The Anglophone Secessionist State of “Ambazonia”
By J. B. Gerald - GR - 27. December 2019
On an ugliness scale of one to ten, if the U.S. Guantanamo prison is 7, the French military in Algeria 8, Pinochet’s controls of Chile 9, and the Inquisition 10, the severity, scale and number of Cameroon military human rights violations is possibly 4 and a half.
The Republic of Cameroon continues to endure a low intensity conflict with its English minority. After Anglophone attorneys struck for better legal and civil rights in 2016 and were joined by teachers and students, there were arrests and some expectable government violence. The movement rekindled historical grievances and spread. In Anglophone regions armed militia began attacking government facilities and closing schools, kidnapping uncooperative teachers and students while the government military responded as militaries do. There are alleged war crimes by both sides.
English and French are languages imposed by colonial rule and an addition to the peoples’ tribal languages and vernacular pidgeon. The conflict of “English” and “French” concerns who controls the money, jobs, schools, laws. To some degree it is a conflict between power elites. It’s certainly of no help at all to the half a million Anglophones who have fled from their homes and are internally displaced. This is not a freedom struggle.
With the world public aware of the military’s human rights violations Cameroon’s President Biya (democratically elected by a substantial majority), was persuaded to negotiate with the Anglophone leaders. Anglophone militant leaders finding support outside the country speak with an authority that exceeds the power and numbers of their constituencies. An Anglophone secessionist state of “Ambazonia” has been declared on the border of Nigeria and includes Cameroon’s only oil refinery which is currently inoperable. The local militias do not want “their” oil sold by the state. Ambazonia’s militias and enforcers, the “Amba boys” are generally feared. A diverse rebel military is at war with Cameroon’s military.
Ambazonia is also likely to include the Bakassi peninsula oilfields, a resource rich section of coast abutting Nigeria assigned to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice in 2002 and with its own history of attempted secession (“The Republic of Bakassi”). The Peninsula had its own armed resistance movements. Negotiations between Nigeria and Cameroon were able to avoid war in 2006. The Peninsula’s Anglophone fishing people remain Nigerians but under the caretaking of Cameroon. Cameroon’s exploration and development of the Bakassi oilfields relied on the use of the country’s only oil refinery (Cameroon is the 12th largest African oil producer, Nigeria the first) it is quite possible that the current struggle for Anglophone rights has more to do with international oil interests than Cameroon’s languages.
President Biya’s efforts to appease the Anglophone cause include freeing many political prisoners as well as a willingness to negotiate anything but the breakup of the country. He has encouraged negotiations in preference to using military force. But the twenty percent Anglophone minority leadership is increasingly intransigent. Militant Anglophone forces have refused to negotiate without additional conditions, the freeing of leading political prisoners and withdrawal of Cameroon’s military forces from their regions. Now the government has passed legislation assigning the two predominantly Anglophone regions of the country “special status,” addressing issues of the judicial and educational systems raised by the strike, placing these and control of the regions’ cultural life in Anglophone hands. Anglophone militant leadership rejects the new plans saying it wants nothing less than full independence as initially represented by the declared state of “Ambazonia.” This would grant it control of and profit from sale of oil. This position makes negotiations difficult and is only tenable with foreign country support.
To the far North the Cameroon military tries to improve its response time as villages are attacked by Boko Haram raiders, from Nigeria usually. Following the killing of New Testament translator Angus Fung in Wum last September, Benjamin Tem was killed in his home October 20th. Both were involved in the project of translating the New Testament into the northern Cameroon language of Aghem. (1) In December by the 17th, Boko Haram killed seven Camerounais Christians and took twenty-one boys and girls age 12 to 21 prisoner.(2)Last November 6th Boko Haram attacked a Christian church in Moskota killing a former pastor and a deaf child. Others escaped as the church was destroyed. Much of the village was burned after its food supplies were removed. The motive for the Boko Haram attacks is guessed to be part of a program to eliminate Christians and so move the region toward the rebirth of the Sokoto Caliphate which the British destroyed some centuries ago. (3) Boko Haram is also attacking Christians in neighboring Nigeria and Chad.
Christians in the region are under a threat of genocide which NGO reports on human rights violations in Cameroon strangely but consistently ignore. Fortunately the government is making some effort to protect Christian villages. And there is a U.N. presence. Despite Anglophone leadership’s orders to close schools, UNICEF reports that school attendance for students in the Northwest and Southwest (Anglophone) regions increased from 4% last September to a current 38.49%, while teachers working rose from 2% to 30%. (4)
The gears of very large machinery are turning but risk crushing the lives of the Anglophone community.
To remember accounts of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire would write of the “third force” moving among the catastrophic events. There are accounts of militia away from the cities, young men with new cellphones, modern communications and functioning cellphone services.
Several other things seem strange or out of place here. The Anglophone diaspora’s representatives are well connected. With exception the wealthy and privileged are allowed to become the diaspora while a low income and oppressed population stays at home or joins the half a million current refugees in Cameroon.
The human rights atrocities of the Eastern Congo took many years to be noticed by the world public while millions died. In Cameroon alleged human rights violations have been raised repeatedly with a death toll of three thousand since the attorney strike of 2016. The U.S. cut military aid to Cameroon’s armed forces due to reports of human rights abuses. This may have simply been an excuse as part of the professed U.S. policy change to withdraw troops throughout the continent. Some Anglophones attempt to blame government forces for the destruction of government built hospitals and schools. In poor communities people are not likely to burn their own hospitals, or schools, or community centers. These policies are made by the elite. Anglophone leadership has forbidden state education to proceed and so closed down regional schools damaging a generation of Anglophone youth. Any teachers and students standing for their right to education are endangered.
When a government hospital serving an Anglophone region is burned down, the report goes into a file collected by a University of Toronto’s “Database of Atrocities on Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis,” as in the instance of the burning of Muyuka District Hospital at the end of March(5): the event is verified by the database which avoids assessing responsibility for this attack. The report’s material unrealistically accuses the “terrorist Republic of Cameroun military.” Reports of atrocities are submitted anonymously. Toronto teams in this effort with a variety of English, U.S. and former Commonwealth universities. Not one of them is Francophone.
This kind of information collection is usually the domain of the United Nations. It is unclear just who will control or censor the data collected by the University of Toronto. The public will have access to news reports from global media sources such as Deutsche Welle and Voice of America. For instance, currently the Separatists are kidnapping election candidates for government positions in Anglophone areas. (6) Neither corporate media nor NGOs point out that there is no indication at all of consensus or democracy in the management of the Anglophone policies.
An important information source for troubles in Cameroon is the International Crisis Group,(7) providing verifiable information with good depth, continuity and minimal slanting, except in the areas it neglects, such as tribal identifications or factors of income. Its faults as an information source reflect the wealth of its donors (such as Canada, France, the Henry Luce Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund etc.), and lack of noticeable African representation.
In a previous essay(8) I’ve noted the extensive joint report of Canada’s Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa & Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights on “Cameroon’s Unfolding Catastrophe, Evidence of Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity.”(9) The report discusses the crisis in Cameroon as if unaware of the country’s war with ISIS and the government’s attempts to protect the Christian villagers from slaughters by foreign forces. The report provides a source for the International Crisis Group as well as Lawyers Rights Watch Canada which I’ve resigned from to maintain impartiality. The CHRDA founder, an attorney among those initiating the Cameroon Anglophone lawyers strike of 2016 which precipitated the current struggle for Anglophone Independence in Cameroon, spoke for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, in General Debate at the UN Human Rights Council, September 13th, 2019.
I find LRWC’s recent “Open Letter to President Macron about Human Rights Abuses in Cameroon,”(10)unwise in attributing to France the power to arrange Cameroon’s submission to Swiss-led talks. It denigrates African independence and is a disingenuous request since objections to any serious negotiations rest with the Anglophone leaders. A line – “We trust that France does not want to be complicit in another genocide in Africa after Rwanda,” is ominous. The letter is signed by fifty primarily Anglophone experts on genocide and human rights, and NGOs, of various stature and weight including Lawyers Rights Watch Canada.
The difference of language is being used to remind groups of their difference, to insist on their difference, to occasion casualties and destruction of the social fabric, for more casualties, and I worry for the survival of the Anglophone community in Cameroon.
With a thought to history, in the 1961 UN administered plebiscite of British Cameroons the south voted to join what is now the Republic of Cameroon. The north which was heavily Muslim, voted to join Nigeria. Some attributed the vote in the south to the people’s difficulties in getting along with the Igbo peoples who lived on the Nigerian side of the border. In the late Sixties, the forced or contrived secession from Nigeria of the Igbo state of Biafra was attempted, right across the border from the Anglophones’ current creation of “Ambazonia.” Biafra’s formation and secession as an independent state led to the deaths of possibly two million Biafrans by the extremes of starvation. The British as primary supporters of the victorious Nigerian government were vulnerable to charges of genocide. France’s interests generally supported Biafra. I think the Anglophone minority in Cameroon is much too small a minority to risk such adamant stands – without substantial foreign support. So this attempt at secession should be looked at very carefully. If you consider what the ‘game plan’ of the major powers is with yet another resource-rich sliver of Africa, and what the independence of an Anglophone region could mean for the lives of its people, the amount of pure hatred for Africans is astounding.
A genocide warning continues then for the Anglophone population of Cameroon. Their adversary isn’t necessarily the Francophone government but rather a consensus of non-African states, corporations, individuals, motivated by greed or the arrogance of technological superiority (perhaps these have become the same), who have openly and covertly managed country after African country into the abyss of insecurity, conflict, loss of life, to be followed by corporate pillage.
1. “Second Bible Translator Killed in Northern Cameroon,” October 24, 2019, Persecution.
2. “Boko Haram Targets Cameroonian Christians,” Dec. 17, 2019, Persecution.
3. “Retired Pioneer Pastor and Others Killed in Latest Boko Haram Attacks,” Nov. 16, 2019, Persecution.
4. “UNICEF Cameroon Humanitarian Situation Report, November 2019,” UN Childrens Fund, reliefweb.
5. “BREAKING NEWS-MUYUKA HOSPITAL BURNT DOWN BY LRC THUGS AFTER THAT OF KUMBA,” YouTube: TOP10NEWS, March 30/31, 2019, Open Source Investigations Lab, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law; “Universities to track atrocities in Anglophone Cameroon,” Dec. 11, 2019, DW; “A Household Name in Cameroon,” April 24, 2019, International Crisis Group.
6. “Cameroon: Separatists Kidnap Candidates to Protest Election,” Moki Edwin Kindzeka, Dec. 17, 2019, VOA.
7. “A Household Name in Cameroon,” April 24, 2019, International Crisis Group.
9. “Cameroon’s Unfolding Catastrophe, Evidence of Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity,” June 3, 2019, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa & Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.
10. “Cameroon: Open Letter to President Macron about Human Rights Abuses in Cameroon,” November 19, 2019, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada.
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The original source of this article is Global Research - Copyright © J. B. Gerald, Global Research, 2019
Massive Loss of Life, Genocide Warnings in Three African Countries
By J. B. Gerald - GR - 19. September 2019
These genocide warnings concern current threats to the peoples of Cameroon1, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. Beyond the primary concern for all the people in national groups, a pattern is emerging globally which should remind North Americans of past genocides against native American peoples: the masses of people forced from their homelands, the refugee camps which are meant to both save and contain the displaced, the senseless killing of civilians, the slaughter by hunger, arms and disease which lower the population numbers, and the relentless attack on native cultures to incapacitate the will to resist. The inability to recognize genocide at home limits the ability to understand other contemporary genocides in progress.
After a massive loss of life in Rwanda, Libya, and Ivory Coast where the old leadership was removed by war and these were wars won by forces with Euro-American support, there’s an increased sensitivity to the early warnings of war such as destabilization. These population losses in Africa have followed the extreme example presented by the destruction of Iraq and its infrastructure by bombs and missiles. The process of replacing uncooperative government leaders with tractable puppets was and is a disaster for each person of the millions displaced, forced into exile, in mourning for all those lost whether to armed violence, or sickness and hunger.
In areas of Africa with increasingly high numbers of displaced persons we’re likely to find the covert hand of colonialism reasserting its need for corporate profits. The current news from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi, lends insight into how and why genocides do occur or could occur., while the challenge of understanding is to stop them.
Concerned with the increasing violence and repression in Cameroon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet visited the country last May to meet with government ministers, opposition leaders, and Cameroon’s President Biya who assured full cooperation with the UN on issues of Human Rights.
To summarize the situation: 20% of the French speaking country is Anglophone, and the sparse public services are particularly diminished for the English-speaking areas. A portion of Anglophone leaders support secession of an English speaking region, of an Anglophone state, Ambazonia, abutting Nigeria. Not far from the inland portion of Ambazonia, in Nigeria, begins Boko Haram territory. Since about 2009 Boko Haram, a Sunni Muslim fundamentalist group, worked northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon and Chad.
A Boko Haram military tactic was and is, reprisal, answering occasional military defeats with wiping out rural Christian villages in Cameroon. In Cameroon the government responded with an ongoing low intensity conflict to protect the area’s Muslim and Christian population. Cameroon’s forces became veterans of war against a military known for atrocities and kidnapping young women and entire schools.
In 2015 Boko Haram pledged allegiance to a larger Sunni Muslim fundamentalist group, ISIS, known for its atrocities in Syria and Iraq.
In 2016 Cameroon’s Anglophone lawyers whose rights were not well-respected, chose to go on strike. The nonviolent strike was joined by Anglophone teachers and students. Responding with military force and arrests the government imprisoned a number of lawyers to try for treason, which led to more violence. When forced to extremes the struggle for Anglophone rights made people choose sides. The result suggests it’s better not to force language struggles to extremes.
In 2017 Ambazonia declared itself a separate Anglophone country which initiated its own defense forces, militias etc. The region’s educational system was / is periodically shut down with threats effected against those who try to teach or attend school. The Cameroon government’s police stations are burned, government police dismembered, government forces engaged. Human rights violations by government forces were / are brutal and recurring. The separatist Ambazonian leader, Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe was recently sentenced to life in prison which occasioned more violence and military reprisal. About half a million people have left their homes in Cameroon.
On August 26th 2019, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada3 with the support of two human rights NGOs, presented a statement4 to the United Nations Human Rights Council noting crimes by Cameroon’s government against the country’s Anglophone minority, as well as responsive “violent acts” against the government. The statement requests international concern and encourages international action to prevent “further mass atrocities.” It asks the Government of Cameroon to end its violence and investigate the human rights abuses. The statement relies on and furthers the evidence and guide supplied by the report, “Cameroon’s Unfolding Catastrophe: Evidence of Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity,”5 authored by the two NGOs supporting the statement.
What can be said for Paul Biya’s dictatorial democracy and rule for 36 years, is that in 2018 he was supported by 70% of the voters (Anglophone parties refused to vote). UN News reports “Cameroon is also hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria,”6 And Paul Biya has allowed Cameroon to survive without the epidemics, starvation, aggressions, war, massacres or genocide, which have tormented many African countries since their Independences from colonial rule in the 1960s.
Until 2016 found the government’s military forces suddenly engaged on two fronts – against ISIS in the far North and Anglophone militias in the West. Few journalists or reports mention both fronts in the same article and for example, LRWC’s multi NGO statement to the Human Rights Council addresses only the Anglophone problem. This is also true of the NGO jointly authored “Report.” Neither mentions that the country is engaged in a war.
There is no mention at all in the LRWC statement or the “Report,” of Northern Cameroon’s Christian communities. When these are targeted by Boko Haram / ISIS they’re wiped out. Fulani tribesmen are also blamed for the attacks. With last July’s attacks on villages 1100 additional families were displaced.7 A Bible translator was killed, his wife’s left hand cut off. The rainy season until October makes it hard for government troops to deploy to villages. Christian sources note that across the border in Nigeria “Tens of thousands have died over the last 20 years.”8 Last November in Bamenda 80 students were kidnapped from the Presbyterian school, not by ISIS but Ambazonian separatists.9Generally the region’s Muslims and Christians get along. In mid-August Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo in the northwest made a plea to end the conflict and within hours two priests were kidnapped.10
The U.S. which provided military aid to Cameroon’s fight against ISIS has reacted to reports of the military’s human rights violations by withdrawing aid. The rights violations against Anglophones receive international coverage. Cameroon is only twenty percent Anglophone so Anglophone and Ambazonian leaders have encouraged intervention by outside forces.
Is Anglophone strategy to initiate conflict that would require outside intervention? This pattern of gaining outside support and cutting in foreign interests was followed in Cote d’Ivoire and led to the current head of state Alassane Ouattara ‘s victory. The Christian group revolutionary leader was replaced with a Muslim group’s former World Bank employee and friend of France’s Nicholas Sarkozy more friendly to French business interests.
Since LRWC, CHRDA and RWCHR are lobbying the UN Human Rights Council to encourage intervention in Cameroon, shouldn’t we know more about them?
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada affirms the rights of lawyers globally and addresses points of international law. Logically it would have to address Anglophone lawyers’ evidence of their government’s persecution.
LRWC is joined by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA)11 with offices in Cameroon and the U.S. CHRDA was founded in 2017 by the Cameroon Anglophone attorney, Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongo, who has studied at universities in Cameroon, Nigeria, the U.S. (Notre Dame), Brussells and Leipzig. He has worked in human rights for the U.N.. When imprisoned for treason during the 2016 lawyers’ strike in Cameroon, the Ontario Bar and the U.S. RFK Human Rights NGO and his former professor at Notre Dame among others, protested until he was released. An eloquent lobbyist for the Anglophone cause in Cameroon his NGO encourages “democracy” for all African peoples. He’s among the original lawyers who misjudged the regime’s response which resulted in Cameroon’s 2016 destabilization.
The third NGO presenting the UN with encouragement to intervene is the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) founded by former Canadian Minister of Parliament / Minister of Justice, expert on international law, Professor Irwin Cotler. Both Cotler and Nkongo introduce the “Report” on Cameroon.
With its roots in WWII’s Holocaust of European Jewry RWCHR is a heavy hitter for human rights. And like many Canadian human rights NGOs it is…sanctified. But it takes political rather than moral stands. For example this NGO has declared the BDS movement anti-Semitic and it generally supports Israel politically. According to Wikipedia RWCHR recently advised Canada’s government that Venezuela’s President Maduro is responsible for war crimes. RWCHR attempted to persuade European Parliament to take the Venezuelan government to International Criminal Court. RWCHR is providing legal representation for Venezuela’s opposition leader, Leopoldo Eduardo López Mendoza. And the NGO was very supportive in the referral of Venezuela to the International Criminal Court made by members of the Organization of American States. In any case, RWCHR’s position aligns with U.S. and Canadian government policy in the attempt to take over a sovereign nation, Venezuela. The NGO is apparently not against aggressive Euro-American takeover of a sovereign state.
To consider Cameroon then, the media haven’t noticed that the Boko Haram / ISIS attacks on Cameroon complement the interests of the Ambazonia secessionists, and vice versa. Both destabilize the State and so encourage outside intervention. A supplier of Ambazonian arms is found to be an Anglophone leader (Marshall Foncha, chair of the Ambazonia Military Council) living in the United States12. Other Ambazonian arms are sourced from English speaking Nigeria. Boko Haram / ISIS is said to steal its sometimes advanced weaponry from Nigerian military and security forces. But there’s also verified evidence that ISIS is supported in Yemen by both the U.S. and Israel.13 Is Boko Haram /ISIS at the service of foreign interests in the destabilization of Nigeria and Cameroon?
Why did the leaders of the Anglophone movement initiate strikes and secession at a time when the country’s resources were strained by refugees, and when villagers of Cameroon were beng massacred by foreign forces? The more uncompromising Anglophone leadership is, the more inevitable the armed conflict in a country where 41% of the population has malaria14 and Médecins Sans Frontières has warned of a cholera epidemic in the north.15
On September 10th President Biya ordered his government to start a “national dialogue” to resolve the language conflict and he asked foreign nations to stop Cameroon’s diaspora from furthering the violence which is increasing in his country.16
2. The Democratic Republic of Congo17
Neo-colonial inroads in the Democratic Republic of Congo are seen in the overt resource exploitation of the country’s East and terrible cost in human lives and displaced people, refugees and exiles. Death toll from the First and Second Congo Wars (1996-2003) could be as high as 6.2 million people. UNHCR the UN Refugee Agency in 2017 estimated 4.5 million displaced people within the country and in 2019, 856,043 hosted in other African countries.
Currently18 the DRC is suffering an Ebola epidemic which continues the depopulation of a resource rich region. The epidemic demands cooperation with countries which are otherwise stripping the country’s resources and with the United Nations World Health Organization. WHO has become entirely necessary globally to counter epidemics, plagues and biological warfare. It also provides and distributes pharmaceuticals.
As the number of Ebola cases passes 3000 (2000 deaths) two new pharmaceutical treatments for Ebola are being applied in the Congo without massive pre-testing: REGN-EB3 and mAb114. These are proving at least 90% effective on application19. Fears of the lack of containment of Ebola in the city of Goma were eased by the announcement of success in the trials of new drugs. The new drugs use monoclonal antibodies to directly attack the Ebola virus. Testing of two less successful drugs was dropped. The difference in fatalities among various drug testing programs may have added to the anxiety of those withholding their trust in the doctors administering products of different pharmaceutical companies. Uganda is testing another drug (Jansen pharmaceuticals) on 685 Ugandans and expects the results to show them how long the drug’s effectiveness will last. A follow-up study for those receiving anti-Ebola medication during the West African epidemic in 2013-2016 found an abnormally high rate of subsequent kidney disease, re-hospitalization and death.20
As of September the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has 30 responders working in the DRC. The CDC is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which is providing the pharmaceutical producer Merck 23 million dollars (in addition to the 176 million already invested in the inoculative drug), toward doses of an Ebola vaccine it hopes will obtain licensing.21
Unlike the Ebola epidemic the efforts to combat measles have received only 2.5 million dollars of the 8.9 million required.22 In the world’s largest outbreak of measles currently, from January through August 2019, the disease killed 2700 children in the DRC, among the 145,000 infected. Médecins Sans Frontières has been able to vaccinate 474,863 children.
Faced with terrifying biological challenges endangered countries could become entirely reliant on the Euro-American pharmaceutical companies which can provide the cures, or lose portions of their populations.
The purpose of the Euro-American corporations is profit. Curative drugs and vaccines can be extremely expensive or withheld. Historically, disease (smallpox and tuberculosis) was used in North America in the genocide of North Americans. Slow to admit the practice of genocide at home, North Americans are reluctant to question the possibilities of contemporary application.
Corporate and government agency transparency is necessary. Information about contemporary U.S. biological warfare and disease experiments rarely reaches the public. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention monitored the Tuskegee syphilis experiment from 1957 until 1972 when a whistleblower exposed it to the newspapers. The experiment studied impoverished African American sharecroppers with syphilis who weren’t told they had the disease and were denied treatment. During the Vietnam war the U.S. Army experimented with release of bacteria in the New York City subways as one of 239 biological warfare experiments nationally in its covert testing from 1949 to 1969.
Ebola was first recognized in 1976, in South Sudan and in the same year, in the Congo Belge / Zaire / DRC. It is a hemorrhagic fever virus extremely similar to the Marburg virus and the CDC considers both Category A Bioterrorism Agents. The Marburg virus first appeared in a Marburg German laboratory in 1967.23
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has issued a report25 which states conditions exist in Burundi which lead to genocide. Conditions weren’t good last year and are worse now. As many as 400,000 have fled into exile.The UN has suspected the possibility of genocide occurring in Burundi for several years now. The Government of Burundi doesn’t agree.
In a health emergency not noted by the world’s press the Voice of America reported in 2017 that according to the WHO in 2016, 73 percent of Burundians were affected by malaria.26 Others say at least half the 11 million population of Burundi has malaria which is the leading cause of death. The disease is usually countered with pharmaceuticals but Burundi is the 2nd poorest country in the world.
The Voice of America blames Burundi’s violence and unrest on President Nkurunziza’s decision in 2015 to run for a third term which may have countered the country’s constitutional law. A similar instance of President Kagame’s third term in Rwanda didn’t bother the U.S.. Burundi’s government tends to blame the unrest on Kagame and Tutsi controlled Rwanda. Hutu controlled Burundi shows a Hutu / Tutsi ratio of 85% / 15%. Rwanda thinks Burundi is hiding Hutu participants in Rwanda’s genocide.
Burundi’s government isn’t convinced by the UN’s good intentions and has denied UN investigators access. Burundi does have a history of events which could be defined as tribal warfare, civil wars, or genocides. If the incipient divisions are forced to extremes as they were in Rwanda it would likely be caused by exterior destabilization.
It could be argued that outside pressures forced the destabilization of Rwanda to the point of genocide in 1994. These should be noted by any monitoring of Burundi. Both Rwanda and Burundi of similar culture and language have dealt with the simplicities of tribal difference for over 500 years. One could argue that the responsibility for any contemporary genocide could only rest with “First World” interference, supplying armaments and taking sides to its own advantage. Burundi’s national language is African, Kirundi.
US / UN support for the Kagame Tutsi government’s official narrative of the Rwandan Genocide has both ignored and denied the genocide of Hutu during the recognized genocide of Tutsi at Kagame’s takeover of Rwanda, to the point of imprisoning those who have attempted to memorialize Hutu victims.
The UN report on Burundi includes without specifically identifying covert programs, the threat of foreign attempts to intervene in the country’s politics and elections. With elections approaching next year the foreign media has stepped up its attacks on the present government. The BBC and Voice of America are no longer licensed to operate in Burundi. Since 2015 the European Union and US have applied selective sanctions to the country so Burundi has closed down all foreign NGOs. The Anglican Church of Burundi at work in the region since the 1930s is still able to provide its health, educational, environmental, community and religious services and programs.
International pressure for intervention in Burundi began as early as November 2016.27 By January 11, 2017 Night’s Lantern notes:28 : “the government cabinet Minister of the Environment has been assassinated. This continues a lethal back and forth between the government and its opposition, which threatens the region with a lapse into violence. Euro-American policies suggest military intervention to preclude the possibility of a genocide (see previous), an intervention likely to lead to corporatization of the country’s assets. This is a strong factor encouraging a genocide. Calls for intervention have coincided with major mining contracts gained by Russian and Chinese companies. Destabilization is encouraged by the privatization of Burundi’s coffee industry at the insistence of the World Bank; private interests have delayed delivery of pesticides and fertilizers; the crop and industry have been damaged. The Parliament of Burundi has had to place controls on international NGO’s in Burundi who are considered to support rebels against Burundi’s President Nikurunziza. Burundi has also withdrawn from the International Criminal Court so the Euro-American human rights industry is not well disposed toward President Nikurunziza and any non-African reporting on Burundi should require multiple verification. The attempt to wrest political power from African leaders who are uncooperative with US/NATO corporate takeovers is familiar.”
Night’s Lantern has noted Burundi’s people as a national group under genocide warning since 2015. The UN report’s conclusion places an additional genocide warning for the people. To avoid interference by corporate interests Burundi’s government will have to be angelic in resisting attempts to subvert it. If the society continues to break down and a genocide is initiated will it be Burundians who are responsible?
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1 Although a Francophone country, “La république du Cameroun,” Western institutions, media and NGOs insist on the English spelling -“Cameroon.”
2 The author’s previous considerations of Cameroon are linked from Night’s Lantern “Genocide warnings,” https://www.nightslantern.ca/02.htm#cam.
3 To maintain transparency: although not involved with its response to this issue the author is a non-lawyer member of LRWC and supports many of LRWC’s statements and position papers for the Human Rights Council.
4 “Human rights Catastrophe in Cameroon.” “Written statement* submitted by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status,” A/HRC/42/Ngo/1, Aug. 21, 2019. Human Rights Council 42nd Session 9-27September 2019.
5 “Cameroon’s Unfolding Catastrophe” Evidence of Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Humanity,” June 3, 2019, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa & Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.
6 “Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet,” May 6, 2019, UN News.
7 “Boko Haram displaces Thousands in Northern Cameroon,” July 23, 2019, Persecution.
8 “Nigeria is the biggest killing ground of Christians today,” current / Sept. 14, 2019, Persecution.
9 “The political conflict in Cameroon threatens the freedom of Christians,” Jonatán Soriano, Dec. 5, 2018, Evangelical Focus.
10 “Cameroon bishop: ‘I am not safe; after speaking out against conflict,” Crux staff, Aug. 20, 2019, Crux.
11 This should not be confused with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (CHRDCA) – headquartered in Cameroon’s capital, which is the regional office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
12 “Cameroon’s Separatist Movement Is Going International,” Gareth Browne, May 13, 2019, Foreign Policy.
13 “The Smoking Gun in the Islamic State Conspiracy: Documents Prove US Arming Islamic State,” Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Sept. 5, 2019, American Herald Tribune.
14 “Chinese Mosquito Coils Breaking Grounds in Malaria Control in Cameroon,” Sept. 15, 2019, Journal du Cameroun.com.
15 “Project Update,” Aug. 21, 2019, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
16 “Cameroon: Biya Orders Immediate Dialogue to Solve Cameroon’s Problems,” Moki Edwin Kindzeka, Sept. 11, 2019, Voice of America.
17 The author’s previous considerations of the Democratic Republic of Congo are linked from Night’s Lantern“Genocide Warnings,” https://www.nightslantern.ca/02.htm#co
18 Suppressed News: Democratic Republic of Congo, July 17, 2019, Night’s Lantern https://www.nightslantern.ca/2019bulletin.htm#jul17drc.
19 “New Ebola Drugs Show Exciting Promise With Up to 90 Percent Cure Rate,” Global Information Network, Aug. 14, 2019, Black Agenda Report.
20 “Ebola survivors may face increased risk of death after hospitalization,” Chris Galford, Sept. 6, 2019, Home Preparedness News.
21 “DRC Ebola outbreak reaches deadly milestone,” Chris Galford, Sept. 3, 2019, Homeland Preparedness News.
22 “Democratic Republic of Congo,” Eric Oteng (AFP), Sept. 15, 2019, africa news.
23 “Zaire ebolavirus,” current, Wikipedia; Marburg Virus, current, Wikipedia.
24 The author’s previous considerations of Burundi are linked from Night’s Lantern “Genocide Warnings,” https://www.nightslantern.ca/02.htm#bu.
25 “Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi,” A/HRC/42/49. Aug. 6, 2019. Human Rights Council Forty-second session 9-27 September 2019.
26 “Burundi Says Malaria Reaches Epic Proportions,” Edward Rwema, March 14, 2017, VOA.
27 “2016 Suppressed News,” November 18, 2016, Burundi, Night’s Lantern https://www.nightslantern.ca/2016bulletin.htm#18novbu.
28 “2017 Suppressed News,” January 11, 2017, Burundi, Night’s Lantern https://www.nightslantern.ca/2017bulletin.htm#jan11bu.
The original source of this article is Global Research - Copyright © J. B. Gerald, Global Research, 2019