Many renowned academics have opined that criminal states are a new form of dangerous state developing at catastrophic rapidity in the Sub Saharan Africa region.
While state failure, military takeover and oligarchic regimes are emerging in the ECOWAS bloc, the Biya Francophone regime in Yaoundé, Cameroon which never had its origins from jihadi insurgency or lawless zones is now undeniably the biggest mafia state in the CEMAC area.
For 40 years, the Biya Francophone regime has successfully put an end to rule of law in Cameroon and its elite force known as the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), with a modus operandi similar to a criminal organization is monopolizing all the tools of political, military and economic power.
The Rapid Intervention Battalion was constituted predominantly with young men from the Beti-Bulu tribal extractions and the force only receives directives from a small group of individuals close to the 90-year-old President Paul Biya who consider the ownership of all the individual and collective affairs of the Cameroonian society as their inherent right and have no responsibility toward society and no obligation to be accountable.
Perhaps we can arrive at a more accurate understanding of the nature of the Biya Francophone regime if we examine calmly and honestly the prominent men and women of the regime who are currently being held at the Kondengui Maximum Security Prison in Yaoundé and also the abduction of the NERA 10 in Abuja, Nigeria, the Captain Guerandi affair including the brutal murder of His Lordship Bishop Balla of the Diocese of Bafia and the recent assassination of journalists Martinez Zogo and Samuel Wazizi. It is evident that Cameroon is a state in which criminal gangs have taken over key parts of the system of government.
However, when you mention the description mafia state, many Cameroonians are quick to look at only the executive and sometimes the military. But there exist a criminal super-organization that controls the legislative power of the two houses: the National assembly and the House of Senate.
So in Cameroon, we are not dealing with the ruling CPDM party as the main criminal organization which is hiding behind the façade and the machinery of a constitutional state but with a Francophone dominated government that has been using some mushroom political parties in French speaking Cameroun to seize and control power at all governmental levels.
There are Beti-Bulu gangs in Yaoundé who are hiding behind the fight against corruption and Francophone politicians who pretend to obey the rule of law and are arresting their competitors and opponents and punishing them through legal channels like the Yaoundé Military Tribunal and the Special Criminal Court.
In Cameroon under Biya, the consortium of CPDM crime syndicates have abandoned all legitimate tools of political control and, like many criminal gangs, are working hard with celebrated criminals like Ministers Paul Atanga Nji and Laurent Esso to keep control on society through threats, extortion, kidnapping, terror and by showcasing cruelty and torture.
We of both the Cameroon Intelligence Report and Cameroon Concord News believe that the purpose of this Biya Francophone endeavor is not to administer Cameroon and Cameroonians but only to obtain money from the poor masses and expand their money-making power. A government that for over six years has been using its troops to kill innocent civilians and spread terror among a marginalized people in Southern Cameroons, must be viewed not as a nation-state but only as a criminal super-organization that has captured the instruments of government.
Biya’s foreign policy of developing and hastily improving relations with the Russian Federation at a time when the Russian Czar is destroying Ukraine cannot be understood even by its backers in Paris. The Yaoundé pro Russia stance can only be understood from the point of view of a criminal organization that controls the instruments of government and its focus on the interests of a particular group, (Beti-Bulu) and only thinks about expanding the sphere of influence of this group and enriching it.
In the face of such a criminal model of governance in Yaoundé, it is abundantly clear that the European Union is not serious about the war in Ukraine. The EU’s political, economic and military relations with the Biya regime practically means empowering a mafia state that naturally seeks to replicate itself by connecting with other criminal organizations in the world including the one Vladimir Putin is heading in Moscow.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai