Yaounde Calls Barlerin To Order

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US Ambassador with Lajeune Mbella Mbella of MINREX (kamerinfos.com)

Cameroon’s minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella in a statement released on Tuesday, May 22 calls the U.S Ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Henry Barlerin to order following comments he made to the press on May 17 after an audience with the Head of State Paul Biya, where he seems to suggest President Paul Should think about stepping down like Nelson Mandela and George Washington did.

The statement released by the minister shows that the Ambassadors comments were never welcomed by the Yaoundé Regime which sees it as intrusion in an internal affair. The strongly worded statement by the Minister states the government “strong disapproval”  of the Ambassador’s outing which it says “flouts all diplomatic practices and shows disregard, both in form and in content, for rules of civility and the law”

The statement goes further to describe Ambassador Barlerin’s remarks as “totally unfounded” with regards to the actions of the military. The Ambassador had accused the military of “targeted killings” which the Minister says were lies. Lajeune Mbella Mbella ridicules the allegations stating military despite “daily harassment  and serious human and material losses, have kept, with professionalism and rigour, the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law..”

The statement ends with a presumed apology of the Ambassador whom the minister says acknowledged that his statement were “misinterpreted by the press” and that “he did not come to Cameroon to effect a change of leadership”

President Biya has been at the centre of Cameroon’s politics for the past 43 years and there is no sign that the “Lion Man” of Etoudi has any plans of stepping down even at 85. On May 20, barely three days after the meeting with the US ambassador, President Biya arrived the National Day Ceremonial ground at the 20th May Boulevard in Yaounde with a brand new Multi-million presidential car with reinforced security. Many have interpreted it as an indication that Mr. Biya has no plans to step aside.

Meanwhile, latest report indicates that the US Ambassador left the country for Washington. Its not clear whether he was called for further consultation at the State Department or it was a regular visit back to the US

By Abongwa Fozo

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