Tuesday, November 13, 2018

UK defense could face £15bn budget shortfall in 10 years

A news report has projected that Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) could face a gap of £15 billion (less than $20 billion) in a matter of a decade if it fails to prioritize its programs for production of modern military equipment.
The National Audit Office (NAO) published a report on Monday suggesting that the MoD would be short of £7 billion in the next 10 years as the ministry’s forecast costs exceed its budget of £186.4.
The NAO said the black hole could be expanded to reach the whopping figure of 14.8 billion if all sorts of identified risks occur and the MoD fails to decide which program to defer or drop as soon as possible.
The report said the MoD had incurred huge costs on taxpayers by postponing projects that should not have been deferred, adding that there will be a “real danger” for the ministry in the next 10 years to waste more taxpayers’ money.
“These [deferred projects] included delaying by two years its program to introduce new remotely piloted aircraft (Protector), resulting in an estimated £160mn cost increase, and delaying some Typhoon training by one year, which increased costs by £6 million,” it said.
The NAO said the British government’s last week budget announcement which gave an extra £1 billion to the defense sector failed to consider the real gaps in the MoD budget in the upcoming years.
“The announcement in the budget of an extra £1bn for defense doesn’t deal with the gap in the MoD’s budget,” it said.
Defense authorities in Britain have already indicated that they are spending around four percent more than what has been allowed in the budget. The country is a key military power in NATO and still contributes to the risky missions in Afghanistan and in the Baltics where the Western military alliance is allegedly confronting Russia.
Britain is also a major arms manufacturer and sells billions of pounds worth of military equipment to countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Europe Mobilize against Trump’s Diplomatic Excesses

“Europe must unite against Trump’s policies” German Foreign Minister

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday urged European countries to respond to US President Donald Trump's protectionist economic policies and unilateralist diplomacy with "Europe United".
"We must find an answer to the motto 'America First' on this side of the Atlantic and to me and to us, it's clear that the response can only be 'Europe United’,” Maas told reporters in Berlin, referring to Trump’s most famous catchphrase all along his campaign trail.
“We Europeans must cooperate even more closely which also means investing more into our own ability to act. That applies when it's about fighting back punitive tariffs and it applies to security issues or the fight against climate change,” he went on to say.
Maas also pointed to the US midterm elections, in which Democrats managed to take the House of Representatives from Republicans, and said he expected Democrats to use their newfound power to influence Trump's policies more heavily.
"We'll see to what extent that has an impact. We hope that this cooperation will be constructive and lead to constructive results in international politics. We will very intensively look to contact those who were newly elected," Maas noted.
The German foreign minister has time and again warned about the consequences of Trump’s unilateralist approaches toward other countries, urging fellow EU member states to unite against the US policies.
Trump’s decision to restrict imports from the European Union and his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the Paris Climate Accord and the UN Commission on Human Rights, among others, have dealt a heavy blow to ties between Washington and European countries.
However, tensions escalated between the two sides after Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, but the EU announced it will preserve business with Iran and avoid renewed American sanctions.
In defiance of US policies, European countries have declared they would not cooperate with Washington on Iran sanctions, and promised to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports as part of efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the US’ withdrawal.

MAITRE Honore Ngam Writes to Biya

Open letter to H.E Paul Biya, newly re-elected President of Cameroun

Your Excellency,

I followed your inaugural address on the 6 November 2018 with keen attention and with particular focus on your plan to end the raging war in the North West Region and South West Region. 

Your Excellency, permit me to recall that the conflict in the North West Region and South West Region is the outcome of long standing acrimony within the Anglophones over the abrogation of the two states federation in 1972 and the subsequent marginalization and  assimilation of Anglophones. The strike action of lawyers and teachers that began in 2016 merely constituted a milestone in Anglophone resistance to marginalization and subjugation. This explains why the sectoral demands of the lawyers and teachers quickly morphed into a political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis that has been escalating by the day.

As a consequence of the conflict, it is estimated that over 1000 lives have been lost, hundreds of thousands internally displaced, over 30 000 refugees, villages torched, over 1000 persons incarcerated, disruptive school attendance, livelihoods destroyed as a consequence of the breakdown of law and order in most almost all the towns and villages of these regions. 

In the light of the preceding,  a call to lay down arms will yield fruit if it is accompanied by a comprehensive peace plan that addresses the root causes of the conflict with a view to providing a lasting solution to grievances that span decades.

This conflict is a political conflict requiring a political settlement and not the use of force which so far has proven to be counter productive. The result of the military option has actually been an escalation of the conflict. 

It therefore behooves Your Excellency to review your plan for the resolution of the conflict in the North West Region and South West Region and seriously consider seeking a lasting political solution to the conflict as soon as possible.

Thank you for your kind attention. 


Senator. HonorĂ© NGAM 
North West Constituency

Ambazonian Defense Force Now after Teacher’s Trade Unionists; Sema Valentine CATTU Sectary General’s Wife & Child Kidnapped Last Sunday Freed

Ă˜  Tame Valentine of TAC, & Afuh Stephen of PIATTU’s Fate Yet to be Defined
The story about rampant and outright kidnaps in the English speaking part of the country is no longer news as it is taking completely a new dimension which is leaving many an ordinary man wandering if truly these atrocious acts are perpetrated by the very Ambazonian Defense Force (ADF) meant for the liberation of Southern Cameroon now after its very own and rending life more unsecured for them?
News of Sema Valentine president General of CATTU, Cameroon Teacher’s Trade Unions wife and child’s kidnap after Ayeah Emmanuel of BATTU suffered similar fate, caught the air wave early Sunday Morning of the 11 of November 2018 like wild bush fire and horror.
As many decry acts by individuals yet to be identified, others allege acts are committed by fake Amba boys while enemies celebrate that hunters are now hunted.
Caught up in the mix situation, the orchestrators of Sema’s wife and child kidnap suspected to be quarter boys in disguise demanded the sum of 20 millions, after sound negotiation amount dropped to 15 million, 10, to 5 and finally to 2 million frs cfa.
As we report exactly some weeks ago the President General of BATTU Ayeah Emmanuel was also abducted and freed on a ransom, Tame Valentine of TAC and Afuh Stephen of PIATTU lay in expectation of what fate awaits them as it is now crystal clear that they are next in line since the Ambazonian struggle has suddenly becoming a money making one.
News just in the wife and child kidnapped last Sunday 12 during the morning hours were freed yesterday Monday 12 November 2018.

Cameroon Bar Elective Congress, 24th Nov 2018 in Douala; Barrister Ben Suh Fuh North West Flag Bearer Determined to Take Up Presidency

From the President General Ni Kamga whose mandate and that of the President of the general Assembly Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle expired long ago. A week to this grand historic rendezvous of lawyers in Douala, to decide on who takes the mantle of command for the next two years, the terrain for now is highly animated by lawyers from both the English and French speaking parts of the country.
Who takes the leadership mantle of command at this crisis period in Cameroon is the bone of command and contention of every practicing lawyers as they are coming from the foot hills of the Lawyers strike in 2016,2017 and the increasing threats from Ambazonian activists who are clamoring for the Southern Cameroon Bar Council and are bent on disrupting the Cameroon Bar elective congress at all cost.
That not withstanding as Barrister Kemende rightly puts it, “we keep moving till the tyers of the car gets completely flat”. Many are Lawyers, a handful of them to name the very Ni Kamga himself, Maitre Tchakounte from the West Region, Barrister Titanji Ernest, Barrister Vegah Roland, Barrister Ben Suh Fuh etc are ready to run irrespective of all the threats from separatists leaders and Amba boys.
Amongst vying lawyers contesting from the North West Region is veteran Barrister Ben Suh Fuh, a seasoned practicing Lawyer known as the flag bearer. Ben Suh Fuh from Bafut is a house hold name in the legal field in Cameroon, a Lawyer in practice for almost 20 years, founder of Amity Chambers Bamenda, holder of an LLB Hons in Lagos and an LLB Licence in the University of Yaounde.
Barrister Ben Suh Fuh according to fellow colleagues from opinions sampled is ripe and fit for the position of the president of the Bar Council, the Bar General Assembly as this is not his first attempt to that prestigious post in the corp. God being by his side and knowing him for his palmaress in the legal field, Barrister Ben Suh Fuh this time will sail through as it pleases Lawyers of integrity who want the dormant Bar Council to be reanimated and drastic reforms put up for the general good of all Lawyers and the noble profession in Cameroon.