Biya Resorts to Familiar Tactics in Silencing Cameroon’s Opposition

Biya Resorts to Familiar Tactics in Silencing Cameroon’s Opposition
Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, on a boat taking heads of state to the One Planet Summit in Boulogne-Billancourt, southwest of Paris, Dec. 12, 2017 (Photo by Blondet Eliot for SIPA via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

Last November, during the swearing-in ceremony that marked the beginning of his seventh term as Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya addressed frustrated voters in the restive Anglophone regions and around the country, calling for unity and insisting he had heard their pleas for change. “I have also understood your desire for greater participation in taking decisions that concern the destiny of our country,” he said.

His critics had good reason to be skeptical, given Biya’s long record of ignoring criticism from the political opposition and the population at large. And in recent days, they appear to have been proved right: A new crackdown on the opposition has sent a strong signal that Biya’s current term will look much like the previous six.

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