The Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC), which advocates autonomous rule for Anglophone Cameroon, has called for the electorate in that part of the country to boycott parliamentary and council elections slated for 23 June.

Cameroon's security forces came in for special mention this year in Amnesty International's latest report on human rights violations worldwide. However, local rights advocates say they are also worried by abuses committed by other sectors, including traditional chiefs. "Unbelievable and unacceptable things are happening in the traditional chiefdoms in the north of Cameroon," says Hilaire Kamga, president of the Cameroonian chapter of the France-based NGO, Nouveaux Droits de l'Homme.

The World Bank is allocating funds totaling 15.6 billion FCFA (just over US $22 million) to Camrail, the Cameroonian railway company announced in a news release on Wednesday. The European Investment Bank has already agreed to a loan of 7.9 billion FCFA and two Cameroonian banks have offered 2.9 billion FCFA, the utility said.

Doungou Alima Achille Arsene arrived in Cameroon in July 2001, after fleeing upheavals in his country, Central African Republic. However, life in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, is anything but easy for the 26-year-old tiler.

Power cuts blamed by Cameroon's electricity utility on a shortage of water in its hydropower dams have affected households, businesses and key social services in the Central African country over the past four months. The effect on hospitals, in particular, has been telling, according to health professionals.