News / Africa

Cameroon Diaspora Member: Voting Rights Law Falls Short

Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says Cameroonians in diaspora have been asking for dual citizenship

Multimedia

Audio
  • Butty interview with Cameroon Diaspora member Kenney Ndeh

James Butty

A leading member of Cameroon’s diaspora says recent changes in the West African country’s electoral law fall short of their demands.

Cameroon’s National Assembly last week agreed to extend voting rights to the estimated five million citizens living abroad, but only to those who are registered with their local embassy and who do not hold dual nationality.

Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says the diaspora has been asking for dual citizenship and that the recent changes are only intended to benefit President Paul Biya’s ruling party.

“There are lots of things that most Cameroonians in the diaspora have asked for from the government both at the executive level and at the legislative level.  Most Cameroonians in the diaspora have asked for dual citizenship and basic and respectable services at the consulate level of various embassies abroad and none of these things have been implemented,” he said.

Ndeh said dual citizenship is economically beneficial to Cameroon.

“If the government of Cameroon were able to implement dual citizenship, as a matter fact, the government of Cameroon will be the net beneficiary,” Ndeh said.

National Assembly Vice President Emilia Lifaka said last week that the new voting privilege would exclude Cameroonians with dual nationality or those seeking asylum because she said those people be unlikely to go and register with their local embassy.

Ndeh said, while Emilia Lifaka may be correct in her assessment, Cameroonians living in the diaspora do so for different reasons.

“There are lots of Cameroonians who are abroad for various reasons. Political asylum is one of them, but what has driven Cameroonians abroad is economics; we are economic refugees for the most part. There has been little or no opportunity back home and so we go abroad to have economic opportunities that would benefit not only ourselves, but our families back home.”

He cites the tens of thousands of dollars that he said Cameroonians in the diaspora send home each year in the form remittances.  Ndeh said requiring all Cameroonians to register with their local embassy before they would be allowed to vote is an unreasonable demand.

“When the president of the Republic of Cameroon came to the United States in 1995 during the Golden Jubilee celebration, we had a meeting in Washington, D.C.  We put together a document that had certain requests. One of those requests was that we know that our people are concentrated in Texas and places like California and we requested that we have a consulate in either Texas or California to serve those in the western part of the United States,” Ndeh said.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid