President Paul Biya in his 2020 end-of-year address to the nation has promised to intensify crackdown on Ambazonian fighters in the English-speaking regions who deny to lay down their arms. “Those who are not willing to lay down their arms, we will have no option, but to fight them,” he said while addressing the nation Tuesday December 31, 2019, in his traditional end of year speech.
President Biya said “the criminal activities of armed groups continue to disrupt public, economic, and social life in these regions, yet various measures have been taken in recent months to reason with these youths, most of who have been brainwashed”.
“For those who persist in going down the wrong road and continue to use violence, we will have no other choice than to combat them in order to protect all our fellow citizens. Our Defence and Security Forces will, once again, perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness” he went on.
Mr. Biya failed to mention US decision to cut AGOA trade deals with Cameroon which goes into effect tomorrow. Donald Trump in the document approving the removal of Cameroon on the list of sub Saharan African countries benefiting from preferential trade, cited rights violations against civilians in the restive anglophone regions of Cameroon. How the move will affect the economy is still unclear.
But regarding Cameroon’s economic growth this year, the president says it is satisfactory. “I think I can safely say that it is fairly satisfactory, albeit constrained by an uncertain global context, among other things” he noted, thanking the IMF, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the French Development Agency, “for their budget support and assistance to Cameroon’s structural reforms”.
Regarding the February 9 2020 legislative and municipal elections, President Biya said security measures have been taken to ensure they go on successfully, a statement that comes just moments after gunshots were reportedly heard in different parts of the restive Anglophone regions.
Regarding why he termed the excesses of compatriots of the Diaspora, Biya warned against proliferation of hate speech. “Whether or not they still have Cameroonian nationality, I believe they should, out of patriotism, refrain from using negative language against their country of origin. One must respect one’s fatherland, its institutions and those who embody them” he explained.
President Biya’s new year speech ran simultaneously with that of the MRC’s Maurice Kamto who also dwelt on a number of issues including the post 2018 electoral hold up.
Mimi Mefo Info