Friday, November 29, 2019

Cameroon at the ban of nations, says French media

Nothing goes between Washington and Yaoundé. The United States removed Cameroon from the list of AGOA beneficiary countries from January 2020. The AGOA, for "African Growth Opportunities Act", was voted by the US Congress in May 2000. It allows eligible countries to export to the United States without customs duty. 6300 products are concerned: oil, textiles, crafts, agriculture...

The action of the United States vis-à-vis Cameroon aims to sanction the attitude of Yaoundé in the conflict of English-speaking states. "Rude and repeated violations of internationally recognized human rights," says the Trump administration. 

According to the US Embassy in Cameroon, quoted by Jeune Afrique, the country exported $ 220 million worth of goods to the United States in 2018, but only $ 63 million came under AGOA. 


Nevertheless, Yaoundé would negotiate to find the good graces of Uncle Sam, believes Actu Cameroon. "A mission led by Felix Mbayu, Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations, met the US Under Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy," writes the website. And it is of course the situation of the North West and South West regions which is at the heart of the discussions. Tibor Nagy advocates a "real dialogue" and a "transfer of power" to these regions. "There will be no military victory," hammered the American diplomat.

Cameroon at the ban of nations 

For René Emmanuel Sadi, the Cameroonian Minister of Communication, the United States ignores "the reality of facts on the ground" in these regions. For more than the economic sanction, it is the political ban that worries Yaoundé.  

Cameroon is now ranked among the low-income countries. "Cameroon has not responded to our concerns about persistent violations of human rights by its security forces, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary and unlawful detentions, and torture," said Donald Trump. to justify his decision. 

Dreadful accusations already shared by the NGO Human Rights Watch which, in August 2019, evoked cases of torture, particularly on activists in these English-speaking regions. 

The United States is far from being a key customer in the 2.8 billion euros of exports from Cameroon. The latter is more oriented towards Europe: the Netherlands (21.4%), Belgium (9.3%), Italy (7.8%) and France (7.7%) are the main customers. It is true that the mechanism of AGOA skates. Far from boosting trade as expected, we are witnessing a decline since 2008, a prosperous year. The congress of Abidjan in August 2019 had focused on the revival of the mechanism.