According to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the International Court of Justice’s ruling on Friday has exposed the crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza.
Ramaphosa expressed satisfaction that the United Nations has taken note of the Palestinian people’s calls for justice, as his country had filed a genocide case against Israel at the top U.N. court.
In a preliminary order, the court ruled that Israel must take all necessary measures to prevent deaths, destruction, and any acts of genocide in its offensive in Gaza. However, the court did not mandate a cease-fire by Israel, despite South Africa’s push for it.
In a live television address in South Africa hours after the ruling, Ramaphosa urged for a ceasefire to facilitate negotiations for “Israel and Palestine to coexist peacefully.”
He also provided an explanation for South Africa’s decision to bring the case to the World Court. He drew a comparison between Israel’s actions in Gaza and South Africa’s dark history of apartheid, where a white minority ruled and imposed oppressive policies on black South Africans. These policies included forcing them to live in designated “homelands” and denying them the basic right of freedom of movement.
Israel and its 56-year occupation of the West Bank have faced criticism from leading rights groups in Israel and abroad, as well as Palestinians. They argue that the current system resembles apartheid, as it allegedly grants Palestinians second-class status and aims to uphold Jewish dominance from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
“Some have told us that we should mind our own business and not get involved in the affairs of other countries,” Ramaphosa said. “Others have said it is not our place. And yet it is very much our place as a people who know too well the pain of dispossession, discrimination, and state-sponsored violence.”
On Friday, the United Nations’ top court directed Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent death, destruction, and any acts of genocide in Gaza. However, the panel did not go as far as ordering Jerusalem to halt the military offensive that has caused significant damage to the Palestinian enclave.
The court’s ruling in the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel offers little comfort to Israel and ensures that it will remain under the legal lens for years to come. This case delves into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. It will be challenging to accomplish the court’s half-dozen orders without a cease-fire or pause in the fighting.
“The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the region and is deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering,” said court President Joan E. Donoghue.
Israel’s wartime conduct was strongly criticised by the ruling, increasing international pressure to stop the ongoing offensive. The offensive has resulted in the death of over 26,000 Palestinians, extensive damage to Gaza, and the displacement of almost 85% of its population.
The decision to not contest the accusations caused great harm to the Israeli government. Israel, a nation established as a Jewish state in the aftermath of the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews were brutally killed during World War II.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the fact that the court was willing to discuss the genocide charges was a “mark of shame that will not be erased for generations.” He also vowed to press ahead with the war.
The decision’s timing, which coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, increased its impact.
“Those truly needing to stand trial are those that murdered and kidnapped children, women, and the elderly,” former Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, referring to Hamas militants who stormed through Israeli communities on Oct. 7 in the attack that set off the war. The assault killed some 1,200 people and resulted in another 250 being kidnapped.
The court also urged Hamas to free the hostages who remain in captivity.
On Friday, the death toll from the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip exceeded 26,000. The International Court of Justice has directed Israel to restrict deaths and damage, although it did not explicitly call for a cease-fire in the Palestinian territory.
According to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, the number of casualties has reached 26,083 deaths and over 64,400 injuries since Oct. 7.
This unfortunate situation began when militants from the territory launched a surprise attack in southern Israel, resulting in the loss of approximately 1,200 lives and the capture of around 250 hostages.
Mimi Mefo Info
Les allocations familiales passent de 2800 à 4500 FCFA par enfant
Un décret du président de la République portant revalorisation des allocations familiales vient d’être signé par le président de la République.
Le gouvernement dit multiplier les mesures d’accompagnement après l’augmentation du prix du carburant intervenu en début du mois de février. C’est dans ce cadre que Paul Boya vient de signer un décret portant revalorisation du montant des allocations familiales. Dans ce décret signé ce 21 février, le président Camerounais décide que « le montant des allocations familiales servies aux travailleurs par la Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale et par le Ministère des Finances est à compter de la date de signature du présent décret valorisé à 4500 FCFA à charge et par mois », écrit Paul Biya.
Paul Biya ajoute que son décret abroge toutes les dispositions antérieures contraires, notamment celle du 21 janvier 2016.
C’est en effet depuis 2020 que la mesure de faire passer les allocations familiales à 4500 FCFA avait été décidée par la Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale (CNPS) en pleine crise sanitaire de COVID-19, et devrait être reversée même aux travailleurs mis en congé technique en raison de la baisse circonstancielle de l’activité des sociétés qui les emploient pendant le Covid.
La nouvelle mesure abroge donc le décret de 2016 et fixe dorénavant le montant des allocations familiales à 4 500 FCFA par enfant à charge et par mois, soit une hausse de 60.7%.
Les allocations familiales (AF) avaient déjà bénéficié vers 2016, d’une revalorisation de l’ordre 55,5%, passant de 1800 francs à 2 800 francs à la faveur du décret n° 2016/034 du 21 janvier 2016. Malgré le nouveau montant à verser aux parents, le montant des allocations familiales au Cameroun reste très faible en raison du cout de la vie jugé trop élevé.
La signature de ce nouveau décret entre en droite ligne des mesures d’accompagnement annoncées par le gouvernement en vue d’amortir les effets de l’inflation due à l’augmentation des prix du carburant à la pompe.
Security Tightened for Buea Mountain Race After Last Year’s Bombings
With the iconic Buea Mountain Race approaching, security measures are being tightened in Buea. The Cameroon military, particularly the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), is conducting thorough searches along the race route, from Molyko checkpoint to the administrative quarters. Soldiers are inspecting bushes, abandoned vehicles, and potential hiding spots for explosive devices.
This heightened security follows last year’s incident where three bombs exploded during the race, causing injuries and tragically taking one life. The authorities are determined to prevent any such recurrence and ensure a safe and successful event.
Preparations are in full swing, with administrative officials holding a second evaluation meeting on February 20th. The emphasis is on creating a welcoming atmosphere for both Cameroonians and the 32 foreign athletes participating in the race. Buea’s mayor has also reiterated the commitment to implementing comprehensive security measures.
The Anglophone conflict has posed challenges to the race in recent years, impacting its grandeur. However, this year, organizers remain optimistic with 602 athletes ready to compete. The course remains the same, starting from Molyko Omnisport Stadium and reaching the summit of the Chariots of Gods before returning to the stadium for the finish line.
Despite the current security situation, the Buea Mountain Race is poised to showcase athleticism, resilience, and a united spirit. The tightened security measures and dedication of organizers pave the way for a thrilling and memorable event.
The Mount Cameroon Race, known historically as the Guinness Mount Cameroon Race, dates back to 1973, becoming a major sporting event and tourist attraction. Locally, it’s known as the “Race of Hope,” symbolizing resilience and perseverance, especially relevant in the current climate.
Mimi Mefo Info
Celebration in Douala as Man Triumphs Over 6-Year Struggle for ID Card
In a compelling tale shedding light on the persistent challenges faced by some Cameroonians, Nguofack Franck, a 34-year-old resident of Douala’s Deido district, hosted a joyous celebration on Monday evening to mark the long-awaited receipt of his original identity card after an arduous six-year wait.
Franck’s ordeal commenced in 2018 when he applied for his national identity card—a document pivotal for tasks ranging from banking to voting. Unfortunately, bureaucratic hurdles ensnared his application, leaving him without official identification for years, with only a temporary cartoon copy issued for a purported three-month use while awaiting the original.
Undeterred by the setbacks, Franck remained hopeful. He persisted with numerous visits to the 9th police district in Deido, consistently following up on his original copy despite encountering repeated delays. Finally, yesterday marked the culmination of his perseverance as he collected his long-awaited ID card and was handed the elusive original.
Overwhelmed with joy and a sense of relief, Franck opted for a unique celebration. He gathered his friends and treated them to a celebratory meal before a night of dancing and partying at a nearby club.
“This ID card may seem like a small piece of plastic, but to me, it represents so much more,” expressed Franck. “For the past six years, I’ve felt like I was living in the shadows, unable to fully participate in society. Now, I finally feel like a full Cameroonian.”
Franck’s narrative resonates with many Cameroonians grappling with similar challenges in obtaining identification documents. The issue of delayed ID card deliveries has affected hundreds of individuals, with some waiting for their original copies for almost a decade, and tragically, some passing away without ever receiving it.
The usual process involves receiving a cartoon copy on the same day of application and obtaining the original after a three-month waiting period. However, in recent years, individuals have faced nightmarish delays, sometimes being asked to redo the entire process.
In October of the previous year, the Delegate General for National Security (DGSN), the government entity responsible for issuing identification documents, announced plans to engage a service provider for the biometric ID cards on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis. According to Martin Mbarga Nguélé, DSGN chief, this initiative aimed to establish three autonomous biometric identity card production facilities in Yaounde, Douala, and Garoua, along with 15 contemporary biometric enrollment posts in each of the country’s ten regional headquarters.
However, as of now, no progress has been observed, leaving many Cameroonians frustrated and feeling abandoned in their struggle for identity cards. Despite these challenges, some maintain hope that the vital document will be delivered within 48 hours, offering a glimpse of optimism in the face of bureaucratic obstacles.
Mimi Mefo Info
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