Friday, 23 December 2016

Cameroon denies rumours of Paul Biya's death

The secretary general of Cameroonian presidency, Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara, has categorically denied rumors circulating in the country that President Paul Biya had died in Geneva, Switzerland, where he went a week ago with his family.

Atangana Mebara noted that Biya's death rumours were "devoid of any foundation, unreliable and malicious" and were likely to "sow disarray and doubt in the spirit and hearts of Cameroonians and the international community.
" The rumours were fuelled by irresponsible individuals and groups "who care little about the future of Cameroon and its people," the senior official said. 

Rumours of Biya's death started last Friday night, fuelling conversations in the capital as well as in the rest of the country, without any official reaction. 

On the contrary, the state-run television, in its evening edition, focussed on the activities of the head of state. 

At no time did the rumours disrupt the normal day to day activities of Cameroonians who were more focused on the match the Indomitable Lions were playing Sunday against Benin, as part of the 2006 joint World/African Cup of Nations qualifiers. 

But on Monday Cameroonian dailies questioned the origins of the rumours. 

In an editorial, "Crime and Punishment," the state-owned Cameroon Tribune newspaper described the rumours as "a farce," a "ridiculous set-up" and "apocalyptic remarks. 

" "Beyond the disgust, the discontent and revolt stirred by such a practice, one question should be raised: how far can people go, in the name of hidden, personal and clan motives, in the manipulation of an entire people and the scuttling of the high interests of one's own country?" the paper decried.
It was obvious, the editorial added, that the rumour, which is far from being spontaneous, was aimed at stirring trouble and creating, through its effects, a deleterious social problem likely to pave the way for all sorts of destabilisation. 

The tri-weekly magazine, "La Nouvelle Expression," linked the rumour to the upcoming elections to succeed Biya as the Head of State. 
Cameroon denies rumours of Paul Biya's death
It is regrettable, according to "The Herald," that in this climate of confusion, the president has not even thought of returning home to prove that he was safe and sound.

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