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French court says incompetent to investigate Eseka train derailment

A French court in Nanterre where some Cameroonian civil society organisations had filed a case for investigations into the Eseka…

A French court in Nanterre where some Cameroonian civil society organisations had filed a case for investigations into the Eseka train derailment which killed scores of Cameroonians and foreigners on October 21, 2016, has declared that it is incompetent to carry out the investigations.

The professional train conductors syndicate, the committee for the liberation of political prisoners in Cameroon, the solidarity group for victims and an opposition organisation based in France had sued for homicide and involuntary injuries, non-provision of assistance for people endangered and for the endangerment of people’s lives.

The French news agency, APF reported that the complainants held the government of Cameroon and the Cameroon Railway Corporation, CAMRAIL, should shoulder the blame. The agency report says the Nanterre court gave to understanding that a different French could be competent to hear the matter

It reported that the court said it was incompetent to hear the matter because the French citizen who died in the train accident was from Northern France while the injured victim was from West of the country. Reports say the complainants are bracing up to file new law suits in France in relation to the deadly accident.

Stéphane B. Engueleguele,, the complainants’ lawyer is quoted as saying that the initial suit which has been thrown out by the French court in Nanterre, was the way to go since it is closer to he who controls the capital of CAMRAIL. Worthy of note is the fact that the Cameroon Railway Corporation is run by French business tycoon, Vincent Bollore.

It should be recalled that President Paul Biya had, in his December 31, message to the nation, promised to personally follow up investigations opened to unravel the truth behind the Eseka accident. The commission set up to investigate the accident had exhausted the deadline set by government, but the results are yet to be made public.

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