Cameroon: Victim’s Tale of a 50-year old Rape in Cameroon

Happy birthday Zuzeeko Abeng's new blog On the Road to Success! What an exciting way for me to get started writing for Global Voices Online by celebrating the birth of a new Cameroonian blog focusing on human rights, politics, business and social trends.

Zuzeeko, the Cameroonian-born human rights activist, says this about his new blog:

This blog is designed to tackle issues of Fundamental Human Rights, Law, Politics, Business, Social Trends and other issues that would get you thinking and learning.

The blog even adds another dimension as it inspires ordinary people to seek progress through justice.

While the Zuzeeko option is to achieve success without trampling on the rights of the least of us, media leaders in Africa have been discussing the future of media in the digital age in the Tanzanian commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

One of the leading Cameroonian blogger, Dibussi Tande, attended the conference and participated in a panel discussion examining the role, if any, that states should play in the blogosphere. Dibussi posts a link to his presentation titled “Is The Blogosphere The New Public Sphere? Should the State Control It?” He highlights repressive cybercrime laws enacted by the government of Cameroon:

- Anyone who uses electronic communications to publish or propagate information whose truthfulness he or she cannot prove shall be sentenced to a term of 6 months to 2 years in jail and/or fined 5 to 10 million Francs CFA
– This sentence shall be doubled if the offense is committed with the aim of threatening public order/peace
– The state shall leverage “international judicial cooperation and mutual assistance” to prosecute individuals who threaten public order from abroad

He argues that the state should, at best, have a minimal role in this public domain:

The public sphere is not set up by government, and not managed by government – it has to be separate in order to provide: ‘counterweights to absolutist states…[and] mediate between ‘society’ and state by holding the state accountable to ‘society’” (McKee)
The benefits of the Internet far outweigh the dangers of misuse. In some countries, the Internet is the only source of pluralistic and independent information, even if Internet penetration may still be low (Deibert et al)

Postwatch Cameroon has a detailed account of war over the estates of the self-declared chief of Besongabang chiefdom in Cameroon, Chief Henry Abi Ndifor Enochong:

On June 26, 2008, Chief-doctor-barrister Henry Abi Ndifor Enonchong (born 1934), self-declared Chief of Besongabang, Senior Advocate of Cameroon, SAC; eminent member of the Cameroon Bar Association, businessman and father of many children collapsed in his Douala Bonaberi home and died.

He died after a succession of heart attacks which started at in the night of June 25, 2008.

At the time of his demise, this Banyang native of Besongabang in Manyu Division was living with Dame Banda Charlotte of Bassa origin with whom he had five legitimate children recognized as such because they all had birth certificates.

However for some strange reason, Chief Henry Ndifor Enonchong, a lawyer, never thought it wise to establish a marriage certificate with his partner, Dame Banda Charlotte, the mother of his five children and that despite the fact that they had lived together for 35 years.

Cameroon law says marriage is only recognized by the production of a marriage certificate to state that fact.

Southern Cameroon's Interim government has a link to a video interview with Fon Gorji Dinka:

Fon Gorji Dinka, with military training and epaulets on his soldiers, would have been Ambazonia's (Southern Cameroons’) Charles de Gaulle.

Alas, he's a legally trained mind who has used the weapons of his training to set his country and people on the path to freedom from the brutal occupation by a neighboring state, la Republique du Cameroun.

Finally, Chia Report captures the essence of the Southern Cameroon's struggle for self-determination from colonization by La Republique du Cameroun in a piece titled “Victim’s Tale of a 50-year old Rape in Cameroon”:

First, she was told by her husband that no one would ever believe her. Much as it had petrified the 15 year old then when he had first said it after mounting off her and zipping his pants with a smirk on his face, it still felt like there was an even louder ring of disbelief if she told her story to the world today at 65. The sad truth is that everyone around this beautiful woman – AmbaBimbia – adopted by English parents – blamed her for been at the wrong place at the wrong time. This, they said, caused her mad French speaking neighbor – GarAhidjo – to unshackle any restraint and obey nature’s call. “Yes he raped her”, most admit, “but her naiveté begged for it”.

At 65 and poised to celebrate the 50th birthday of her most precious twins, AmbaBimbia was literally at life’s crossroads. She was wondering just how much of a “mistake and disgrace” this could be, re-echoing what the older of the twins had said as he bolted out of the room. Grassfield, the older twin did not mince words with the mother. He never had, growing up with his maternal grandfather. The local Baptist Pastor may have taught him how to bridle his little sharp tongue a thousand times, but he knew grandpa loved him so much, it was all talk and the cane was never going to come out.

But Mama, why did you get married to him?:

Stop crying my daughter. I hope you forgive me and understand why I had you spending a lot of time away from here. You have wiped off my tears in this town and I thank you and your husband for the beautiful, functional family that you have. I want you to carry up yourself. Let us go and join the others”.

“But Mama, why did you get married to him,” a visibly irate Sawa questioned? “Why did you run away from grandma and grandpa to be with him?” And how could you have lived with this for the last 50 years playing his wife?

“My daughter, we must go and meet the others now. They are waiting for us and may be getting worried”. The two ladies pulled themselves up from the floor, readjusted their clothes and helped each other fix the broken make-up lines…”

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