Bulldozers demolish makeshift market stalls and buildings Monday morning in Tongolo, a district of the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde.
Among the several hundred stall owners Giulio Evina.
Evina says it is unfortunate that officials are destroying businesses along some of the main streets in the capital Yaounde and making families hungry just because French President Emmanuel Macron is going to visit Cameroon. Had it not been for Macron’s visit, he says, he is sure the government would not have filled the potholes that caused road accidents in Yaounde.
France says Macron will discuss Africa’s food crisis, sparked in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as challenges to increasing agricultural production in Africa and rising insecurity.
Cameroon is facing Boko Haram terrorism, which has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced two million people in 10 years on its northern borders with Chad and Nigeria. The central African country also faces separatist conflicts that have killed at least 3,300 people and displaced more than 750,000 in 5 years, according to the United Nations.
Cabo Daniel is the deputy chief of defense for the Ambazonia Defense Forces, or ADF, one of the separatist groups. He says the ADF hopes Macron will ask Biya to end the use of force as a solution to the separatist crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
One of our factions in the liberation movement has called for the closure as a way of protesting against Emmanuel Macron’s visit, but other movements will be watching this event in the hope that Emmanuel Macron will push Paul Biya to choose the path of a peaceful solution to the war. . “
Politicians and civil society groups say they will discuss with Macron the possibility of a peaceful transition in Cameroon. President Paul Biya, 89, has been in power for nearly 40 years and his critics accuse him of rigging elections to prolong his power until his death. The government says he has always won democratic elections.
France says Macron will visit Benin and Guinea-Bissau after Cameroon.
Ijani Leornard Kolo, professor of political science and analyst at the UN-sponsored University for Peace in Africa program in Addis Ababa, says Macron is expected to review his country’s economic, political and security ties with Africa. Kolo adds that African countries that have agreements with France are now seeking profitable partnerships with other world economies.
We have seen the President of the African Union and the African Commission go to Russia to see how grain will not be prevented for Africans to get food. If we take the issue of Cameroon signing a defense treaty with Russia, then Cameroon abandons mine exploitation to China, questions the French position, and even gives a feeling that it is anti-French. So, France wants to reposition itself against other partners like China, like Russia.”
The French government says Macron is accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, the armed forces and foreign relations and the French minister of state for development.