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Cameroonian protest singer Lapiro de Mbanga dies

Cameroonian singer Lapiro de Mbanga, a critic of President Paul Biya whose song "Constipated Constitution" became a protest anthem and cost him three years in jail, has died. He died of cancer on Sunday in Buffalo, in the northeast of the United States, where he had been granted asylum a year after his release from prison, friends said. He was 56. "I am sad he left us so early," Joshua Osih, the deputy chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Front of which Mbanga was a member, told AFP.

French man returns home after 17-year Cameroon jail ordeal

A French man kept in solitary confinement in Cameroon for 17 years following a controversial embezzlement conviction arrived in Paris Friday, ready for a new lease on life after what he said was an unimaginable ordeal. A visibly moved Michel Thierry Atangana, 49, stepped off the plane and met his family, including his two sons aged 19 and 23, and said he was "extremely worn out."

Cameroon frees French national after 17 years behind bars

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon authorities have freed a French national whose 17-year imprisonment on corruption charges became a source of tension between the two countries and drew appeals from France's president and the U.N. human rights agency. Michel Atangana, 49, a French national of Cameroon origin, and former Cameroon Health Mnister Titus Edzoa, were found guilty in 1997 of embezzling about $2.3 million and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Both denied the charges and were freed on Monday.

France announces release of priest kidnapped in Cameroon

French President Francois Hollande announced Tuesday the release of a Roman Catholic priest who was captured in Cameroon six weeks ago. Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, was kidnapped in northern Cameroon and reportedly taken by Islamist militants to Nigeria in mid-November. Hollande expressed his thanks to the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities for helping secure the priest's release, and specially thanked Cameroon's President Paul Biya for his "personal involvement".

Cameroon's president seeks to strengthen grip in election

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Voters in Cameroon went to the polls on Monday in local and parliamentary elections expected to be dominated by supporters of President Paul Biya, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. Biya, 80, has ruled over Central Africa's largest economy for three decades after coming to power in 1982 following the resignation of his predecessor.

Cameroon ruling party expected to win legislative polls

Voters in Cameroon began going to the polls Monday for legislative and local polls set to shore up the strong parliamentary majority of President Paul Biya's ruling party. The election in the central African country began on schedule at 8:00 am (0700 GMT), but few people turned out in the early hours and some flaws in the electoral rolls were already noticed by an AFP correspondent in the capital Yaounde.

Cameroon's ruling party expected to win legislative polls

Cameroon's 5.4 million voters head to the polls Monday for legislative and local polls set to shore up the strong parliamentary majority of President Paul Biya's ruling party. President Biya has been accused of failing to adhere to a regular timetable for elections in order to ensure victory for his own People's Democratic Movement (RDPC) party, which holds the majority of seats in the national assembly and municipal bodies. The terms of the current cohort of deputies elected in the last elections in 2007 expired in 2012, but have been extended on three separate occasions.

Cameroon elections set for September after year of delay

Legislative and municipal elections will be held on September 30 in Cameroon, president Paul Biya announced on state radio Monday. Biya has been accused of failing to adhere to a regular timetable for elections in order to ensure victory for his own People's Democratic Movement party, which holds the majority of seats in the national assembly and municipal bodies. The terms of the current cohort of deputies elected in the last elections in 2007 expired in 2012, but have been extended on three separate occasions. The terms of the municipal deputies have been extended twice.

Cameroon's veteran leader basks in glory of hostage release

The freeing of a French family kidnapped in West Africa is a huge personal triumph for veteran Cameroon leader Paul Biya and could serve to thaw frosty ties between Paris and its former colony, analysts say. French President Francois Hollande went out of his way to thank Biya, 80, for his role in the release of the Moulin-Fournier family after two months of captivity at the hands of Islamist militants. Greeting the family on their return to France on Saturday, Hollande offered a "special thought" for Biya, who he said had "played an important role these past few days."

French family arrive home after hostage ordeal

Tired but smiling, a French family of seven arrived in Paris early on Saturday, welcomed by relatives and French President Francois Hollande following their release from two months of captivity by Islamist militants in west Africa. The Moulin-Fournier family, which includes four boys aged between five and 12, flew in from Cameroon on a French government Falcon jet with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
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