Paul Biya (picture below with Emmanuel Macron, the President of France) was recently announced as the winner of the concluded Cameroonian elections. However, this was not without controversy, as it was established that there were limitations on voting for people from the Anglophone part of the country. This has not stopped the array of support coming from the US and the UK.
However, the US and the UK have voiced that their major concern is on the “deteriorating situation” in southern Cameroon, as opposed to the way and manner which the elections were conducted. Unlike other African Nations where both the UK and the US seem to be able to directly criticise the voting process, Cameroon looks to have gotten a vote of confidence on their electoral process despite allegations of rigging and voter intimidation in the just concluded elections.
In a message regarding the Cameroonian elections, Minister Harriett Baldwin congratulated Paul Biya on his re-election, and only expressed concern over the crises in Southern Cameroon, which was discussed in an earlier write-up. The US department of state also sent a congratulatory message on the “peaceful elections in Cameroon”. Unlike the UK which refused to comment on the electoral process, the US went a step further to state that there may have been some discrepancies in the voting process.
The biggest beneficiary of Paul Biya’s 30+ years in office, France, was also quick to congratulate him on the just concluded elections, wishing him success in achieving the legitimate aspirations of the Cameroonian people.
If there is anything to take from these congratulatory messages, it is that the US, the UK or France are legitimately interested in the affairs of African countries, except when it comes down to claiming natural resources, or fighting off immigrants. The dangers of openly supporting a dictator and subtly citing instances of abuse by such dictatorship, showcases complacency on the part of the UK, the US and France, who are all at the helm of affairs at the United Nations. It also seems hypocritical, since all these countries played a role in the ouster of Colonel Gadhafi, who was the President of Libya and had spent over 40 years as the president of the country.
French presence in Cameroon has remained even after the independence of the country from their former colonial masters. This could be one of the many reasons why France is blind, deaf and dumb to atrocities committed by the Cameroonian president, Paul Biya. Thus, the ideas of protection of human rights and obedience to the rule of law are not sacrosanct in the promotion of democratic ideals in Cameroon. Rather, the protection of imperialist interest is of utmost importance.