On October 5, 2019, Maurice Kamto and other MRC party members who had been arrested and locked up in January were set free.
Coming a day after the end of the Major National Dialogue, following an official release by President Biya, many believed the action was part of amends government was willing to make for the good of the country’s political sphere.
Months later, the actual reason for their release it has been revealed was pressure from French president, Emmanuel Macron.
Confronted by activist Calibri yesterday at a cultural event in France, President Macron highlighted that the MRC leader was released due to pressure on 87-year president Paul Biya.
“You know my commitment on this subject. I put pressure on Paul Biya to deal with the problem in the English-speaking area and his opponents first” he said
“I told him that I did not want to receive him in Lyon until Kamto is released, and he was released because we put pressure on him” the politician went on.
He also promised “to call President Biya next week and we will put as much pressure as possible to put an end to this situation. I am fully aware and fully involved so that the violence which is going on in Cameroon and which is completely intolerable will stop. I’m doing the maximum”.
Following the release of Maurice Kamto and other MRC members, Amnesty International stated that it should signal an end to the repression of dissenting voices.
While many have lauded the French President’s earlier action and yesterday’s promise, others say it is an indication of a possible solution ahead for some of Cameroon’s key issues including the Anglophone crisis that has left over 3000 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
It has however raised a question on who really rules the country, due to his over bearing influence.