By Eric Tataw – Saturday July 19, 2019.
The government of Cameroon, a conflict-hit Central African country has hired an America-based Public Relations firm to assist in cleaning its image said to have been corroded by gross Human Rights violations, National Telegraph has confirmed.
In a document received by NSD/FARA Registration Unit dated Friday July 12, 2019, Clout Public Affairs, a division of Axiom Strategies based at 411 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA has been hired by the government of Cameroon to provide specific services.
FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.
According to the contract between the government of Cameroon and Clout Public Affairs, professional public relations services would be provided to the government of Cameroon by promoting positive and favorable image through earned media, digital and research campaign services.
The contract also states that initial planning meetings and strategy session will be used to determine targets, campaign content, budgets and timing.
National Telegraph also gathered that Clout will begin work to positively shape key domestic elements of the U.S. – Cameroon relationship in order to foster a robust and growing partnership narrative into the future.
It has also been specified the objectives will be to advance the overall public relations mission. Clout is expected to also help lay the foundation for longer-term narrative growth in the United States
The contract also furthers that in conjunction with its existing digital partners, the firm would endeavor to positively impact Cameroon’s positioning through Search engine optimization (SEO) and other targeted measures.
A campaign targeting an increase in the positive opinion of Cameroon would be developed and implemented as well as strategic and crisis communications assistance, the contract further states.
An accompanying digital media advertising strategy designed by Clout will be included by utilizing video and graphics and implemented via digital media buys. All digital media buys will be at standard commission rates, says another part of the contract.
Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions are engulfed in a deadly armed conflict and several groups including elements of the armed forces and mobile police have been accused of kidnapping and targeting innocent civilians, including their goods and chattels, sources say.
According to credible reports from the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Peter Henry Barlerin, reputable Human Rights Lawyer Agbor Balla and Bishops of Mamfe and Kumbo, the Cameroon military has been wrapped in several war crimes.
The Cameroon government has blocked Humanitarian organisations from having access to the war-torn areas while others have been denied entry into the country like a recent case of a Human Rights Watch staff.
The government many think has hired the firm to clean its image already considered as highly corroded. The military has burnt several villages and killed thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children.
A 3-month-old baby was intentionally shot and killed, Monday May 20, 2019 at about 11:15 am by elements of the Cameroon military, residents of Muyuka, a war-torn town in Cameroon’s restive South West Region where the incident took place confirmed to National Telegraph.
Insecurity has greatly increased in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon with Anglophone armed groups fighting for the Restoration of the statehood of Ambazonia, a self-declared independent country the rebels are trying to establish in the Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions.
It started in October 2016 as a disagreement in language but government mismanaged it, turning it into an armed conflict with a demand by majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for the separate state as it was in 1961. Many are now asking the International Community to look at the root cause of the conflict from 1961.