Thursday, February 9, 2012

H.E. Foe Joseph Atangana Makes Embassy An Unwanted Tenant.

News broke out this morning by Foxnews that “Harvard wants Marshalls to evict Cameroon from embassy in Washington[1].” Initially, some of the Biya regime myrmidons and cronies cried that the news was mere canards from Foxnews to tarnish their government. Upon looking at the court transcripts, it is true that there is a complaint filed by the trustees of Harvard University (plaintiff) against Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon (defendant)[2]. This suit has serious consequences because it carries implications that affect directly the general Cameroonian public in the US. This act of noncompliance gives Cameroonians a bad name in the US as it becomes like the general character of the people. After all, the Embassy is the representative of the nation. The second reason is that, it hinders future diplomats who may be in good standing from obtaining better treatment and trust from landlords like Harvard or even others. It is like messing up the character of the people by a rogue embassy.

One thing that is even more worrisome is why the embassy decided to enter into private contracts by waiving its immunity. Was it because it wanted to have cheaper rents? How much do they pay now on that property, and how much does the embassy bill the Cameroon government for embassy rents? Cameroonians may need to seize on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request for the information. If someone does not have a place to stay, they can patch up with a friend or relative, but if an embassy does not have a place to operate, are they going to be moving from house to house. So does the ambassador want to be moving the embassy from house to house? He should tell us!

The reason the Cameroon embassy moved to the Harvard building is because the former residence was being renovated since 2009, and until now in 2012, it has not been completed. Is the Cameroon embassy still paying rents in the other building; thus, renting two buildings simultaneously and wasting taxpayers money, or it made up its mind to scam Harvard University by going into the building and raising diplomatic immunity so that it will vamoose with the rents? The lease expired Jan 31, 2012 and it was not renewed. In paragraph 10 of the complaint, they had both agreed that the embassy will extend its lease only when with a written consent from Harvward.  This is not the case, for Harvard did not approve it. Why does Harvard want to evict her if the Embassy owes no rents?

It is erroneous to think that the embassy has the right or privilege not to pay and will not be evicted.

 Although there are serious legal complications to evict even individuals who waive their diplomatic immunities[3], it is possible to claim judgment as the same laws that govern diplomats in the United Nations have restrictions in the US according to the Foreign Service Immunity Act 1605(a) (1) governingexplicit or implicit waiver of immunity by the foreign state[4]”. Granting, the US is not party of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, a 1947 treaty that the U.S. isn’t party, it is party of those governing states signed in Vienna[5] in what is called the Vienna Convention. Consequently, that immunity covers them even on civil proceedings in deals that concern the embassy. From the initial face value, they have immunity; therefore, they cannot be evicted or litigated in criminal or civil proceedings.  

However, At this juncture, only the State Department could step in to remediate the case to treat it at diplomatic cycles although it does not dismiss the case. The courts would then be informed of the decision of the State Department. If the State Department judges that the Embassy of Cameroon has been abusing its immunity privilege, it will ask the crooked Biya regime to lift the immunity of the ambassador because he is the one directly held responsible for not being in sync with the landlord. If the Biya regime refused to do that as we all know it will, since it lives on fraud and corruption, then the civil suit cannot really proceed. 

On the other hand, the State Department could base its arguments of frequent abuses of the ambassador like his fighting in the street, cronyism, repression of nationals in foreign land, and many others to ask the crooked Biya regime to take their ambassador back and send them someone else more responsible. This ambassador has been a failure both service wise and character wise. This is the same man who fought immediately when he came here. He quickly made himself an ambassador for a selected few as you can hear a few people telling you on Camnet how I just spoke with the embassy. Other Cameroonians have left messages in an attempt to see him, but he has averted them. He issues visas to a selected few and forces others to sign contracts before they travel. Even worst, the same embassy that cannot even keep its premises current by fulfilling its obligations with Harvard trustees. 

Therefore, the opposition should capitulate on weaknesses like this to flood the State Department with letters to show that this ambassador and the Cameroon government are very irresponsible. Because the embassy waived its diplomatic immunity, it is burdened on Harvard to prove to the Department of State that the said foreign entity had waived their immunity in a private contract to obtain the lease. As such, the Department of State could then authorize the civil suit to proceedings. If not of the waiver of immunity, Harvard would not have rented the property to them and also most certainly would have had a different price for the rents. Therefore, the Department of State should be tired of babysitting the Cameroon Embassy in mediocrity. 

Until then, Harvard should evict That Embassy!

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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