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INNER CITY PRESS: UN Tells Lies On Southern Cameroon Crisis - Mathew Russell Lee | Fab-book





UNITED NATIONS, October 18 – Amid the killings by Cameroon's Paul Biya government, on October 18 after asking the UN and the UK about the crisis Inner City Press left the UN and interviewed people who brought the voices of Southern Cameroons to New York. Abu Fri, who told Inner City Press of being beaten by Cameroonian soldiers to prevent pro-independence protest (as young men are being shot in the feet and legs today), had come up from Alabama, and got lied to by UN officials. UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told her the plight of Southern Cameroons is being addressed by the UN - it isn't - and representatives of the Department of Political Affairs told her Southern Cameroons is on the agenda (or "table") of the UN Security Council. It isn't - yet.
Each time Inner City Press wanted to upload a story, or document, it had to re-enter the UN through the metal detectors of the tourist entrance, unlike other favored correspondents, some of whom walked by indifferent. Regular New Yorkers, on the other hand, stopped to look at the photos from Bamenda and Buea and octogenarian Paul Biya and ask questions, like a guy on a scooter, down from The Bronx. Requests have been made. Inner City Press on October 17 asked the UK ambassador to the UN when his country will call a UN Security Council meeting about the crisis. He replied that any Council member can. Later on October 17, after Inner City Press put Cameroon question to Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman and interviewed Abu Fri of Southern Cameroons in front of the UN, it exclusively obtained and now publishes a letter from 24 US Congressmembers including Republican Daniel Donovan (R-NY) to US Ambassador Nikki Haley, to convene a Security Council meeting. Letter here, on Patreon. (Just after the interview, Abu Fri made a similar but shorter pitch to Haley's deputy Michele Sison, on First Avenue; to get back into the UN and file this story, Inner City Press due to UN targeting and censorship had a long wait with toursts at the metal detectors). But here is the letter - via Cameroon American Council. Inner City Press on October 11 interviewed the government's ambassador to the UN, Tommo Monthe. He contradicted what UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press, that "Mr. [Francois] Fall and the Government are in discussion about when he can go.




The Government has expressed its willingness to welcome him.  It's now a matter of finding the dates." Inner City Press two days after Dujarric's quote - which Dujarric has twice refused to expand upon - asked Cameroon's Ambassador Monthe who replied of Fall,"Why he should visit Cameroon?” Audio here. While there is still no date for Fall to visit Cameroon, people are being summoned in to see the police, in a campaign of intimidation. There are new mass graves. On October 16 Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on Cameroon, since we’ve heard now for this Fall visit for almost two weeks since the mass killings of 1 October, I wanted to ask you, over the weekend, a mass grave was found near Buea, and documents have emerged of people being summoned into the police.  And what’s reported is that people are being told what to say and not to say if and when… which I guess it’s now when… UN investigators arrive.  So, I just wonder, is the UN aware of this? How do you explain that if… if Mr. Fall was going to go, like, it’s extremely serious situation.  Is there some… the ambassador here said that there’s no reason for him to go.  You’re saying he’s totally welcome; it’s just a matter of dates.  Who… is the problem with Mr. Fall’s schedule or the Cameroonian schedule?  Because people are very upset… [Inaudible] Spokesman:  I think, as with any visit from a UN senior official or anyone from the UN, it needs to be done in agreement with the Government. Inner City Press:

So his team that went there before — I’d asked you this before — is it possible to know the level that they were and if, in fact, they went to Buea, the city in which bodies are being found… [Inaudible] Spokesman:  "I’ll see what I can get.  Okay?" No, not OK. Six hours later, nothing, while UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid was being praised by Cameroon, and saying nothing about the country.  Inner City Press asked the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, to inquire into torture in Southern Cameroons, video here, and then submitted to his office a formal request for action. (He said he can act on requests by journalists). Meanwhile Inner City Press' journalism on Cameroon is being hindered in the UN by restrictions continued by the UN Department of Public Information under Alison Small, see here and here and watch this site. Several but not all of the human rights violations by Cameroon authorities on which Inner City Press has asked and reported are confirmed by Amnesty International. So Inner City Press on October 13 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I have a number of other ones, but I wanted to ask you about Cameroon.  Some of the things that, I guess, I have asked you about, there's now… now, I would assume that you've seen the Amnesty International study, which says that… that hundreds of people are detained without charge, packed like sardines, paying bails, people shot in the legs so they can't protest, people fleeing the hospital to avoid the authorities.

So they obviously got in, were able to gather this evidence and they've called for other international organisations to send people.  Has the UN sent anyone, and if not, why not? Spokesman:  We have… as you know, we have a presence in Cameroon.  We've seen the Amnesty report, which raises a lot of issues of great concern to us, and I should have… hopefully have a bit more for you later. Inner City Press:  Including on the [François Louncény] Fall visit? Spokesman:  Yes.  Well, when I have something on the Fall visit, I will share it with you." Eight hours later, nothing. AI confirmed for example: At least 500 people remain detained in overcrowded detention facilities following mass arbitrary arrests in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, and many wounded protestors fled hospitals to avoid arrest... In Bamenda, the capital of the North-West Region, at least 200 people were arrested and the majority transferred to the prison in Bafoussam.




In Buea, the capital of the South-West region, at least 300 people have been arrested since the 1st October protests, including a series of mass arbitrary arrests between 6 and 8 October. On Sunday 8 October, for example, police arrested up to 100 people walking to church in the Mile 16 area of Buea, and entered the building to arrest church staff. In one incident on 3 October in Buea, a police officer threw a teargas canister into a vehicle containing a dozen protestors, who had to smash the window to let in air. In one facility run by a mobile police unit, the Groupement Mobile d’Intervention (GMI), in Buea, detainees were described as being 'packed like sardines.' A young man who was left with multiple fractures after being shot in both legs by member of the armed forces was taken home by his family before he could be stabilised. According to a doctor treating the patient “he had lost more than a litre of blood. I do not know whether he is still alive, he may likely die.'
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