Shameful Cameroun?s Absence of Position at the UNO Security Council
Of all the speeches of the UN Security Council members during its February 14 meeting, that of Cameroun had been
pointed out for its absence of clear position between the American intransigence and the French tolerance on the
question of the Iraq?s disarmament. With the exception of South Africa, one also noticed that Africa last weekend had
remained motionless whereas the whole world vibrated under the blow of popular demonstrations against the American
position to overthrow the Baghdad government by force in order to impose a puppet government to the service of
American oil interests. Such a dumbness may recall us that Africa never mobilizes itself for the world events, including
its own events. And it is same Africa which, more than any other continent, requires that the world be mobilized for its
misfortunes. The reason of such a dumbness must be in the absence of civil and political freedoms, but especially because
of African governments that are more concerned of their post-colonial dictatorial clans? interests than of the world
affairs and their own people?s expectations.
The speech delivered by the Cameroonean representative, Belinga-Eboutou, the most tedious of all, is thus to put on the
account of the begging State position president Paul Biya has relegated Cameroon after 20 years of dictatorial reign. The
speech was poor, without direction or substance. As opposed of the French and Chinese interventions largely applauded
(contrary with the Security Council?s habits), the Cameroonean speech is that during which the members and guests
present were bored, and formed groups in order to discuss other matters. Even the television cameras, contrary to the
other speakers, were much more directed towards the audience than towards the speaker. This shameful intervention
however did not pass unperceived within the Cameroonean public. Some local intellectuals pain themselves to explain it.
The extracts of the following article, written by the special correspondent of Radio International France in Cameroun,
say some long.
"Cameroun, like the other States at the Security Council of the United Nations, can only recommend the
continuation and the implementation of vigorous, robust and decisive actions to bring the Iraqi authorities
to cooperate fully with the inspection teams", said François-Xavier Ngoubeyou in front of the Security
Council on February 5. But, the Cameroonean State minister in charge of foreign Relations had implied
that it is up to the Security Council to "decide of going in one direction or in another one", referring to the
option of war defended by the United States on the one hand, and to that of the peaceful Iraq
disarmament preached by France on the other hand.
If we agree on the fact that, in general, Yaounde used to align on collective positions, specialists agree in
to recognize that in this precise file of the Iraqi question, at the bottom, Cameroun plays the equilibrists.
"Actually, the reading of the Cameroon?s official position reflects its hesitations. Because, one can lead
Iraq very well to cooperate by the war, just like one can do it by pressures. And we can see well that
Cameroon does not exclude any of the options and seems to say: the war can be avoided and it is
inevitable at the same time ", explains an academic in Yaounde. "It is about a position that oscillates
between the French pacifist position and a wink with the warmonger American position. Cameroun is a
country which in its diplomatic tradition always sought to navigating between the extremes ", analyzes Pr
Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, legal and political teacher at the Faculty of Science of the University of
According to Pr. Kombi, Yaounde?s diplomatic step seems to being ordered by a certain number of
stakes "which are economic, geo-strategic, geopolitical". This seems to confirm the reading grid
developed by another academic. "There is a whole set of parameters to understand the Cameroonean
position?s difficult legibility, he explains. Initially, one can note that Cameroon is generally interdependent
of the Third World options, in particular the defense of peace, especially when there is a prospect for
conflict between one of these States and a powerful country. Secondly, there is a dimension related to the
weight of powerful countries, which are divided on the Iraqi question: one is France, an old metropolis,
which can only try to influence the Cameroonean position in its favor. But there is also the United States
that becomes a very significant partner, especially with its deployment in the gulf of Guinea in favor of oil
discoveries, without forgetting that Cameroon can need Washington with regard to the implementation of
the International Court of Justice?s decision in connection with the Bakassi case, in fact if the Security
Council were solicited for the envoi of forces in the area ".
To that many others add that France always was of an invaluable support for Cameroon, qualified as a
"heavily indebted poor country" within the international financial institutions on the one hand, and that the
United States which declared Cameroon as eligible to the initiative African Growth Opportunity Act -
which allows Cameroonean economic operators to profit from taxes? suppression for certain exportation
products - take care as well of the Chad-Cameroon pipe line. Started with the World Bank?s guarantee,
the building work of this more than 1 000 km long pipeline - of which nearly 900 km cross the
Caneroonean territory ? is considerably advanced, for the benefit of the many large American firms which
are committed there.
In short, under these conditions, "the Cameroun?s situation is an extremely difficult exercise, leading to a
Solomon position", says an expert. "Cameroon, is in a triangular play, with France in one side, other side
with the United States, and further all that milked with the Arab countries and the countries of the South in
general", said Pr Narcisse Mouelle Kombi . That can be called diplomatic funambulism.