Cameroon bars 40 suspected corrupt officials from traveling abroad  Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 6, 2021


The Cameroonian government has barred 40 suspected corrupt officials from leaving the central and west African country. Their arrest and prosecution may come within days.

The announcement was made by Martin Mbarga Nguelle, the man in charge Cameroon’s interior security.

His statement came only weeks after similar restrictions were issued by the police.

Recently, a former Minister of Water and Energy, Basile Atangana Kouna, was arrested in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, and repatriated to Cameroon, after he left the country unannounced. He is currently in detention in the nation’s capital on corruption charges.

Why it matters: The government says these arrests are within its anti-corruption drive dubbed “Operation Sparrow Hawk”, but many have pointed out that they may not be unconnected to a presidential election later this year, and instability in the country’s Northwest and Southwest where a crackdown on Anglophone secessionists has left many dead and a country, already battling Boko Haram terrorists, on the brink of chaos.

President Paul Biya of Cameroon, an 80-something year old leader who has been in power for 36 years is running again for President, after he discarded term limits years ago. Although he claims he’s fighting corruption, he is believed to have enriched himself from public coffers and has remained answerable to no one.

The International Crisis group had warned that Cameroon may be sliding towards chaos.


By Solomon Tembang

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