12 June 2008

Cameroon: Gabriel Mbock, Hogbe Nlend Bury 'UPC' Hatchet

Rival members of the Hogbe Nlend faction of the Union des Populations du Cameroun, UPC, Hon. Charly Gabriel Mbock and Henri Hogbe Nlend, have reconciled in Yaounde.

Mbock, who had resigned from the party in July 2007 and formed the National Movement Party, vowed recently to carry on the struggle for which the UPC has stood for.In the reconciliation meeting with the Hogbe Nlend faction, he also dissolved the National Movement Party. The former UPC MP for Nyong Ekelle had resigned over what he had termed crisis of attitudes.

Crisis within the main UPC began in 2002 when Hogbe Nlend fell out with the party's Secretary General, Augustin Frederic Kodock.In spite of the separation, tensions had remained with the Kodock and Hogbe Nlend factions claiming legitimacy of the party.

But since Mbock created the National Movement Party, it has remained in the abyss, without any political base. Even Kodock in a press conference said the party was a fake, claiming that it never had the required 500 signatures as required by the 1990 Law to constitute an entity for legalisation as a political party.

In order for his party to gain popularity, Mbock waged a reconciliation campaign to gain all former UPC militants who had resigned from the UPC, but did not get much support.

Observers believe that Mbock needed the reconciliation in order to have a political base since the National Movement "was a child born in a coffin".

A committee at the reconciliation meeting resolved to jointly organise what Hogbe Nlend called non-partisan 50th anniversary of the assassination of the founder of the UPC, Reuben Um Nyobe, on September 13.

A document titled "Orientation Note on Strategy for the Struggle for Unity and the Regeneration of the UPC" was also adopted.The document is a recommendation for the UPC factions to convene a "unitary" congress of the party.

Among other things, the document proposes the creation of a common framework to educate and train militants and sympathisers of the UPC party towards a patriotic commitment to unity within the party.

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