French Ambassador Tells Cameroonians: France Isn’t Your Enemy, Your Problem Is Leadership

NEWS, Politics, Society
  • Says Cameroonians Must Find Solution To Anglophone Crisis Among Themselves

The French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Christophe Guilhou, says Cameroonians should stop seeing France as the enemy whenever they have a problem with their leadership.

Ambassador Guilhou was responding to a question raised by Laye Mbunkur, Business Development Manager at ActivSpaces, who sought to know why France continues to ‘exploit’ Cameroon through colonial deals, and through the control of its leadership.

He questioned the diplomat on what the French administration is doing to redress the situation, so that deals between Cameroon and France could be on a win-win basis.

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In response, the French Ambassador stated that the negative perception young Cameroonians have about France is not backed by any concrete evidence.

He said Cameroonians should rather change their mind-sets and work towards the future, rather than reverting to epochs in their history, which have long past.

In an analogy, the Diplomat said Germany had been one of France’s biggest enemies, and had attacked France several times, causing havoc, “but the French people have left that in the past, and are enjoying beneficial and strong cooperation ties with Germany.”

On the problems in Cameroon, and why France is tele-guiding Cameroon’s leadership for her benefit, the Ambassador responded: “If you have a problem with your own leaders that is a Cameroonian issue. We are not involved in it,” he said.

To the French Diplomat, the world has changed, so should people. He said the crisis in Cameroon is between Cameroonians and that France respects Cameroon’s sovereignty. He intimated that so far, France has not been requested to intervene in the crisis, and so they can only suggest to the leadership of Cameroon, behind the scenes, how they can better handle the crisis. 

He further stated that he is not a man who likes to talk too much, or shout, as such, he and the French administration are doing all they can, to advise the Government of Cameroon on how to handle the crisis and other problems.

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On the question of exploiting Cameroon, the Diplomat said Cameroon is the third highest recipient of French support. “Do you know how much we spend in Cameroon, hundreds of millions of Euros a year; in agriculture, vocational training, road infrastructure, electricity. Is that exploitation? This is money that we invest in the development of Cameroon. Who else can do what we do in Cameroon? He asked.

He furthered by appealing for a change of mind-sets towards France. “Please change your mind-sets; think about the future, that is why we are here. Stop referring to what happened in the 50s, 60s or a hundred years ago. One of the worst enemies of France was Germany. We had three major wars against Germany. They did a lot of bad things in France 70 years ago, and they are our major partners in the world today. No one in our generation will imagine accusing the Germans of what they did 80 years ago; no one, they are our closest ally. We look at the future; we don’t look at the past. No one in the world does more in Cameroon than France,” He said.  

Responding to journalists on what the French administration is doing to help solve the Anglophone Crisis, the Ambassador said, “First of all, it is a crisis between Cameroonians. We do our best to try to find solutions. The major problem is between Cameroonians. We have not been requested by any means to intervene and to do anything by any means. For the solution, you (Cameroonians) will have to find it among yourselves.  That is my response. However, we are looking very closely at the situation, we monitor it, and we follow it. The mission of France is to do our best in order to have peace restored in this country for its development. That was the message conveyed by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he came to Cameroon, in late October 2019. That is our main goal, trying to see how to end this painful crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon,” he said.  

He was speaking in Buea, February 21, while handing over two generators to the Buea Silicon Valley to support Cameroon’s technological drive.   

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