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DNA Tests Distance Vanessa Tchatchou from Adopted Child 

By Divine Ntaryike Jr — Vanessa Tchatchou, a teenage mother whose baby was stolen shortly after birth at a health facility in the capital Yaounde will have to wait another while to see justice rendered.

A senior state counsel in charge of the case disclosed Tuesday, March 6 that DNA tests have failed to establish a maternal link between Vanessa and another baby, currently in the possession of a female magistrate.  The DNA tests, ordered by the government, were considered a crucial stage in the ongoing search for the truth in the protracting saga.

The public prosecutor’s release added that samples collected from another dead baby buried months ago at Nkoteng could not be exploited owing to the advanced state of decomposition of the mortal remains.  Government spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma recently announced that the Vanessa’s stolen had died and was buried at Nkoteng.  He remained vague on why the mother or her kin were absent at the burial.

The Tuesday release nonehtless stated that ongoing probes will however continue until the truth is established.  According to the state prosecutor, several suspects remain in pretrial detention.  In the meantime, the weary-looking Vanessa is still at the high-priced Ngousso Gyneco-Obstetrics and Pediatric Hospital in Yaounde, demanding that her baby be returned to her.  She has been there since her baby was stolen in August last year.

On several occasions, it has been alleged that the stolen baby is the same one in the custody of a Mfou-based female magistrate, a certain Mrs Ndikum, who claimed to have duly adopted it. 

The matter has hit the news headlines steadily over the past couple of months, with diverse reactions on the sidelines.  Several civil society organizations as well as diplomats have pressed for justice to be done, while security forces have continued to arrest Vanessa’s sympathizers staging demonstrations in front of the Ngousso mother and child health facility. 

Last Thursday, Public Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda announced that henceforth, security will be tightened at hospital maternities nationwide.  Kin accompanying pregnant women or catering for those having put to birth must undergo identification procedures with their names and national identity card numbers duly registered by hospital staffers.  According to the decision, not more than two care-providers will be allowed.

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