The United States of America has never come under fire for cooperating with the CPDM dictatorship in Cameroon even though the Biya regime has arguably the worst human rights record in the Sub Sahara African region on freedoms and minorities. Unlike the French, Cameroonians have always regarded American diplomats accredited to Yaounde as men and women of exceptional qualities with unflinching support for anything that is pro human rights and democracy and by extrapolation all that is antagonistic with the Biya-Francophone- Beti-Ewondo regime.
Frances D. Cook, US ambassador to Cameroon from 1989-1993 gave us reasons to love and respect the Americans. Even when plans were being put in place for the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline, Frances D. Cook never gave us the feeling that oil trumps human rights. That was a long time ago before the arrival of Michael Stephen Hoza, current US ambassador to Cameroon.
Under Michael Stephen Hoza, the pride of being a US diplomat in Yaounde has drastically diminished and to be sure, it has disappeared into thin air. The ease with which he is readily available for state dinners at Etoudi, the kind of deliberate silence that he maintains over gross human rights abuses in the country and the failure of the US embassy under his stewardship to comment on the Brenda Biya scandals in the US betrays ambassador Michael Stephen Hoza as extremely lacking in diplomatic finesse.
He has never engaged in any constructive dialogue with opposition parties and human rights group in the country nor even to raise a finger over the atrocities committed by the Cameroon military in the Far North region as recorded for us by Amnesty International. He does not travel beyond Yaounde and Douala mindful of the fact that his fellow countrymen have been stationed in Garoua by the Obama administration. In our present day Cameroon, Ambassador Michael Stephen Hoza it could be said is the third most important personality after the Head of State and Minister Martin Belinga Eboutou.
A prominent human rights activist leading an international campaign to free former Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya told Cameroon Intelligence Report that there is no one to talk to at the American embassy in Yaounde. To use his own words “The American ambassador is a CPDM militant with an American passport”.
As the strongest diplomat in Yaounde, the US ambassador has the influential role to pressure the regime to implement policies recommended by the UN particularly in countries like Cameroon where the UN has a mandate on human rights. Far from it, Ambassador Michael Stephen Hoza has given himself a new job description which is simply informing the world how the CPDM regime is combating the Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Ever since he arrived Cameroon, there has not been any international condemnation of Cameroon’s human rights records from either the UN or the US State Department but a regular consolation prize from the Obama administration to the vicious regime in Yaounde.
It is laughable to see a diplomatic head from a world power responsible for promoting human rights around the world developed such a romantic relationship with an 84 years old dictator heading a government with dubious human rights records. The appointment of Michael Stephen Hoza to Yaounde is now been described by many Cameroonians as “scandalous”.
Cameroon has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to freedom of speech, electioneering, democracy, women’s rights, and continues to imprison innocent and highly placed government officials. The truth is that with more discoveries in Cameroon, oil and gas will continue to trump basic human rights principles. For a United States ambassador to be readily available whenever there is champagne drinking at Unity Palace only pours salt in the wounds for dissidents CPDM barons languishing in the Kondengui prison in Yaounde.
God Bless His Excellency Ambassador Michael Stephen Hoza
God Bless the United States of America
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai (Cameroon Intelligence Report)