Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Biya couple's last farewells to the city of Geneva

Swiss Radio Station reveals that The doors to Genevaa and those of Europe, are forever closed to him.

Our colleagues from the Swiss National Radio (RTS), the national news channel, dedicated their program "Forum" last Saturday to President Paul Biya's stay in Geneva. It was a model of journalistic professionalism in the balanced treatment of information. Each member of the panel had to analyze the stay and the hasty departure of the head of the State of Cameroon without overflow or passion, in an angle relative to his professional profile.

Sylvain Thévoz, Swiss MP is the man who triggered the machine of expulsion of the Cameroonian president. He had collected in a few days 12,000 signatures. Philippe Currat is a lawyer; Laurent Wehrli is National Councilor in the Canton of Geneva; Manon Schick is Executive Director of Amnesty International Switzerland.

From this selected plateau, we understood better why Switzerland pushed the president Paul Biya towards the exit of its territory. Repeated demonstrations and incidents, provoked by the presence of the Cameroonian president in Geneva, the support of the inhabitants of the city, eventually led the Swiss Confederation to unleash one of the best clients of the Intercontinental Hotel.

Some political analysts have explained that Switzerland, by expelling from its territory a head of state who enjoys diplomatic immunity, has violated the Vienna Convention which protects diplomats and of which it is a signatory. Cameroon, by this international provision, would have the right to take Switzerland to court. It's a complex debate.

Western democracies respect the will of the people. The Swiss Confederation could not turn a blind eye to a petition signed by 12 thousand people. It could not remain indifferent to the pressure of the media, after the journalist Adrien Krauss of the RTS was abused by an element of the security of the President of the Republic.

This is a page that closes on the "short private stays" of the presidential couple in this city of Geneva that Paul Biya loves without hiding. Beyond the "triumphal welcome" that the faithful of the Head of State have prepared for him, there are lessons to be learned.

The first: the image of Cameroon is dragged in the mud: expel a head of state from a foreign territory, the memory of a journalist, I've never heard of that! Since he has returned to his country, the president does not give the impression that something serious has happened in Europe. No public statement, no press release, no press conference. Nothing is said about the serious incidents in Switzerland. Life goes on!

The second lesson: she is a suggestion made head of state. Geneva was built by men who do not have an intelligence above that of Cameroonians. Paul Biya should dream of making Yaoundé a Geneva of Africa. It could solicit the Dutch who master the techniques of water, to transform the municipal lake of Yaounde into Lake Geneva Geneva. It's doable.There are Intercontinental hotels all over Africa. Yaoundé could also dispose of it. It would equip the University Hospital Center of Yaoundé on the model of that of Geneva.

These are things that are not impossible.It only takes the will and decision of the President of the Republic to make these dreams come true. But the most difficult thing is that Paul Biya will never take such initiatives for the capital of his country.

Too bad for him, because the doors of Geneva, even those ode all Europe are closed to him forever.

Reporter: Xavier Messe