Cameroon on Monday opposed French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks over a separatist crisis in the country’s English-speaking regions.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya “is accountable for his actions to the sole sovereign Cameroonian people and not to a foreign leader, even from a friendly country,” Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, secretary general of the Cameroon presidency, said in a statement released Monday evening.
On Saturday, Macron, while speaking to a Cameroonian activist at a farm show in Paris, promised to put “maximum pressure” on Biya over a humanitarian crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions where armed separatists are clashing with government forces. Biya is fully engaged to accomplish his mandate “and does not need external pressure to do so,” commented Ngoh. He also urged Cameroonians to remain calm and open to strengthen the “historic relations” between France and Cameroon.
Early on Monday, hundreds of demonstrators, brandishing placards and chanting slogans, gathered in front of the French embassy in Cameroon to protest against what they described as Paris’ intervention in their internal affairs. According to the UN, there have been over 700,000 refugees and internally displaced persons since separatists began clashing with government forces in 2017 to establish an independent nation they call “Ambazonia” in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.