Cameroon is “outraged” by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs Tibor P. Nagy Jr. calling for the release of imprisoned opposition leader, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
“The government of Cameroon is outraged and regrets strongly these remarks which do not only show ignorance of the situation and facts concerning the arrest of Maurice Kamto and some militants of CRM, as well as the situation in the Northwest and Southwest regions but also betray veiled and inadmissible interference in internal affairs of Cameroon,” said Rene Sadi, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication, in the statement.
Nagy said that Cameroon’s opposition leader Maurice Kamto and his supporters who are in prison “must be released,” according to Sadi.
Cameroon is a state of law, Sadi said, adding that Kamto and his militants were awaiting trial for charges including “insurrection, hostility against state, rebellion and destruction of public property.”
Kamto was arrested alongside 117 militants of his Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) late January after they organized protests to denounce what they called “electoral hold-up” and “useless war in Anglophone regions.”
In last year’s presidential election, Kamto claimed that he was the president-elect, while official results showed he emerged as a distant second with 14.23 percent of the vote. Cameroon’s President Paul Biya was declared the winner with 71.28 percent of the vote.
Kamto has since then announced what he called a “national resistance program” to compel Biya to step down.