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Fire and fury from Yaoundé: US Ambassador summoned over “unfounded allegations” and Biya legacy comments

Cameroon government has summoned the US ambassador to the country over statements made concerning the nation which has angered Yaoundé.

After the meeting with the President of the Republic on May 17th 2018, Ambassador Peter Barlerin amongst other things decries the fact that the country’s military which has always been praised by the government for exceptional professionalism and love for country has been “burning villages and killing the innocent civilians”

The retribution from the US diplomat came as a shock to authorities but much needed boost to secessionists and activists who have been crying all along that the country’s army uses excessive force in its fight against separatists, committing massive human rights violations along the way, a charge the state has always denied.

In a release made available to the public, the US diplomat praised the President of the republic for his efforts to diversify and stabilize the country’s economy, his fight against Boko Haram terrorist sect in the north amongst others while expressing his country’s willingness to continue to help Cameroon develop in health and other sectors.

“In the area of security cooperation, I congratulated the President on our joint efforts to fight Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the Far North” the statement reads in part.

He also repeated his government’s call for both side to dialogue saying “We continue to call on both sides to stop the violence immediately.  I asked the President to use his leadership to encourage both sides to listen to each other.  One cannot have a dialogue until both sides are willing to listen to the other’s point of view.”

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But it is his legacy remarks which seem to have angered authorities in Yaoundé with many believing the representative of Trump in Cameroon did cross the red line.

In his statement, the US ambassador said he told the head of state to think about his legacy and how he would want to be remembered, an apparent message which political experts believe signal plans of regime change

“I suggested to the President that he should be thinking about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered in the history books to be read by generations to come, and proposed that George Washington and Nelson Mandela‎ were excellent models.  “

The ambassador’s remarks were met with fire and fury from authorities in Yaounde as government officials scramble to water down the statement  and criticize the diplomat for revealing confidential discussion with the country’s commander in chief to the public which they say bridges diplomatic protocol

In a press release issued by the minister of external relations today May 23 2018 after the ambassador’s message went viral on social media, The country’s foreign affair chief reprimands the US diplomat for what he terms his “baseless and unfounded allegations against the country’s military” saying that the president of the republic will be remembered or bringing “democracy and development to the country”

Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella decries the ambassador’s comments as undiplomatic and reminds him that president Biya was duly voted by the people in a free and transparent elections with credible and well known opposition and was not imposed on them

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The US ambassador however on his part, insists that his government has no plans of regime change and remains committed to help the country grow. He distances himself from secessionists and says he will never support any secessionist movement in Cameroon.



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