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Cameroon: US visa restriction signals darker days for warlords

Since the US announcement of visa restrictions against those hindering peace and promotiong violence, tongues have been wagging from all corners.

As vague as the statement could seem to some, it is very clear and obvious to others when looking at the potential targets of this sanction.

Many have mounted rooftops to claim victory before time but what remains certain is the hour of reckoning is coming for promoters of violence who have to face the consequences of their acts. Beyond the social media excitement, a reasoned look at the sanction clearly carve out those targeted by the sanctions.

Asylum seekers, warlords in the eye of the storm

From the onset, visa restrictions will mean denying entry into US soil from those fanning the flames of violence and trying to run into the US for asylum. In the past years, several persons have used the asylum route to the US after wreaking havoc on home soil. The visa restrictions must thus spell bad news for them and those planning to take same route.

Only asylum seekers are attracted to the US not government officials. Visa restrictions to the United States is no longer a potent enough threat because there are many other destinations which today offer what the US hitherto offered alone. In terms of health, business, tourism and other aspects. Destinations such as Dubai, Mumbai and others.

Separatist activists who have been fanning the flames of the crisis through social media are very well identified and certainly in the eye of the storm.

According to sources, the US in a close future will also announce the arrest of Cameroonians living in the US. They are linked to the smuggling of weapons into the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. Guns used by separatists to carry out operations in the crisis-hit regions. It would  appear the US has heeded to the counsel of Cameroonian authorities and Yaounde could see such an action as a commitment by the US for peace to return.

How Does Sanction Affect US-Govt Relations?

Experts in international relations can testify the growing interest of the US in Cameroon through various acts in the last two months.

In May alone, the US donated equipment to the Cameroonian military to fight Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs]. Last week , the US through its Chargé d’AffairesVernelle Trim FitzPatrick at the US Embassy in Yaoundé announced that it will support the government of Cameroon in its fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria with over FCFA 54 billion. Now, the US wants to take concrete action that will help restore peace in the North West and South West Regions. This is to be applauded but Washington should not take five years to repatriate infamous warmongers on US soil. The decision from the US is seen by many international relations experts as a US attempt to protect its interest against China and Russia.

Beijing and Moscow have caused the US to shift grounds on Cameroon. In next door Central African Republic (CAR), Valdimir Putin is protecting Faustin-Archange Touadéra in exchange for mining exploration rights. Natural resources account for a large share of Russian output. CAR has also found a solid partner and friend in China. France, the former colonial power has a little say in CAR now because of Russia and China. Moscow is spreading its influence in West and Central Africa like a spider web.  A week ago, protesters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa professed support for China and Russia, and denounced the United States of America’s “meddling” in the countries affairs; a country that the US has helped to build. Certainly, the US is not ready to make another mistake in Cameroon.

 



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Published on 10.02.2021

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