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Cameroon tops ranking of world’s most neglected displacement crises3 minutes read

The NRC analysed 36 crises in 2018 to produce its annual list, based on lack of funding, lack of media attention and political neglect.

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anglophone crisis
Security guards check a vehicle arriving in Nigeria at a checkpoint border between Cameroon and Nigeria, in Mfum, in Cross Rivers State.

A conflict that has forced half a million people from their homes in Cameroon was on Wednesday named the world’s most neglected displacement crisis by aid workers who said the country was edging towards full-blown war.

Hundreds of villages have been burned, hospitals have been attacked and nearly 800,000 children have seen their schools close, said the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which compiles the annual ranking.

“This culture of paralysis by the international community has to end,” said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the NRC, who recently visited the central African country.  

“Every day the conflict is allowed to continue, bitterness is building and the region edges closer towards full-blown war.”

Cameroonian refugees stand in front of home in Bashu, Boki district of Cross Rivers State, southeast Nigeria, on January 31, 2018. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The NRC analysed 36 crises in 2018 to produce its annual list, based on lack of funding, lack of media attention and political neglect. Most of the 10 most neglected were in Africa.

“Humanitarian assistance should be given based on needs, and needs alone,” said Egeland in a statement.

“However, every day millions of displaced people are neglected because they have been struck by the wrong crisis and the dollars have dried up.”

A record 68.5 million people had been forced to flee their homes by the end of 2017, said the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in its latest global trends report.

Cameroon, where a conflict between armed groups and security forces in the South-West and North-West has left 1.3 million people in need of aid, scored highly on all three areas measured by the index.

Supporters of the ruling CPDM party, Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement of incumbent Cameroonian President Paul Biya, gather as a patrol of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie deploys in the Omar Bongo Square of the majority anglophone South West region capital Buea, on October 3, 2018 on the sidelines of a political rally. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)

It was followed by Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Burundi, all of which have been affected by conflict.

Ukraine, at number five, was the only European country in this list, while Venezuela climbed to sixth place.

The final four countries in the top 10 were Mali, Libya, Ethiopia and Palestine.

Aid agencies are struggling to meet increasing needs worldwide while relying on limited funding, said Helen Thompson for humanitarian organisation CARE International UK.

“Ultimately, humanitarian action alone cannot end humanitarian need,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“These crises require political solutions to put an end to conflict, allowing people to recover, rebuild their lives, and live in peace.”

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East Africa looks to end illicit gold trade

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Countries in the East Africa region are discussing the adoption of stringent traceability mechanisms for the gold industry to stamp out rampant smuggling across East and Central Africa to overseas buyers particularly in Asia.


Mining officials from the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) countries are in negotiations and are meeting next month to discuss the body’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Strategy which calls for harmonisation of gold export procedures including taxation and traceability and certification.


The ICGLR wants its member countries to adopt the strategy by mid-this year.


According to the director of Democracy and good Governance at ICGLR, Ambeyi Ligabo, It is disheartening to see so much gold being smuggled from the DR Congo through its neighbouring countries while much attention over the past 10 years has focused on implementing traceability for tin, tungsten and tantalum (Three Ts) in which little has been done in terms of monitoring the flow of gold in the region.


Mr Ligabo also revealed they have agreed that it is crucial to implement the ICGLR guidelines on gold trade because the region’s image has been smeared by smuggling. We hope they speed up the process so these guidelines are affected by March this year.


Rwanda’s efforts to boost gold exports has been hampered by constant reports that the country serves as a route through which gold is smuggled out of the DR Congo to overseas buyers. The government is firm that all its gold is traded legitimately.

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Business News

Teodorin Obiang faces $30 million corruption fine

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A French court has ruled against Teodorin Obiang Nguema, Vice president of Equatorial Guinea, in a year – long embezzlement process launched by a group of anti-corruption NGOs
Obiang was ordered to pay a $32.9 million fine. He also faces a suspended jail term of three years after a lower court found him guilty on a range of charges relating to graft and money
laundering.
Additionally, the Paris appeals court confirmed the seizure of his property, including a six-level mansion in Paris which had been valued at €107 million in 2012.

According to Marc-Andre Feffer of Transparency International France, the ruling is an important moment.
Obiang has appealed to the International Court of Justice, arguing that his residence should be protected as a diplomatic building. A hearing on the issue has been scheduled in The Hague next week.
His legal team has one final option for appeal left — they could challenge the Monday verdict before the Cour de Cassation, France’s highest appeals court for criminal cases.

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DRC’s artisanal monopoly to seek private partner

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A new state company set up by the Democratic Republic of Congo to manage the country’s artisanally mined cobalt could seek a private partner if the state does not have the funds to purchase all production, according to the country’s minister of mines, Willy Kitobo Samsoni.

DRC currently produces about 60% of the world’s cobalt. Most of which is extracted by industrial operators like Glencore and China Molybdenum, with artisanal miners accounting for about a quarter of output.

The country recently granted the new company a monopoly to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices.

According to Samsoni, the easiest way out is to be financed by the Congolese state, but if the state cannot raise the funds to buy all the artisanally mined cobalt, it will then have to enter into partnership with a company.

He also adds that plans for talks with financiers are on ground.

Samsoni further adds that the new company, Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC) will be managed independently by state mining company,Gecamines.

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