The Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo government has embarked on jamming of Radio France Internationale World Service shortwave radio system in Cameroon. RFI says it’s received reports that attacks on shortwave frequencies are being timed to cause maximum disruption. Shortwave radio jamming is less frequent in Cameroon but the 34 year old regime in Yaounde has a long history of blocking independent media organizations.
Cameroon government spokesman and Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary openly threatened to cut off signal of Radio France Internationale. The Yaounde regime is fighting a losing battle with many media houses based in the French capital, Paris. Issa Tchiroma said recently that the CPDM government was uncomfortable with what Yaoundé described as “media fierceness, prejudicial to the peace and stability of the country.”
Tchiroma launched a scathing attack on Jeune Afrique and presently against Radio France Internationale whose reporter Ahmed Abba has been sentenced to ten years in prison by the Yaoundé military tribunal for “laundering and terrorism”. It is in this context that Isa Tchiroma revealed on Tuesday that the government was planning to cut the signal of RFI in Cameroon.
The controversial and corrupt Francophone government official stated that “If the threat from Radio France Internationale persists, I am invested with powers of regulation to put an end to any threat”. This is not the first time that the Cameroonian government has raised the argument of national sovereignty, international conspiracy or violation of territorial integrity to infringe on press freedom. Recently, the English-speaking part of the country was deprived of the Internet, for nearly 90 days.
By Rita Akana