The US ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Henry Barlerin, has called on President Paul Biya to “think about his legacy and act like Nelson Mandela (former South African president) and George Washington (a former US president).”Barlerin said both Mandela and Washington have facilitated peaceful political transitions in their respective countries.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, the diplomat, advised Biya, in power for 36 years, to “think about his legacy and the way he wanted to be remembered in history books.”
On Thursday, the ambassador was received by Biya at the Palace of Unity in Yaounde and delivered a message of felicitations from President Donald Trump on the occasion of the anniversary of the national day of Cameroon, which will be celebrated Sunday.
Meanwhile, there has been a strong reaction to the US diplomat’s statement from Cameron’s Communication minister and government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakary.
Bakary told an international radio station that the Cameroonian people were “sovereign”, and therefore, “not likely to accept any diktat from whatever power.”
The minister described Biya as “a man of honour, who is naturally concerned about how posterity will remember him, and will organize his succession when the time is ripe.”
Bakary was “convinced” that Biya “will enter history through the front door, because he is aware of his responsibility.”
In another development, US ambassador Barlerin, referring to the secessionist crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, has also accused the army of “targeted assassinations.”