Home / English / Inside Kamto’s looming showdown with Cameroon’s military court [+video]

Inside Kamto’s looming showdown with Cameroon’s military court [+video]

Cameroon’s opposition leader, Maurice Kamto says he is relishing the opportunity of taking on Cameroon’s government when he goes on trial in the country’s military court on Friday.

africanews | Kamto, who was the runner-up in last year’s presidential election is accused of insurrection, despite a chorus of international protest.

The charges against Kamto

Kamto, together with several dozen of his political allies and supporters, faces charges of insurrection, hostility to the motherland and rebellion, crimes which, in theory at least, could carry the death penalty.

Mr Kamto is full of confidence.

The head of the opposition Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC), and about 100 party supporters were arrested in late January.

The arrests came after several months of peaceful MRC protests over the October 2018 presidential election, which they say was rigged in favour of President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 36 years.

Kamto’s defenders

The crackdown on the opposition caused outrage among rights groups and many western governments.

The trial goes ahead despite repeated protests from France, the United States and the European Union, who have been calling for his release from detention for eight months.

In March, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs Tibor Nagy, told Radio France Internationale that Cameroon would be “very wise” to release Kamto because his detention is widely perceived as politically motivated.

Later the same month, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini criticised the arrests and what she called the military court’s “disproportionate” proceedings against them.

International rights groups have also condemned the action against Kamto and his colleagues, calling for their release.

For Human Rights Watch, the arrests “appear to be a politically motivated move to curtail dissent”. What had happened so far called into question their chances of a fair trial.

France reacted in May, calling for the release of those arrested.

“We know Mr Kamto’s qualities,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters, stressing that they were pressing Biya to release the prisoners.

Demanding a public trial

On Monday, just days ahead of their trial, Kamto and his fellow defendants said they were determined to get the truth out in court.

In a letter Monday to the head of the court in Yaounde, they called for full access to the court for the press and public throughout the trial.

“Mr Kamto is full of confidence,” his spokesman Olivier Bibou Nissack told AFP on Tuesday.

His legal team have submitted a list of 31 witnesses to the court, including two ministers, the chief of police and other senior officers in both the police and the army.

The authorities in Cameroon dismiss claims from the defendants and others that this a political trial designed to “decapitate” the opposition MRC.

The MRC had adopted a logic of “provocation and planning for insurrection”, said junior interior minister Paul Atanga Nji.

AFP

Check Also

Terminal Investment Ltd s’empare du terminal à conteneurs du port de Douala

APAnews | Le groupement italo-suisse Terminal Investment Limited a été désigné comme adjudicataire provisoire de …

5 comments

  1. So the pompous little slave is just a junior interior minister,what a job for an errand boy.
    Just wondering if he has briefed his master about school resumption in Ambaland.

  2. What is the importance of the international community, if all it can do in most cases,
    is lip service, on very bad cases like genocide, abuses etc etc.
    Please international communitiy and big powers, stop killing Africa with your dirty tricks.

  3. When a country falls into evil hands this is what you get, chaos & destruction and the West including China gladly benefit from senseless countries. Even China and Russia that has been accused of not having democratic gov’ts have never had RULERS for 37 yrs.
    Some Cameroonians speak with the corner of their mouths when they support this lunatic Biya. They know the truth but just can’t wrestle against the evil of the Biya REGIME.
    Evil begets evil. Rigging elections is the worst crime in any country & Biya knows it. He followed the wrong advice from the Northerners & France to rig & stay in power hoping he would give back power to the North. Chiroma, Cava Yegue, Amadou Ali & Marafa all had eyes on power.
    Abdou Diouf was defeated but refused to rig when urged by cronies. Peace in Senegal?

    • Mokunda watch out. Your truth will soon be derided. They fool themselves, Amba is real and here to stay because of some of the issues you raised

  4. There is a lot of COLTAN in the northen Zone:

    This war,

    Southern Zone = OIL GAS PETROL AGRICULTURE
    Northern Zone = COLTAN Natural GAS AGRICULTURE

    It is a war on oil gas and coltan.

    LONG LIVE AMBAZONIA

sit Donec adipiscing Phasellus id consequat. dolor ultricies ante. libero venenatis