Saturday, April 20, 2019

REVELATIONS: Laurent Esso, the 'darling' of the USA to hunt Biya - Wikileaks

While Cameroonian President Paul Biya has not yet completed a year of his new seven-year term, speculations about his likely successors are becoming more and more recurrent. Among these presumptive successors is current Minister of Justice Laurent Esso.

A secret note from the US intelligence services that has been drafted by CameroonWeb reveals that Minister Laurent Esso was considered, already in 2008, as the "competent and clean" man capable of taking over from Paul Biya.

Read an excerpt of the note:

Laurent ESSO is another Cameroonian high-ranking official, discreetly competent and of his own reputation, who seems to enjoy the full confidence of the president and whom many consider as the one to be watched. Indeed, it seems to have been done almost exactly in the quiet mold of Biya, and it would be surprising - exactly as it was the case with Biya in 1982 - to see him take power.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2006) and Minister of Defense before that, ESSO was distant, partly because he so often represented the president at summits and other international events; however, his personality is cold and the distance comes naturally to him both foreigners and Cameroonians. He rarely met ambassadors, even in town.

His accession to the presidency as Secretary General during the cabinet reshuffle of September 22, 2006 was seen as a sign of Biya's confidence in him.Perhaps too reserved to be considered a presidential candidate, he nevertheless possesses the experience and integrity that could make him an attractive compromise candidate. Neither a Fulani from the North nor a Beti from the South, it represents an option that could break a deadlock.

ESSO was born on August 10, 1942 in Douala. He holds a degree in law and economics from the University of Yaounde (1969) and a law degree from the National School of Administration and Judiciary (ENAM). French mother tongue, he has a good knowledge of English, but hesitates to speak it. ESSO joined the government in 1982 and held various presidential positions until 1996, with the exception of a three-year term as Chancellor of the University of Yaounde (1985-1988).

In September 1996, ESSO was appointed Minister of Justice; he moved to Health in 2000, Defense in 2001 and External Relations in 2004. In each position, he was responsible for promoting a silent but positive change. He is by far the most discreet member of Biya's inner circle.