Patrick Ekeng: Doctor charged with manslaughter of Cameroon international

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The Romanian public prosecutor has charged emergency doctor Elena Duta with the manslaughter of former Cameroon midfielder Patrick Ekeng.

Ekeng, 26, collapsed during a league match for Dinamo Bucharest in May and died of heart failure.

The prosecutor said Duta, the emergency medical specialist in the ambulance which took Ekeng to hospital, made no attempt to resuscitate the player.

Hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him on his arrival.

An autopsy showed the player was suffering from multiple serious heart problems, but the Bucharest prosecutor said: “Even if among Patrick Ekeng’s causes of death were the cardiac problems he suffered from, by her unjustified inaction Elena Duta removed any chance of survival.

“She did not evaluate the footballer’s state of health and made no attempt at resuscitation.”

The prosecutor’s office quoted forensic scientists as saying 95% of people with similar heart problems survive cardiac arrest if defibrillation is administered within 60 seconds.

“The chances of survival drop by 5.5% with every minute,” prosecutors said.

Ekeng fell to the floor in the 70th minute of a televised Romanian league match between Dinamo and Viitorul.

He was pronounced dead in hospital two hours later.

BBC

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UN chief condemns suicide attack in northern Cameroon, urging support to counter Boko Haram

30 June 2016 – Condemning a deadly terrorist attack in Cameroon’s Far North Region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today also reiterated his call for international partners to provide support to the countries threatened by Boko Haram.

“The Secretary-General renews his call on international partners to provide support to the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin, with the backing of the African Union and the Multinational Joint Task Force, to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the sub-region,” the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said.

The Secretary-General condemned the suicide attack on 29 June in a region that borders Chad to the east and Nigeria to the west.

He has repeatedly said that “no cause can justify” terrorist attacks.

In the statement, Mr. Ban also expressed deep condolences to the families of the deceased as well as to the Government and people of Cameroon, and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

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UK sanctions Cameroon timber traders for EU violations

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Yaounde, 30 June 2016 – The UK Authorities charged with enforcing the EU timber
regulations (EUTR), have taken action against 14 UK importers sourcing timber from
Cameroon linked to illegal logging.[1]

This news was presented at a Chatham House meeting in London on Thursday June 16, following comparable action by the Netherlands in early March, demonstrating that timber from Cameroon is coming under increasing scrutiny in international markets.[2]

“Cameroon’s authorities must examine this new set of sanctions and start investigating the companies in question as a first step to tackle the illegality and corruption in the timber sector. Furthermore, Cameroon must also ensure that the Voluntary Partnership Agreement co-signed with the EU is fully implemented to stop illegal logging and strengthen forest governance in Cameroon,” says Eric Ini, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

Cameroon’s forests are among the most species-rich in the Congo Basin, containing the region’s most biologically diverse forests, providing valuable habitat for endangered Western Lowland Gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants amongst other species. Unsustainable and illegal logging is leading to deforestation, destruction of the ecosystem and diminished resilience to climate change. Creation of roads by logging companies facilitates bushmeat hunting, posing another key threat to Cameroon’s biodiversity and often preventing proper regeneration of logged forest habitats. Uncontrolled logging operations in Cameroon are a frequent cause of social conflicts, as they frequently occur without the consent of forest dependent communities, who see their resource-base destroyed with rarely any benefit in return.

Since 2010, when the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) came into force, Cameroon’s government has made little effort to tackle illegal logging. Following the announcement of Dutch sanctions, the government publicly defended the company accused of involvement in illegal activities instead of sincerely examining the results of Greenpeace’s investigation into illegal logging and taking necessary action to rectify the issue.[3]

Nonetheless, Greenpeace Africa has recently been advised by CCT that the government of Cameroon has ordered an audit targeting the company and its suppliers, though the Ministry of Forestry has yet to officially announce the audit. “We urge the government to severely sanction any company found to have acted illegally to deter other companies from indulging in similar conduct”, said Eric Ini.

Cameroon is so far considered a “high-risk country” by some European authorities: under European law, companies importing timber into Europe must demonstrate that they have taken strong measures to minimize the risk that imported timber is sourced from illegal operations – something that is almost impossible to do when sourcing from Cameroon.

“This action by the UK government sends a clear message to the timber industry that illegal timber has no place in Britain”, said Richard George, Head of Forests, at Greenpeace UK. “Illegal logging is devastating Cameroon’s forests, and companies in the UK and other EU countries are complicit in this destruction by ignoring their responsibility to check the legality of the timber they are importing. Belgium and Italy, as the biggest importers of Cameroonian timber to the EU, must stop turning a blind eye to suspect timber and actually enforce the law”.

Europe is a major export market of timber from Cameroon and UK ranks 5th in the European community in terms of imports, receiving 64.000 m3 RWE a year.[4] The main species exported to the UK are Sapeli, Iroko, Azobe and Ayous. It is estimated that the annual losses in revenues and assets due to illegal logging in Cameroon are US$5.3 million. In some studies these estimations are even much higher.[5]

Contacts:

Eric Ini, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa, +237 655304948, [email protected]

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),[email protected]

Notes:

[1] 6 operators received a notice of remedial action,7 operators received a warning letter and 1 company an advice letter. Sanctions will follow for those companies that have not met the terms of the UK competent authority when follow up checks take place.

[2] On, 8 March, the Dutch authorities sanctioned a company, FIBOIS, for breaching the EU Timber Regulation and failing to execute proper due diligence to prevent illegally harvested timber from reaching the EU market. Authorities were not convinced that the Dutch importer – and by extension the Cameroonian timber trader trading in timber from the disputed Cameroonian timber trader Compagnie de Commerce et de Transport (CCT) – had taken sufficient steps to ensure the timber is not illegally harvested.

[3] For the Cameroonian government reaction to GP report, click here

[4] Round Wood Equivalent

[5] Deforestation Trends in the Congo Basin : Reconciling Economic Growth and Forest Protection. Washington, DC, World Bank and Africa Progress Panel, 2014. Grain Fish Money. Financing Africa’s Green and Blue Revolutions. Africa Progress Report 2014, Africa Progress Panel, Geneva.

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At least 15 killed in suicide bomb attacks in north Cameroon

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YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) – Authorities in northern Cameroon say at least 15 people have died and dozens are wounded after two suicide bombing attacks.

Midjiyawa Bakary, governor of Cameroon’s far northern region, told The Associated Press that the attacks took place late Wednesday near the country’s border with Nigeria.

He said at least 50 people who were wounded in the attacks on a video club and a mosque were taken to regional hospitals.

Northern Cameroon has suffered scores of attacks blamed on militants from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram was founded in Nigeria and has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in Cameroon and other neighboring countries that have been helping Nigeria’s military to try to defeat the extremists.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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