By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Sunday, December 1, 2019.
One of the most complex sanctions on Cameroon has been stripping off the Central African country from hosting a historic African Nations Cup session that saw the number of participating teams moved from 16 to 24 for the first time.
The Confederation of African Football – CAF due to infrastructure and security concerns stripped Cameroon of the rights to host the 2019 Nations Cup on November 30, 2018, National Telegraph reported.
Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya after using Samuel Eto’o Fils, a Cameroonian retired professional footballer to cham to no avail, Ahmad Ahmad, CAF’s President, was forced to officially accept the chance to host in 2021.
International debates have now risen on Cameroon’s security stakes, ability to host any other Nations Cup in the nearest future and issues of respect for Human Rights following an attack on a Cameroon official carrier.
Early Sunday, December 1, 2019, MA60 aircraft, registered TJ-QDB, belonging to Cameroon Airlines Corporation- Camair-Co was shot at with firearms, as it approached the Bamenda airport in Cameroon’s restive North West Region for landing, an official statement from the Corporation has confirmed.
No loss in human life was recorded and thanks to the bravery of the Captain, the aircraft was able to land smoothly despite the impact on its fuselage, the statement continued, adding the plane has been grounded to access the level of impact with other technical services.
The shooting at this plane as confirmed by the airlines raises numerous concerns. It contravenes Human Rights by all standards and provides avenues for consideration of World Powers to think an act of International Terrorism has taken place according to a tweet from Akere Muna, a Cameroonian International Lawyer.
Many locals in the area have however accused the Cameroonian government of masterminding an attack on its own carrier in order to corrode the image of separatist fighters in the region and slacken international pressure on the regime to urgently resolve the armed conflict in its English-speaking regions.
Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions are hit by an armed conflict with a demand by the majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia. The crisis has led to thousands of deaths, torching hundreds of villages, millions of displaced people and thousands of political prisoners.
In all these, one thing is certain! The government of Cameroon has demonstrated its inability to contain the situation, bring lasting peace and security in these regions. News of this incident is just one of the numerous real-life threatening situations witnessed every day in these precincts.
The matter is even completely complicated with the withdrawal of major opposition political parties from the country’s council and parliamentary elections for early 2020.
Many circles think it’s about time the International Community intervened to bring a negotiated agreement between the government of Cameroon and the rebels. Others have CAF circles say the organization must now start thinking of a new hosting country if by 2021 the insurgency isn’t contained.