French President Emmanuel Macron will be in Cameroon on Monday, July 25 and depart the next day after holding meetings with ailing President Paul Biya, some opposition leaders and other top government officials.
But Mr. Macron’s visit could meet a hostile reception in France’s former colony. Cameroon’s foremost writer, Calixte Beyala has said as much, warning the French President that the entire Cameroonian people will not want to see him on Cameroonian soil.
In an open letter to Emmanuel Macron, published on her Facebook page on Saturday, July 16, 2022, the writer speculated on a wide array of issues that might be on the table for discussion.
“You are coming to defend the interests of France and that’s good, very good. But are you going to ask for forgiveness from the martyred Cameroonian people? Are you coming to recognise the crimes of France and apologize to these bruised people? Do you come to establish relations of mutual respect? Are you coming to endorse a man for the transition in Cameroon, this transition that we talk about and that is not so far away?” Beyala asked in a rhetorical fashion.
The writer charged Macron with insensitivity to French crimes in Africa, saying that the French President does not believe that he or any other French citizen is “indebted to history” believing instead that it’s necessary to turn a new page as if that history never existed.
“For us, this history is pervasive! It inhabits our wounded hearts and our bruised souls! It inhabits every cell of our bodies and populates every breath we take. It has the face of Um Nyobe or Wandjie, of Affana and other anonymous people who died because they wanted to preside over their destiny! The memory of Khadaffi haunts us and those bombs were thrown blindly, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people!”
Beyala notably charged Mr. Macron with heading to Cameroon with the sole purpose of imposing a new leader who should take over from ailing President Paul Biya, in power now for about 40 years.
“Know, therefore, Mr. President, that Cameroon is not the Ivory Coast! That Cameroon is not Chad! That Cameroon is not Gabon!” She warned.
These are countries where the French have been accused of fostering transitions to impose stooges who would play the bidding of France.
“What are you doing here in these troubled times of our history? To guarantee some people access to the supreme magistracy in return for our wealth?”
Beyala said she was aware that Macron would be heading to Cameroon with some pro-French intellectual lackeys like Achille Mbembé and many others to facilitate his task, “as they tried to do during the Montpellier sham. Your path will be marked out, the heart of Cameroon already bears the heaviness of it!”
“For all Cameroonians, you are the wrong man for the job! They know that you do not want them any good,” Beyala concluded.
Back in Yaounde, there is speculation that Macron will not only discuss the issue of succession with President Biya, but he will also press for the release of French citizens detained in Cameroon.
There is also credible information that Mr. Macron will hold talks with the country’s opposition leaders, notably John Fru Ndi of the SDF, Maurice Kamto of the MEC as well as Cabral Libi.