By Beltha Mokube – Thursday April 11, 2019.
The United States Department of State (DOS) fondly called the State Department headed by Michael Richard Pompeo (Mike Pompeo) has named Cameroon, a Central African country among countries with high risk for its citizens attempting to visit major tourist destinations.
According to a statement, Tuesday April 9, 2019, the State Department said high-threat countries would now be labeled with a “K” in order to communicate more clearly to US citizens the risks of kidnapping and hostage taking by criminal and terrorist actors around the world.”
This announcement would further dampened Cameroon’s economy especially in the North West and South West regions were an armed conflict is ongoing. Many people are reportedly kidnapped daily in these regions and in most cases, the government has been accused of masterminding these acts in order to corrode the image of Anglophone militias.
There’s an armed conflict in the South West and North West. These two regions have been rocked by repeated and fierce gun battles with Pro-Independence fighters fighting regular Cameroonian military to restore what they call the statehood of former British Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia.
The United States State Department has updated its travel advisories, National Telegraph has confirmed. In the list, Cameroon features alongside thirty-four (34) other countries considered by the US as countries with serious risks of kidnapping and hostage taking.
Pundits say this move would adversely affect Cameroon’s economy that’s already battling with a seriously battered economy caused by not only the armed conflict in the two English-speaking regions but also insecurity in the Far North, East and even parts of the South.
The Statement Department say; Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled Eastern Ukraine), Venezuela, and Yemen are officially high risk countries.
This move isn’t unconnected to an American tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide who were kidnapped in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park at gunpoint and later rescued by security officials.