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US Congress to discuss Anglophone crisis

US ambassador told Paul Biya to think of his legacy

The crisis rocking the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon will be at the centre of discussions by members of the US Congress in a hearing on Friday to be held to highlight growing violence before presidential elections this October.

According to Upstream, staffers from the House SubCommittee on Africa and the US State Department last weekend received oral presentations on human rights violations and met separatist activists from the Anglophone Southwest and Northwest Regions calling for an end to what they described as the “genocide and scorched earth policy” pursued by the government of head of state Paul Biya.

Several armed militant groups declared an independent Republic of Ambazonia on 1 October last year following extended strike action by students, lawyers and health workers, leading to a crackdown by the government.

This development comes in the wake of diplomatic wranglings between Cameroon and the US after the Minister of External Relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella summoned the US Ambassador to Cameroon Peter Henry Balerin to explain comments made in the press.

After meeting with the Head of State Paul Biya on May 17, Ambassador Balerin criticised the Cameroon Government for carrying out targeted killings in the Anglophone regions.

He also called on Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982 to think about his legacy ahead of the Presidential election suggesting Nelson Mandela and George Washington as models.

The US Ambassador has since left Cameroon for a leave of absence and is due to return on June 7 though speculations are rife in the Cameroonian press that he has been called by his country to further look into the issue.

with additional reports from Upstream

Published on 10.02.2021

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