Maurice Kamto on BBC: “We wanted an inclusive Cameroon” [+audio]

BBC – The leader of the opposition MRC party that boycotted Cameroon’s parliamentary and local elections has told the BBC that the Anglophone crisis was “a major reason” for the decision.

Ongoing conflict between Cameroon’s mainly French-speaking government and separatist fighters demanding independence for the country’s English-speaking heartlands has displaced more than 500,000 people.

Clashes and gunfire were reported during Sunday’s polls in several Anglophone towns, plus separatists had ordered a lockdown earlier that week.

MRC leader Maurice Kamto was jailed for nine months after losing the 2018 presidential election and now lives abroad.

He told BBC Focus on Africa radio that had he won, he would have brought Cameroonians together with “an inclusive dialogue, including representatives of the secessionists, those who how have been sentenced to life [in prison] recently, [and] those in the diaspora”.

Though it did not include Anglophone separatists, a national dialogue was held last September that resulted in the release of political prisoners including Mr Kamto as well as proposals to give the Anglophone regions a special status.

Yet it seems to have done little to quell the violence in the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions that has killed thousands and left many schools and services shut.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Kamto defended his decision not to visit that part of the country in recent times, citing “security reasons”.

“Do you have any example[s] in which political leaders or the government itself has been able to go in the field and count the number of the deaths?,” he said, adding that journalists, NGOs and the army were being relied upon to document the scale of the crisis.

Addressing the charge made by some that he has been less outspoken since his release from prison, Mr Kamto said he remained “very vocal” and denied striking a deal of any kind with President Paul Biya’s administration.

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4 comments

  1. Kamto, is showing how dishonest he is. Ever since he left biya`s jail, he has
    been talking about the electoral code left, electoral code right and his electoral
    hold up. The Biya genocide on Ambazonians, is mentioned only for curtesy sake.
    Truth, is that Kamto will never be different from Biya, if he becomes president.
    He can not be trusted at anytime and place to see SC as having same citizenry.
    He should be told, that peace in that country, can only come when SC, leaves
    lrc. Kamto, should try to be realistic.

  2. Always complaining about water under the bridge! You can take a person out of the ghetto but you cant take the ghetto out of them. Kamto is a case in point. He should be talking about structural changes needed to move lrc forward and not grand standing. After traveling to Europe, Canada, USA what is next? Back home pouting and complaining. A sobbing sisi, indeed. Dude, man up and show us your vision; Inspire and Lead, or leave the stage. Enough of your whining!

  3. What a stupid question asked by the journalist, and a great response from Mr. Kamto. most he go on-site and do a headcount of the dead and the displaced before you believe that the numbers are accurate? How Many times has paul biya been onsite. he can’t even go despite the fact that he has the army at his control. what a stupid question.

  4. Well who can show anybody a thing in larepublique?
    RDPC just won the legislative and municipal elections again. Citizens who have neither roads nor electricity “voted” again for their oppressor?
    We cannot be with these people , we have to leave.

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