Ruler Since 1982, Biya Turns 85 As Strife Grips Parts Of Cameroon


A former student in a Roman Catholic seminary and then of political science in Paris, Biya “has put the saying ‘divide and rule’ into practice,” said Stephane Akoa, a researcher at the Paul Ango Ela Foundation. “This is how he is able to remain at the apex of the system — forces who might have contested his power can’t get organised, let alone form a coalition.” The most obvious threats to this picture come from separatists in the anglophone west, where two provinces were united with French-speaking Cameroon after independence in 1960. English-speakers comprise a fifth of the population. Resentment runs high over perceived neglect by the francophone-majority regime. Dozens of people have been killed on both sides since a bloody crackdown on protest by October, sparking an escalation of bloodshed that led to a week-long curfew on Saturday. Northern Cameroon, meanwhile, is vulnerable to raids against civilians and troops from across the border by Nigeria’s jihadist group Boko Haram. Cameroon is part of a regional military coalition formed to crush the movement. – Foreign trips – Biya’s taste for alpaca suits and silk ties and repeated and often lengthy absences, especially to Switzerland, have been a source for criticism in a nation where more than a third of the population still survives on less than two euros ($2.40) a day. The foreign trips in particular have raised questions about Biya’s health. Rumours that he was sick circulated again at the end of January, but they were confounded by his television appearance on Saturday. His public appearances are so rare that they are closely scrutinised. Biya offered an upbeat assessment of the state of the nation. The threat from Boko Haram is “considerably reduced”, the anglophone regions have “calmed down” — though three gendarmes were killed on Sunday — and the national economy has been “embellished”, as he put it. External commentators, though, say the threat of instability is casting a lengthening shadow. “With the troubles in anglophone regions and the persistent threat from Boko Haram, the 2018 elections will be a greater challenge than previous votes,” said Hans De Marie Heungoup, a researcher with the International Crisis Group (ICG) thinktank. Punch Add 0802 739 7554 To Receive SKYTREND NEWS Alerts On WhatsApp; For Adverts Enquiries, Whatsapp 0802 739 7554, Send Articles & News Stories To READ ALSO! 14-Year-Old Pregnant Housemaid Dislodges Her Childless Madam, Says I Can’t Share Husband With You READ ALSO! SHOCKING, ALARMING: Nigerian FRSC Official Engages Woman In Serious Physical Combat (VIDEO) READ ALSO! How I Stopped Obasanjo From Becoming Nigerian Version Of Mugabe — Atiku READ ALSO! I’m Happy Leaving My Husband, Nine Children For New Lover — Housewife After 23 Years Of Marriage READ ALSO! The Smart CEO: Top 5 Websites To Get Cheap Domain Name Registration READ ALSO! First Bank’s Appalling Customer Service And Utter Disregard For Its Customers READ ALSO! Between GoDaddy And Namecheap: Making The Best Choice For Domain Name Registrar READ ALSO! Nigerian Filmmaker, Zuriel Oduwole Makes Forbes List Of 100 Most Influential African Women READ ALSO! Woman Marries Her Son After Getting Pregnant For Him]]>