friend and a colleague to the devastating effects of Covid-19. Our condolences to the family and friends of Dr Doreen Lugaliki,” the post read.

Ms Doreen was also mourned by her colleagues who described her as hardworking.

Dr Mercy Korir of KTN said:

Dr Sewe Saldanha added:

Dr Mumbi Kimotho said:

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