Cameroon bans Yaoundé media conference

By Modestus Anyesore | The Citizen, Tanzania August 31, 2017

 The government of Cameroon has cancelled a media conference that was to take place in the capital Yaoundé on Wednesday.

The Yaoundé I Divisional Officer, Mr Nama Cosmas Thiery, said the conference would disturb the public order and peace.

He also ordered the deployment of security forces to the venue of the conference.

The Café Politique conference, in its 9th edition, is a monthly meeting organised by the Cameroon political journalists club.

The Senior Associate for Africa and Regional Director at the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, was due to deliver a lecture at the conference.

The Cameroonian born Washington DC-based expert on democracy in Africa was scheduled to talk on the crisis-hit English speaking regions of the Northwest and Southwest, the 2018 General Election, the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists, the Cameroon—IMF relations and the organisation of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in the central African country.

“We are astonished by the administrative officer’s act which constitutes a breach of the 1990 liberty law of Cameroon,” the Cameroon political press club said in a reaction to the prohibition.

The main opposition leader, Mr John FruNdi of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), Prof Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) and Mr Bernard Njonga of the Believe in Cameroon (BIC) party, have graced the previous editions of the conference.

Cameroon is rated “not free” on the 2017 Press Freedom and Political Rights Index of Freedom House.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Yaoundé has in recent months taken increasingly drastic steps to suppress the rights to transmit and receive information in Cameroon, particularly in predominantly Anglophone regions.

The arrest and detention of journalists in the country has also attracted global attention to President Paul Biya’s government.

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