Washington scales back military aid to Cameroon

Washington has announced it is scaling back its military aid to Cameroon, over allegations of human rights abuses by government troops, diplomatic sources in Yaoundé told APA on Thursday.The announcement, already made by leading American media, was confirmed, under condition of anonymity to APA, by a US diplomatic representative in Cameroon, estimating the compromised military support stood at some CFA97 billion. This suspension, which will be further slashed if the situation so requires, concerns in particular security assistance, observation through radars, patrol boats and aircraft, armoured vehicles, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and training programmes. At the same time, the State Department continues to urge the Cameroonian government to take seriously all allegations of gross human rights violations by the army, particularly in the English-speaking regions of the North-West and South-West, where a secessionist conflict has been raging since October 2016, but also in the Far North, where the defence and security forces are engaged in the fight against Boko Haram militants. Yaoundé is also urged to investigate these allegations in depth, to identify those responsible for possible human rights violations and to disclose the results of the investigations to the public. Last May, US ambassador to Cameroon Peter Henry Barlerin called on the army to “treat captured enemies with humanity, provide for the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons, and develop mechanisms to welcome Boko Haram’s defectors and reintegrate them into society.”At the same time, the diplomat accused the English-speaking separatists of murdering soldiers, kidnapping government officials and setting schools on fire.

February 07, 2019 19:07 UTC

CAN 2019: CAF rules out withdrawing competition from Cameroon

The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, rejected any idea of withdrawing the hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AfCON) from Cameroon, saying CAF had “never thought of” such a move.Speaking to the press in Yaoundé on Tuesday, after a one-hour meeting with President Paul Biya, he said that it is Cameroonians themselves who are spreading this rumour and thus smearing the image of their country. According to Ahmad, President Paul Biya has given him “the assurance that Cameroon will be ready” for the tournament. This clarification puts an end to the questions raised by the continental body, which five days ago had questions about Cameroon’s ability to meet the deadlines in its specifications. CAF in a statement in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) announced: “The final decision will be taken at the end of November after the last inspection visit of the audit firm Roland Berger and CAF. For the past year, Ahmad has been blowing hot and cold in relation to the AFCON “Cameroon 2019,” saying he is not “sure that Cameroon is ready to organize” the competition; and at another time that “many things are still missing, and there is very little time left.”On another occasion, he argued that “CAF does not have a plan B” to compensate for the country’s inability to host the biggest sports festival on the continent.

October 03, 2018 12:00 UTC

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