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Archive for Cameroon

Newsline: Man claims U.S. Embassy in Cameroon fired him after filing sexual harassment complaint

A former employee at the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon claims he was fired because he filed a sexual harassment complaint against his male supervisor. Julius Banka in a lengthy statement he sent to the Washington Blade says he was a warehouse supervisor at the embassy in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé from February 2009 until his termination on June 14, 2018. Banka in a complaint he sent to the embassy’s Equal Employee Opportunity office on May 15, 2018, alleges his supervisor, William McllWain, “wanted me to be his gay partner and when I refused, he started retaliating.” (https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/07/03/man-claims-u-s-embassy-in-cameroon-fired-him-after-filing-sexual-harassment-complaint/) “I am straight,” Banka told the Blade last week. “I am not a gay and I have never been a gay … I don’t want to be a gay ever.” The EEO complaint, which Banka provided to the Blade, does not contain anything that specifically says McllWain wanted to enter into a relationship with him.

Newsline: Cameroon Summons French, German Envoys Over Embassy Violence

Attacks against Cameroon’s missions in Europe entailed diplomatic consequences. Cameroon reportedly summoned French and German envoys to protest “violence and vandalism” during opposition demonstrations at the central African nation’s embassies in Paris and Berlin(https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-30/cameroon-summons-french-german-envoys-over-embassy-violence). The two European host governments were accused of failure to provide ample diplomatic and consular protection during the Jan. 26 protests by the Cameroon opposition, in violation of international conventions. The United Nations condemned the violence at the Cameroonian embassies, and it also expressed concern about alleged use of force by security forces during demonstrations in Cameroon.

Newsline: Thousands of passports stolen at the Cameroonian embassy in Paris

During the ransacking of the Cameroonian embassy in Paris om January 26, nearly 20,000 Cameroonian passports were stolen while other 900 passport files were stolen or destroyed. In addition, several hundred passports of all nationalities awaiting visas from Cameroon have also disappeared, as well as service stamps and other official documents. The Embassy’s computer system was also destroyed. A cash box plus the hard drives containing the video surveillance records were taken away. According to a source at the Embassy who requested anonymity, the damage is considerable. The disappearance of hundreds of passports of all nationalities will put many visitors to Cameroon in difficulty. The same source said it will take weeks for the consular services to restore the normal functioning of the institution. The Embassy estimates that 50,000 Cameroonians are legally resident in France.


Newsline: Protesters invade Cameroon embassy in Paris

Some 50 protesters opposed to Cameroon’s President Paul Biya broke into the country’s Paris embassy, vandalising portraits of him, witnesses said on Sunday. The demonstrators filmed themselves invading the empty offices in the French capital’s chic 16th district, broadcasting the protest live on Facebook. Police forced them out of the building two hours later and onto the street, where they continued their protest outside the embassy.


Newsline: US Embassy denies financing Cameroon opposition

The Embassy of the United States of America in Cameroon has dismissed media reports of financing the political campaigns of Cameroon’s opposition leaders. About four newpapers had front page stories accusing three Cameroon opposition figures, Joshua Osih, Maurice Kamto and Akere Muna, of disagreeing over an alleged 2.7 billion Francs CFA handed over to them by the US Ambassador Peter Henry Balerin to help finance their campaigns. However, a spokesperson of the Embassy of the United States in Cameroon Lee McManis said described such news as false and unfounded. “The U.S. government has not contributed and does not intend to contribute financially to any political party or parties, be they governing or opposition,” Lee McManis said in a statement. He also frowned at the authors of the articles of not contacting the US Embassy to verify the information before publication.


Newsline: Chinese Embassy in Cameroon confirms one wounded national

The Chinese Embassy in Cameroon has confirmed that one Chinese national was wounded and ten others are still missing after unidentified armed gunmen attacked a camp belonging to the Chinese company Sinohydro. Doctors say the worker, wounded by gunshot, is now out of danger. The camp is located near the Waza park in the far north region of Cameroon. The company is working on a road improvement project near Cameroon-Nigeria border. Some 50 workers were at the camp during the two-hour attack. The gunmen also took 10 company vehicles. The Chinese Embassy has launched an emergency response mechanism, and urged the Cameroonian authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese workers. Cameroonian officials have condemned the attack, and promised to spare no efforts in finding the missing workers.


Newsline: Cameroon to open its first embassy in Turkey

Cameroon will open its first diplomatic mission in Turkey shortly, Turkey’s Cameroon Ambassador Omer Faruk Dogan said. Ambassador Dogan met with President of Cameroon Paul Biya and debated the new cooperation areas between Turkey and Cameroon. “Turkey wants to provide support to Cameroon in electricity, oil, infrastructure and social development areas,” stressed Turkey’s Cameroon ambassador.


Newsline: French priest alerted embassy before being kidnapped

Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeusch had time to alert the French embassy before he was kidnapped by militants in Cameroon, church officials said, as a local governor said Vandenbeusch may have been targeted for helping Nigerians fleeing attacks by Boko Haram into Cameroon. Some 15 gunmen stormed into the parish church in Nguetchewe, 10 kms (6 miles) from the Nigerian border, to demand money late on Wednesday, Monseigneur Gérard Daucourt, the bishop in Paris responsible for the priest, told a news conference Thursday. Vandenbeusch, 42, had time to alert the French embassy by phone before the gunmen burst into his private room. His abductors then marched him barefoot across the village before fleeing on motorbikes.


Newsline: French embassy confirms kidnapping in Cameroon

A spokeswoman at the French embassy in Cameroon confirmed there had been a kidnapping in the north of the country on Tuesday. “All I can say is that there has been a kidnapping,” she said. “I cannot confirm the numbers for now.” RFI radio earlier reported armed gunmen had taken seven French citizens and were heading to Nigeria. She declined to say whether they were all French nationals.


Newsline: Harvard wants U.S. Marshals to evict Cameroon from embassy in Washington

The government of Cameroon is illegally squatting in its embassy property in the nation’s capital and should be evicted by federal marshals, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court. Harvard University, which owns the property, wants a federal judge to order the U.S. Marshals Service to remove the African nation’s embassy after nearly two years there. The lease ended a week ago, but Cameroon’s embassy has yet to leave and “has not provided any indication of when it will vacate,” court documents say. The embassy’s website still lists the disputed property as its address. Cameroon has a “permanent mission headquarters” elsewhere along a stretch dubbed “Embassy Row” in Washington. But in 2009, the government decided to renovate that space, leaving them in need of another property to house the embassy while renovations were underway. They ultimately signed a lease for those temporary quarters, with the lease term ending Jan. 31, 2012. Several months ago, Harvard officials “learned that the Embassy’s renovations were taking longer than expected and that (the) Embassy might be unable to return to the (permanent property) by the end of January 2012,” the lawsuit says. More than a month before the lease was to end, Harvard told the embassy it “would be willing to consider a limited three-month extension” and offered a proposal, but Harvard “did not receive any substantive communication from the Embassy regarding” the offer, according to the lawsuit. “Because the Embassy has improperly held over after the end of the Lease Term, (Harvard) is entitled to a judgment for possession of the Premises,” the lawsuit reads. While embassy personnel might have diplomatic immunity from such legal action, the Cameroon embassy waived any such privilege as part of its lease, Harvard lawyers say. A U.S. Marshals Service spokesman said his agency would follow orders from the court. A State Department official, meanwhile, declined comment, saying the department needs “a chance to review the situation.”