The Minister Counselor at the French Embassy in Cameroon has rejected claims and accusations that his Country France is fanning the flames of the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West regions.  


Philippe Larrieu who is also the security officer at the French Embassy was speaking in Bamenda during consultative talks on the current crisis with religious authorities and some members of the civil society. 

Challenged by the first group made up of Priest of the Roman Catholic Church France’s silence on the crisis and rumoured presence of French troops in the country for the crisis, the French embassy emissary detailed that after the arrival of immediate past French President Francoise Hollande,  achieves in his country have now been opened for consultation. While he was consulting the achieves, Philippe explained the he stumbled on correspondences from the then French Consoles General requesting several facilities for the development of the then West Cameroon. According to the diplomat, if the French government did not wish well for West Cameroon that would not have happened.  He noted that clear differences in infrastructural  and social development between East and West Cameroon during the pre-independent area was also very preoccupied adding that his country had it as an obligation to ensure equitable distribution of development most importantly in the areas of agriculture and social welfare. 

He however did not comment on the silence of the French government on the crisis but on the presence of French troops  rejected a suggestion that they were French troops anywhere in the NW or SW stating that they have only 14 military officials in Cameroon all based in Yaounde with specific responsibilities on directives. 

Very similar preoccupations came during the Diplomat’s meeting with the Cameroon’s Teachers Trade Union though their meeting was focused more on the state of education in the regions concerned and then the consumer organizations in the region, The Minister Counselor revealed that France was not amongst the highest exporters to Cameroon and so could not be accused of making money from Cameroonians. On loans the French Security official also noted that for all the projects they have been funding in Cameroon has only a one percent interest rate with five years of grace while other countries give loans to Cameroon at about nine per cent. According to him these countries with high interest rates and no period of grace are the ones milking Cameroon dry. He however placed the issue on governance and not his country France. 

According to Rev Fr Tata Mbuy Director of communications in the Archdiocese of Bamenda, the discussions were frank with the French diplomat exceptionally open and educative with the readiness to also learn and accept the issues revealed to him. 

Semma Valentine Secretary General of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union CATTU described the talks as fruitful and frank with the possible of getting a solution to the crisis. It should however be noted that during the meeting between the diplomat and CATTU it was made clear that school attendance was only an issue for urban areas for both primary and secondary. In relative terms school attendance in the region was generally placed at less than 25% despite the efforts made. 

At the close of the meeting that also featured proposals for the way forward as reported in yesterday’s edition, the Diplomat concluded with his country’s position on the crisis which has always been genuine dialogue and respect for human rights.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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