Civil war meets COVID-19: Cameroon as a case study in deterioration and chaos

August 14th, 2020
Just as it is our moral duty to join the global collaborative efforts to ...

Cameroon: Gruesome Crimes, Impunity And A Disturbing Trend

August 14th, 2020
The catalogue of crimes targeting civilians in the Southern Cameroons and ...

Cameroon: Outrage as Suspected Amba Fighters “Slaughter” Woman in Muyuka

August 12th, 2020
The gruesome killing of lady, 35-year-old mother of four has caused great ...

International Youth Day 2020: Engaging Cameroonian Youth in Policy Making to Promote Health.

August 10th, 2020
Young people in Cameroon have   been catalysing important conversations on ...

Keeping them Honest: Your Country Needs You Mark Bareta is asking whose side are you on?

November 14th, 2017
Keeping them Honest: Your Country Needs You Mark Bareta is asking whose side ...

Cameroun soldiers shot local boat driver

November 14th, 2017
Soldiers loyal to LR's dictator, Mr. Biya just shot at a boat driver in ...

MP's of Cameroon's main opposition party, SDF boycott parliamentary session

November 14th, 2017
Members of Cameroon's parliament from the main opposition partyoon, The Social ...

Southern Cameroons : PGSST Bafut on fire

November 14th, 2017
Fresh reports reaching Cameroon Concord say Presbyterian School of Science and ...

Saint Pius college Ekondo Titi, ravaged by fire

November 14th, 2017
Another private institution has been burnt by unknown individuals. The fire ...

2018 world cup: Indomitable Lions miss 8.4 billion FCFA after dropping out

November 14th, 2017
The indomitable Lions will not benefit from the sum of 8.4 billion Fcfa, which ...

Five military personnel of La Republique du CameroUn found dead

November 13th, 2017
Reports reaching Cameroon Concord say some five military personnel of La ...

Anglophone crisis: One dead in Muyuka

November 13th, 2017
At least one civilian has reportedly died in Muyuka in the South West region  ...

Football-Russia 2018: All you need to know about 28 teams that have already qualified

November 13th, 2017
The final round of World Cup qualifying is taking place, and 27 countries are ...

Anglophone crisis: Politician Adamou Ndam Njoya calls for review of 1991 Tripartite Conference

November 13th, 2017
The chairman of Cameroon Democratic Union has called for a political debate to ...

Anglophone crisis : Nocturnal gunfire leaves Bamenda in fear

November 13th, 2017
After imposing a curfew in  some parts of the North West region, especially in ...

Road connecting Nigeria to Cameroon in Cross River cut off, road users stranded

November 12th, 2017
The only road that connects Nigeria to Cameroon through Cross River State is in ...
×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 770

Health / Medical

Uganda Confirms 1 Death
KAMPALA — Uganda’s ministry of health confirmed Thursday that one person has died of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a close relative of the Ebola virus.
20 Oct 2017
Urgent Action Under Way
An emergency vaccination campaign is getting under way in northeastern Nigeria to prevent a deadly cholera outbreak from spreading to other
19 Sep 2017
Cholera Outbreak
ONDON —  At least 1.4 million people uprooted by Boko Haram's insurgency in northeast Nigeria are living in 'cholera hotspots,' prey to an
08 Sep 2017
Controversial
The Minister of Public Health has appointed Jean II  Dissongo Regional Delegate of Public Health for Littoral, barely 19 months after his sacking.The
06 Sep 2017
Scientific breakthrough
A landmark drug study has opened up a potent way to lower the risk of heart attacks — beyond the now standard advice of reducing cholesterol —
28 Aug 2017
Heart Attack vs. Cardiac
What Is It?Cardiac arrest, sometimes called sudden cardiac arrest, means that your heart suddenly stops beating. This cuts off blood flow to the
24 Aug 2017

President Goodluck Jonathan privatizes Nigerian relations with South Africa

It was ironic, to say the least, that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s government turned down President Jacob Zuma’s proposal for a South Africa-inspired African Union (AU) rapid response to combat the barbaric Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram – yet apparently hired ex-South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers to train the Nigerian Defence Force (NDF) to do so. Zuma proposed the deployment of the AU’s as yet untested rapid response force – the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) – at a summit-level meeting of the AU’s Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa in late January, just before the general AU summit, according to diplomats present. The suggestion was turned down in favour of reinforcing the Lake Chad Basin Commission, building it up to 8 700 soldiers. Just a few days before, though, Beeld newspaper had reported that former SADF soldiers would form the core of a multinational team of private military experts, who were then en route to Nigeria, to help the NDF fight against Boko Haram militants. The 100-strong team had been tasked with training the Nigerian military to launch a massive campaign against the terrorist organisation.

South Africa’s Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapise-Nqakula was deeply unimpressed. These were not ‘ex-soldiers,’ but simply ‘mercenaries,’ she said. ‘They are mercenaries – whether they are training, skilling the Nigerian defence force, or scouting for them. The point is they have no business to be there,’ she told South African journalists in Addis Ababa. She insisted that the police should arrest them on their return and the National Prosecutions Authority should prosecute and convict them to send ‘a message to all of the South Africans who are going around as mercenaries.’ The minister was referring to the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act. Commonly known as the mercenary bill, it makes it an offence for South Africans to provide any kind of military service abroad without the formal permission of the South African government through the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, which is also supposed to regulate the sale of South African arms to foreigners. According to intelligence sources, several ex-South African Air Force (SAAF) pilots are also participating in the war against Boko Haram – under a separate contract – flying Russian Mil Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters, including in night operations, to good effect.

And overall, the multinational team of South African and other private military experts and official British, American and French military trainers have, by some accounts, contributed significantly to the recent successes of the Lake Chad Basin Commission forces against Boko Haram. This turning of the tide cannot be attributed to the AU’s decision to beef up the force and to seek United Nations (UN) Security Council financial backing for it, as this operation is not yet in the field. ‘The former SADF members are definitely playing a major role in this offensive,’ said a former military intelligence officer this week. ‘They have been in country for a significant time already, involved in training some specialised NDF units. As per normal they are now deployed in an advisory capacity at the front. This includes being deployed with the NDF special forces, artillery, armour and infantry units on the ground.  ‘Most of the gunships [Mi 24 Hinds] are being piloted by former SAAF members and they are flying a huge number of sorties, including nocturnal operations, with great success. There is also close involvement at HQ level, assisting in the planning of operations and the coordination/interpretation of the intelligence effort.’

Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, agrees that if the best of the ex-SADF soldiers are indeed involved in the anti-Boko Haram operation, they would be ‘a huge asset’ for Nigeria. Their skills acquired in tracking and operating in the wooded terrain of southern Angola would be particularly relevant to conditions in northern Nigeria. ‘I have always thought that the ANC [African National Congress] made a huge mistake by criminalising the former SADF soldiers,’ he said, referring to the mercenary bill and suggesting the legislation was more ideological than practical. ‘The only thing they have to sell is their counter-terrorism skills. It would have made much more sense to channel their skills productively, such as towards the UN.’ He cited the success of the old private security/mercenary outfit, Executive Outcomes, in helping the Angolan army defeat UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) rebels. Cilliers said Nigeria’s apparent rejection of Zuma’s proposal to deploy ACIRC against Boko Haram was no surprise. ‘It was inevitable that the proposed use of ACIRC would come to nought. Nigeria is very proud and would not readily allow a foreign country to re-establish domestic security. Employing individuals on contract is, however, quite common.’ Neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon were combating Boko Haram on their territory, and collaboration with Nigeria – for example in hot pursuit operations – would not upset national sensibilities in Nigeria. These countries had a direct national interest in the war.

Military analyst Helmoed Römer Heitman, a former member of the resource group of South Africa’s Defence Review Committee, also agreed that the involvement of the ex-SADF people ‘is a very good idea from everyone’s point of view – as long as they have picked the right people.’ Especially when the national defence force budget had just been cut, further undermining the credibility of the government’s rhetorical commitment to regional stability. He said the sort of operations that the ex-SADF soldiers would be conducting against Boko Haram would be very similar to some of the operations they had conducted against the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), namely ‘very high mobility operations by small forces, heavy in firepower and in protected vehicles, and based on the prompt and quick exploitation of intelligence; backed up by air assault or even parachute insertion of stopper groups.’ Heitman said it was in South Africa’s wider interest ‘to see Boko Haram put back in its box as soon as possible,’ adding that ‘any instability of this nature in Africa affects investors’ views of the whole continent…’ He said he did not understand why the government ‘seems to be all steamed up about it,’ unless it was the same naiveté that influenced the enactment of the mercenary bill, ‘which was not in South Africa’s long-term strategic interest.’

Heitman thought the Nigerians had displayed ‘extraordinary professional insight and moral courage’ to employ the former soldiers. Cynics might suggest, though, that Jonathan deliberately turned down South Africa’s official offer of help through ACIRC, while recruiting South Africans clandestinely, precisely to nettle Zuma. This faintly echoed South Africa freezing R63.8 million wired by the Abuja government to a South African company to buy military hardware last October. Abuja has insisted that the deal had been cleared with Zuma – and the ex-SADF soldiers now in Nigeria have likewise also insisted, according to Beeld, that their involvement was cleared at the highest echelons of the South African government, even if the defence minister did not know about it. Cilliers, though, does not see such a political conspiracy in the recruitment of the South African soldiers – just simple desperation by Jonathan to beat Boko Haram back before the elections at the end of this month, which were postponed by six weeks precisely for that purpose. Still, this episode will undoubtedly further aggravate the sour relations between the two countries. Pretoria is still smarting over what it regards as Nigeria’s incompetent, if not malicious, handling of the bodies of the 84 South Africans who died when a church collapsed in Lagos in September. One of South Africa’s grievances, incidentally, was that Abuja blocked government pathologists from helping identify the bodies – while hiring a private South African firm to do so. That sounds familiar. Another example of good business but bad government relations?

Share your views on this article

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sports

2018 world cup:
The indomitable Lions will not benefit from the sum of 8.4 billion Fcfa, which they would have been offered if they qualified for the upcoming
14 Nov 2017
Football-Russia 2018:
The final round of World Cup qualifying is taking place, and 27 countries are already assured of their places alongside hosts Russia at next summer's
13 Nov 2017
World cup qualifiers:
Cameroon's last match of the Russian world cup qualifiers against Zambia has ended in a draw. {loadposition myposition}   The lions found
11 Nov 2017
World cup qualifier
The Cameroonian professional who plays in Henan Jianye, China, will miss the lions’ encounter against Zambia on Saturday 11 November 2017.
09 Nov 2017
Anglophone clubs boated
The woes of Anglophones in Cameroon were further compounded over the weekend, when two of their soccer flag bearers in the 2017 Cup of Cameroon semi
07 Nov 2017
Football-Cameroon cup:
The two teams to play the final of the 57th edition of the Cameroon cup are known. New stars of Douala, shall meet with UMS of Loum in the final,
06 Nov 2017

Religion

A simple definition of justice is "fairness in the way people are treated." Justice is fundamental to the world. That is why in truly democratic
09 Oct 2017
All Church Services In
All church services in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have been moved from Sunday, October 1, 2017, to Sarturday, September 30,
25 Sep 2017
Bishop Benoit Balla:
Pascal Boade, who served in the Bafia Diocese as a technician and driver, is reported to have died mysteriously three months after the disappearance
14 Sep 2017
Bishop Benoit Balla:
A local private radio station, Radio Balafon based in the Litoral Region, reported an incident which occurred on Monday 28 August. It is about traces
29 Aug 2017
Anglophone Crisis May
 A renowned Pentecostal Man of God, Archbishop Godfred Anyere Tarh, has warned President Paul Biya and his cronies to hold inclusive dialogue with
28 Aug 2017
Cameroon: PCC moderator
To all the Presbyterial Secretaries          -Presbyterial Treasurers          -Pastors          -Principals          -Managers of Schools         
23 Aug 2017

Business / Economy

Canada-Cameroon
The High Commissioner of #Canada to #Cameroon, H.E. Richard Bale joined Mr. Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure
14 Aug 2020
Africa Food Manufacture
(Business in Cameroon) - On July 30, 2020, Africa Food Manufacture (AFM), which produces Broli-branded pasta, signed an investment agreement with
09 Aug 2020
Cameroonian insurance
(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroonian insurance company Chanas Assurances, majority-owned by National Hydrocaborns company SNH, informs that it
09 Aug 2020
Cameroon receives FCFA
The European Union has reportedly reached a two-year deal with Cameroon. The EU will grant Cameroon about FCFA 63 billion. {loadposition
11 Nov 2017
Vodafone calls off
In a press release made public today, the telecom company states that it is no longer commercially viable to resume activities in Cameroon. It
10 Nov 2017
Cameroon: 'Gold
There are unconfirmed reports that say gold has been discovered in a  locality called Song Matip near Eseka in the Centre region.Eseka is that famous
04 Nov 2017

Daily / Newsbrief

Civil war meets
Just as it is our moral duty to join the global collaborative efforts to eradicate COVID-19, it is also our moral duty to ensure our fellow human
14 Aug 2020
Cameroun soldiers shot
Soldiers loyal to LR's dictator, Mr. Biya just shot at a boat driver in Nsanakang village in Eyumojock Sub-division, Manyu Division. National
14 Nov 2017
Anglophone crisis: One
At least one civilian has reportedly died in Muyuka in the South West region  following violent confrontations with forces of La Republique.The
13 Nov 2017
Cameroon: Presidential
A man named Akono Christian, has poured boiled water on her girlfriend, who went to visit him. {loadposition myposition}   Unfortunate Tchana
11 Nov 2017
Cameroon:Detained for
Accused of involvement in the murder of the son of Rear Admiral Joseph Fouda(special adviser of President Paul Biya), Michael Feumba claims innocence
10 Nov 2017
Lady shot dead in
A young lady who was injured in an attack in the North West region of Cameroon on Tuesday night breaking Wednesday has finally passed on.Janet
09 Nov 2017

Entertainment

P Square breaks up
Reports going round suggest Nigerian duo P Square have split up after a misunderstanding . Peter and Paul Okoye, twin brothers, have reportedly gone
27 September 2017
Coming Soon: Rigobert
Reports say a documentary on the life of the former captain of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be presented at the Ecrans noirs film festival
15 July 2017
False news: Don Moen
The American gospel singer has tweeted after he was reported to be dead by a certain website, HoustonChronicle-TV.com on Wednesday 12 July 2017.
13 July 2017
Douala: SDO bans Maahlox
The SDO for Douala 5, Tchakui Nounde Jean Marie, has signed a release banning the controversial Cameroonian musician, Maahlox le vibeur from holding
01 July 2017
Yaounde: Malhox
Cameroonian rapper Mahlox, who is popularly known for his song "ça sort comme ça sort", was reportedly agressed yestersay June 17. He had gone to
18 June 2017
Cameroonian musician
A young Cameroonian singer is currently under intensive medical care in Yaoundé after narrowly escaping death in a rather shocking car accident.
10 June 2017

Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

Newsletter

 

Get the latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox by subscribing to our news alerts.

ADVERTISE

X

Right Click

No right click

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…