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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Kamtogate: US Congress sends 'clear' message to Paul Biya

It is the President of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives to the US Congress, Eliot Lance Engel, in person, who took the pen to challenge, and especially advise the Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, on the situation of the country where he is expected in Cameroon on March 17, and where he runs the risk of being burned by communication, better misleading government propaganda.

The US parliamentarian insists on the gravity of the situation in Cameroon where state violence characterized by the all-out violations of civil rights and political freedoms of citizens as well as political actors and civil society has become a method of government .

He particularly insists on the latest or rather current news about the arrest and detention of Maurice Kamto, Paul Biya's main opponent in the last presidential election, held for over a month with hundreds of his supporters

"In anticipation of your next trip to Cameroon, written entry Democratic Representative Eliot Lance Engel, I write to express my concern for Maurice Kamto, President of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) and former candidate in the election Cameroonian presidential election. As you know, Mr. Kamto was arrested on January 28, 2019 and is currently being held in Kondengui Central High Security Prison, a place that is subject to international criticism for his conditions of detention and overcrowding. His arrest and subsequent adjournments are part of a much broader trend to criminalize dissent and persecute President Biya's alleged enemies. Moreover, Mr. Kamto is only one of the hundreds of political prisoners in Cameroon who are soon facing the death penalty, which is indicative of a rapid restriction of the space of freedom of speech and opposition. policy.

He said he appreciated positively the interview given to the French radio RFI by the Under-Secretary of State Tibor Nagy, in which it finds that Maurice Kamto and his supporters are detained for their political activities and request their release. He hopes that this will continue during the various meetings that Mr Nagy will have with President Biya and other officials of the Cameroonian government, not without recommending to the US Plenipotentiary to keep in mind that the rights of Maurice Kamto and others Political prisoners to assemble and freely exercise their political activities in accordance with the African Charter on Human Rights, of which Cameroon is a signatory, are constantly violated.

Later in his correspondence, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress shares with the Under-Secretary of State, who is well acquainted with Cameroon for having been the Deputy Ambassador of the United States. United between 1990 and 1993, his feeling about the situation as well in the English-speaking region where for three years a civil war has been taking place, caused by the marginalization of the English-speaking minority by the Yaoundé regime, than in the rest of the country where the time is the all-out repression: "As you served in Cameroon earlier in your career, you can share my concern about the current trajectory of the country with the insurgency in the English-speaking region, the ban on public demonstrations that followed the imperfect election in October 2018, as well as the mass arrest of protesters and journalists in January 2019. "

His message to Tibor Nagy ends r a note of hope. "I congratulate Ambassador Barlerin for his leadership on these issues in this difficult time and hope that the United States will be able to work effectively with its partners in Cameroon, the rest of Africa and Europe to ensure a better future in the world. Cameroonian people. "

Link to the press comminiqué of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the US Congress