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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Serail: the man behind the safety of Paul Biya is not Cameroonian

While the security of African heads of state is turning into an obsession, the agents responsible for guaranteeing it are fewer but better trained and better equipped. Investigate those men who follow our presidents as their shadow.

The key man in the safe galaxy of Paul Biya is not Cameroonian. A major asset for Mayer Heres, retired general of the Israeli army, which can therefore stay away from the struggles of ethno-regional clans whose palace Etoudi is the theater. As a private law contractor, he escapes bureaucracy, including military. This privileged has direct access to this president difficult to approach, even for his ministers. To dispose of its budgets, the Israeli does not care about the vicissitudes of the chain of expenditure of the Treasury. Special funds are allocated to him.

Advisor to the president in charge of security issues, Mayer Heres is the boss of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), the best equipped and best trained force in the country. The excellent results of this unit have earned it the advantage of being deployed on several operations: the securing of the Bakassi peninsula; the fight against the road cutters; surveillance of 400 kilometers of the northern border with Nigeria to prevent infiltration of the terrorist Boko Haram sect. At the center of this device, the Israeli has the ear of the head of state, he sees alone. He answers only to him.

The BIR, composed of more than 5,000 men, would be carried away with an ulterior motive: to be able to hold a seat of at least thirty days against the rest of the regular army, whose president has always been suspicious. Heres also has the upper hand on the presidential guard, a body of 2,000 men responsible for the protection of residences and securing presidential routes. In 2013, he blocked the appointment of Colonel Joseph Nouma as commander of the presidential guard, for the benefit of one of his colts, Raymond Beko'o Abondo.

His face is unknown to most Cameroonians, although it was seen at the foot of the plane that brought Georges Vandenbeusch, a French priest kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2013. Heres leaves little of his villa of the district of Bastos, in Yaoundé. He is more discreet than his predecessor, Abraham Avi Sivan, an Israeli colonel who died on November 22, 2010 in a mysterious helicopter crash. It must be said that the president's Israelis do not have a good press with the army officers, who have a bad eye on these "mercenaries" who are beyond their control.