The announcement by the body organizing the Presidential elections of 7th October in Cameroon, which the incumbent Paul Biya had won 71% of the votes, caused mixed reactions in capitals around the world.
Some, like the EU and Canada, shun congratulating Biya or the Cameroonian people, but express their concern with the situation in the Anglophone regions, where people were unable to vote.
Others, like the UK and France do congratulate Biya but also are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Anglophone regions.
The UK Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said:
“We remain deeply concerned, which continue to suffer from high levels of violence and human rights abuses perpetrated by both security forces and armed separatists. The UK calls on the Government of Cameroon to now take urgent action to address the crisis in the Anglophone regions.”
French President Emmanuel Macron in turn offers help:
“As far as the English-speaking regions of Cameroon are concerned, France is ready to support any initiatives you may take to progress towards a political and lasting settlement of the crisis in the country. I hope that such initiatives will take shape as soon as possible since the continuing worsening of the situation in these regions is a serious concern for France and all of Cameroon’s external partners”
The magazine Foreign Policy takes the gloves of and features the headline:
“Cameroon’s Paul Biya Gives a Master Class in Fake Democracy”
One of the world’s most experienced autocrats has clinched another seven-year term by bending the rules of the game in his direction in ways both old and new.
FP also mentions the fake IT International Transparency observers as a failed ploy to support the fairness of the elections.
Finally, though the Cameroon Constitutional Council managed to ward off all legal challenges of the results this will not be the end as the following proves.
“What I can tell you is that Cameroon will never be the same again,” human rights lawyer Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla told The Associated Press. While legal options for challenging election results have been exhausted, Cameroonians are more aware of their rights after watching the Constitutional Council’s hearings, he said.
-By Ato Bob