CrisisWatch N°106, 1 June 2012
Burundi Human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa late May reportedly discovered President Nkurunziza acquitted in 2011 by Supreme Court in total secrecy for 1998 atrocities, effectively awarding amnesty; Mbonimpa said move constitutes procedural irregularity as affair was supposed to be addressed in Truth and Reconciliation. Opposition ADC leaders, ruling party members, former heads of state, civil society met 28 May at leadership retreat, sparking hope for political dialogue. Army 4 May announced death of former Forces for National Liberation (FNL) commander Carmel, accused by govt of masterminding 2011 Gatumba bar massacre. Ombudsman Mohamed Rukara 9 May said plot to kill him uncovered, declined to release names. 14 sentenced to 10 years-life imprisonment 22 May in connection with 2009 killing of anti-corruption activist.
Cameroon Following postponement of elections originally scheduled July 2012 and adoption of new electoral code, opposition parties 12 May agreed to boycott 20 May national day celebrations.
Fears of spillover from conflict in Nigeria exacerbated following 4 May shootout with suspected Boko Haram gunmen in border town of Banki; incident follows 12 April attack which left 5 dead in same town; regional leaders 1 May called on Cameroon to reintegrate joint deterrence force of Lake Chad Basin Commission (CBLT) to tackle Boko Haram threat.
Central African Republic Disarmament recommenced 12 May in centre north: People’s Army for Restoration of Democracy (APRD) rebel group officially dissolved 17 May. President Bozizé 15 May invited political parties, rebel representatives, civil society, diplomats to presidential palace; Bozizé delivered speech but no dialogue held. 2 villages burned, 5 killed 20-23 May near Batangafo, centre north; regional lawmaker blamed Chadian cattle herders and rebel Front Populaire pour le Redressement (FPR). Ugandan army 12 May captured LRA commander Caesar Acellam in SE.
Chad Judges, citing procedural irregularities, 10 May rejected calls for release of president’s chief of staff and former AU ambassador to EU, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, arrested mid-April on corruption charges. Govt 21 May launched “operation Cobra” to promote transparency in handling of public funds, better governance.
President Déby 1 May called for creation of “joint deterrence force” to fight Boko Haram at Lake Chad Basin Commission.