Cameroon. The multi-year border dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Peninsula was re-updated in March. Nigeria accused Cameroon of gathering at least 5,000 soldiers at the border, claiming they were preparing for a strike. The conflict has been going on since 1994 when Cameroon brought it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (The Hague Court), where the matter is still pending. As a result of the alleged Cameroonian troop contractions, the Nigeria called on the Hague Court to close the case. Instead, they wanted to resolve the conflict through direct negotiations with Cameroon.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Cameroon is Yaounde. The two neighboring countries were also attracted by the organization Transparency International based in Berlin. The organization makes annual assessments of, among other things, which country in the world is the most corrupt, and it could conclude that Cameroon in that respect has passed Nigeria and thus was considered the world’s most corrupt country.
Security forces again responded with arbitrary arrests of people they suspected of supporting Boko Haram – most often on the back of sparse or no evidence at all. They were detained in inhumane, often life-threatening centers on military bases or intelligence agencies, neither had access to a lawyer nor their family. The security forces also used the tactic to block an entire area, and then carry out mass arrests. The Battalion for Rapid Response (BOB) battles with the intelligence agency DGRE committed even worse attacks. Dozens of men, women and children were tortured. Some died as a result of the torture. Others were lost.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does CMR stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Cameroon.
Security forces also attacked activists and politicians from the country’s opposition parties. Arbitrary arrests were made and the detainees were subjected to violence. In October, lawyers, pupils and teachers from the country’s anglophone areas conducted a strike in protest against the marginalization of the country’s anglophone minority. Protests and demonstrations were brutally beaten by security forces. In March 2017, the government cut off the internet connection to the north and southwest of the country where the anglophone population is concentrated. It sparked new protests and the connection resumed in April.
History. – For about twenty years the political life of Cameroon was dominated by the strong personality of A. Ahidjo, the Muslim leader of the North chosen by France to manage decolonization in a conservative sense. Albeit using authoritarian means, Ahidjo managed to defeat the radicalizing insurrection of the Union des populations camerounaises and to weld in a fairly resistant unity, despite the ethnic, linguistic and religious differences, the former French Cameroon and the part of the former Cameroon English who did not opt to merge with Nigeria.
In 1980 Ahidjo was unanimously re-elected president for another five years, but two years later, in November 1982, without official justification, he decided to resign in favor of his dauphin, P. Biya, a bilingual Christian from the South, who since in June 1975 he held the post of prime minister.
Ahidjo did not completely leave the scene because he retained the presidency of the ruling party, the Union Nationale Camerounaise (UNC). The coexistence between Ahidjo and Biya, however, was short-lived. It was evident that Biya wanted to free herself from a protection that hampered her freedom of action and that poured out the criticism that Ahidjo had deserved on him. It seemed that Biya wanted a sincere liberalization of politics, indulging the stimuli that came from one of the most developed African societies, but soon the political struggle degenerated into a clash of unprecedented gravity. The first tear was an attempted coup (August 1983) which gave Biya the cue to get Ahidjo to leave the UNC presidency as well.
On January 14, 1984 Biya was re-elected president and a few days later a constitutional amendment was approved by the National Assembly which restored the original denomination of the Republic of Cameroon by dropping the adjective “united”. For the 1983 plot, Biya was conciliatory, commuting to life imprisonment the death sentences against those responsible, including Ahidjo himself, who exiled himself in France. In April 1984 there was an uprising of a department of the armed forces that put the government in serious danger. The repression this time was very harsh. From exile Ahidjo denied being involved; some suspicion was raised about a possible complicity of France. Biya’s recovery of consensus was initiated in March 1985 with the Party Congress, which took on the new name of Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais. After the administrative elections of October 1987, those for the Parliament and the Presidency were held in April 1988. In December 1990 the Parliament launched a series of reforms aimed at making political freedom and association effective, guaranteed by the Constitution but in fact disregarded.
On the strength of a very rich and diversified agriculture, of discrete oil reserves, of a bourgeoisie with initiative and entrepreneurship, Cameroon has a relatively prosperous economy even if characterized by considerable social inequalities. Biya is engaged in a policy of correction and rebalancing, but his efforts have been frustrated by the economic crisis following the collapse on the world market of oil prices and the main agricultural materials exported from Cameroon. On 21 August 1986 the country was hit by an unusual natural disaster due to the eruption of a toxic cloud from the waters of Lake Nyos, which caused hundreds of victims.
Theoretically bilingual, Cameroon was part of the colonial system of France and in 1989 joined the French-speaking summit. While militating in the conservative camp, he practices a careful dosage in order not to expose himself too much to the objections of internal opponents. In August 1986 the government decided to re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel: a particularly delicate and controversial step because Cameroon has a predominantly Muslim population and adheres to the Islamic Conference.