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Minister Emmanuel Sadi upbeat about Biya’s candidacy, contradicts Titus Edzoa’s political transition claims

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Cameroon’s Minister of Communication and government spokesperson, René Emmanuel Sadi, has downplayed calls for a political transition, asserting that President Paul Biya’s leadership remains stable and effective.

This statement comes amidst speculation regarding Biya’s potential candidature in the 2025 presidential elections.

In an interview with Radio France International (RFI), Minister Sadi emphasized President Biya’s achievements and ongoing projects, attributing them to his four-decade leadership.

Biya, who is 91 years old, has served as the President of Cameroon since 1982, making him one of the longest-serving leaders in Africa.

Sadi’s remarks were prompted by claims from former Secretary General at the Unity Palace, Titus Edzoa, who alleged that individuals within the government had approached him to discuss proposals for Biya’s transition from power.

However, Sadi expressed skepticism regarding Edzoa’s statements, asserting that any changes in leadership would be determined by the Cameroonian population through democratic elections.

Addressing Biya’s potential candidacy, Sadi stated that the president traditionally announces his candidacy at the end of his mandate, with consideration given to the views of his party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM).

Members of the CPDM across the nation want President Biya to stand for the 2025 elections. The president has always said his lengthy stay in power has been backed by Cameroonians, who, he said, continue to vote him into power.

Titus Edzoa had claimed that someone from the government had reached him to make proposals on what Biya’s transition from power would be.

However, Rene Sadi said the transition is unnecessary because the president is fully exercising his functions.

“Personally, I doubt Mr. Edzoa’s statement about those whom he said have contacted him. He is not the only Cameroonian political actor to ask for a change at the helm of the state. It is the Cameroonian population that decides, and the elections are planned for 2025. We will see if the Cameroonians want to change in one direction or another,” René Emmanuel Sadi said.

Outlining what Biya will use to cajole voters to give him another mandate, he said in 2019, President Paul convened the Major National Dialogue to x-ray and diagnose the socio-political unrest in the two Anglophone Regions.

He also mentioned the building of sporting infrastructure in the country that hosted AFCON 2022, and roads, among others. 

“Pretending that nothing has been done since 2018, according to Professor Edzoa, seems inappropriate,” he said.

QUESTION OF FRANCK BIYA

Rene Sadi also addressed speculation surrounding Biya’s son, Franck Biya, indicating that his eligibility and decision to contest would be made responsibly.

“He has always said that at the end of his mandate, Cameroonians and the international community will be informed of the decision he will take. That of representing himself or that of withdrawing. The president of the republic will determine, in agreement with the activists of his party, the democratic reform of the Cameroonian people, the CPDM. As for his son, Frank Biya, if he meets the conditions of his eligibility, he will make his decisions with full responsibility,” he added.

Regarding concerns about Biya’s age, Sadi highlighted the president’s wealth of experience in leadership as a compelling reason for continued support.

However, questions have arisen regarding the treatment of former government officials who have left Biya’s administration, many of whom have faced legal challenges.

Several prominent figures, including former Secretaries General of the Presidency and journalists, have either been jailed or exiled under Biya’s rule.

Among them include Marafat Hamidou Yaya, Jean Marie Atangana, Gilles Roger Belinga, and journalist Amadou Vamoulké.

Sadi maintained that these individuals were transparently judged for common offenses, rather than politically motivated crimes.

“They were judged transparently in a framework accessible to the public for the acts that we know are common. And not political delusions. There are no political prisoners in Cameroon, and it is therefore justice that will decide whether to release them or continue to keep them in prison. If ever an action is to be considered or desired, it will be a possible presidential pardon,” he said.

Sadi’s comments underscore the political dynamics in Cameroon as the nation prepares for the 2025 presidential elections.

Amidst speculation and calls for change, the government remains firm in its support for President Biya’s leadership.

©Mimi Mefo Info

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Afrique

CAMIFF 2024: Cameroon’s premier film festival kicks off in Buea

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By Tata Mbunwe

Cameronian cinema lovers, filmmakers, and investors have begun converging in Buea, South West Region, for the eighth edition of the Cameroon International Film Festival (CAMIFF).

The week-long event, slated to run from April 22 to April 27, 2024, promises to be a spectacular affair, with a packed program lined up at the Buea Mountain Hotel.

The festival’s founder, Prince Agbor Gilbert, and his team have pulled out all the stops to ensure a memorable experience for attendees.

With over 50 movies scheduled for screening, CAMIFF opens with the enchanting film “Half Heaven,” produced by Cameroonian filmmaker Enah Johnscot and featuring award-winning actress Syndy Emade.

CAMIFF 2024 is set to showcase a diverse array of films from Cameroon, Nigeria, France, Brazil, Botswana, USA, UK, South Africa, Senegal, Switzerland, and other countries.

In addition to film screenings, the festival will host masterclasses covering various aspects of filmmaking, including Directing, Acting, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Documentary Film, and Film Business.

Notably, on April 25, CAMIFF will collaborate with Local Youth Corner, a youth-led civil society organization, to hold a workshop focusing on the role of entertainment in community dialogue and social cohesion.

Another workshop on April 23, led by the Cameroon Film Industry executive board, will sensitize attendees on the state of the Cameroonian film sector.

Prince Agbor Gilbert initiated CAMIFF in 2016 to promote Cameroon’s film talent

CAMIFF’s CEO, Agbor Gilbert, revealed in a recent interview with Cameroon Tribune that the event is expected to attract close to 6,000 stakeholders from the Cameroonian cinema sector.

For years, CAMIFF has been the largest film event in Cameroon, shining a spotlight on the country’s burgeoning entertainment industry.

It has also been promoting collaboration between the Cameroon film industry and Africa’s largest film industry, Nollywood, in Nigeria.

Past editions have been graced by renowned Nollywood actors like Ramsey Nouah and Zack Oji, and this year, the festival welcomes Nollywood actor and producer Ruth Kadiri.

Kadiri will host a workshop alongside CFI President Brenda Elung and the Director of Cinema at Canal+ International, Laurent Sicouri, to discuss film and business on April 26.

The festival’s opening night kicks off with a cultural celebration, followed by themed nights including a mask night and an all-white party.

CAMIFF 2024 promises to be captivating and heartwarming, culminating in an award ceremony on Saturday, April 27.

With its stellar lineup of films, workshops, and industry experts, CAMIFF 2024 is poised to cement its status as a premier event in Cameroon’s cultural calendar, celebrating the country’s rich cinematic heritage and showcasing its potential on the global stage.

©Mimi Mefo Info

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Afrique

Washington lance une nouvelle offensive diplomatique en Afrique

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Alors qu’un vent anti-occidental souffle dans plusieurs pays d’Afrique et que la Russie est en train de grignoter des parties des territoires en Afrique, les Etats unis viennent de lancer un nouveau ballet diplomatique dans le continent.

Richard R. Verma, le secrétaire d’État adjoint américain à la gestion et aux ressources est au Cameroun. Le diplomate américain est arrivé hier dimanche le 21 avril à Yaoundé. La visite de celui qui occupe le rôle de chef des opérations du département et dirige les efforts de modernisation, d’aide à l’étranger, ainsi qu’un large éventail de questions relatives au personnel et à la stratégie, rentre dans le cadre d’une tournée africaine qui le conduira ensuite en Éthiopie et en Angola. Selon une note d’information de l’ambassade des États-Unis à Yaoundé, Richard R. Verma « rencontrera de hauts fonctionnaires camerounais, des partenaires de la santé publique et des dirigeants de la société civile pour discuter de la coopération entre les États-Unis et le Cameroun dans les domaines de la santé, de la paix et de la sécurité régionale, ainsi que de la croissance économique durable ».

La liste des personnes que le sous-secrétaire américain va rencontrer n’a pas été rendue publique, cependant une audience avec le président de la République, Paul Biya, devrait avoir lieu. Avec le président de la République, plusieurs sujets pourraient être abordés, notamment : la crise anglophone. Un sujet qui a d’ailleurs refroidi, il y a quelques années, les relations entre le Cameroun et les USA. En 2019, le Cameroun avait été exclu de l’African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), une loi facilitant les exportations de produits africains vers le marché américain, en raison des accusations d’exactions et de violations des droits de l’homme portées contre l’armée camerounaise dans le conflit avec les milices séparatistes. Mais le Cameroun avait été réintégré à l’Agoa. Et la volonté de Yaoundé qui a toujours souhaité un soutien explicite des Etats Unis et une condamnation sans ferme du terrorisme séparatiste, semble avoir été entendue. Ces derniers mois, plusieurs séparatistes ont été arrêtés aux Etats Unis et jugés par la Justice américaine.

Le diplomate américain et Paul Biya pourront également échanger sur les relations étroites entre le Cameroun et la Russie. Depuis le début de la guerre russo-ukrainienne, plusieurs pays occidentaux tentent de contrecarrer l’expansion de la Russie en Afrique. De son coté, Paul Biya continue d’agiter la carte de l’ambiguïté stratégique.  Le président Paul Biya s’est rendu à Saint-Pétersbourg en juillet 2023 pour participer au sommet Russie-Afrique.

 Le Cameroun entretient des relations dans plusieurs domaines avec les États-Unis, notamment dans le financement de la lutte contre le VIH/Sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme. Les relations s’étendent également au domaine de la sécurité, avec la formation du personnel militaire camerounais et la vente de matériel militaire et de sécurité. Les États-Unis ont joué un rôle de premier plan en soutenant le Cameroun dans la guerre contre Boko Haram.

Joseph Essama

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Afrique

Tournée nationale du Président du MDR : le Septentrion préoccupe Tigana Daissala

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Le Président national du MDR, Daissala Tigana Tassi, et son arsenal parcourent les coins et recoins des régions septentrionales depuis quelques jours. Il est accompagné des maires et députés MDR dans sa suite.

Il convient de noter que le président national du MDR, fils du défunt Dakole Daïssala, condamne fermement la position de Maître Djorwé, sénateur MDR élu président national par un petit groupe de militants du MDR. Cette situation laisse entendre que l’engagement actuel de Tigana Daïssala n’est pas fortuit et que les préparatifs pour les élections de 2025 avancent à grands pas.

Cette visite de rencontre avec les présidents de section vise non seulement à prendre contact avec les populations, mais aussi à sensibiliser les électeurs sur l’importance de s’inscrire sur les listes électorales et de voter de manière utile en 2025.

Les défis actuels pour le nouveau Bureau National sont considérables. Pendant cette tournée, Dakole Tigana Tassi pose des jalons pour sécuriser les échéances électorales à venir en 2025. Il encourage les populations aspirant au changement à exercer leur devoir citoyen à travers le vote.

“Je suis convaincu qu’il n’y a pas de lutte au sein du MDR. Sinon, nous aurions affaire à un autre parti adverse. Je crois que nous sommes le seul parti unique et que le MDR n’a pas de concurrence sur le terrain”, affirme le nouveau président national.

Bien que la santé du parti ne soit pas stable pour le moment, Dakole fils, qui succède à son défunt père, assure tous les militants de sa détermination à insuffler un nouvel élan au MDR.

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