Cameroon opposition figure Maurice Kamto to answer three difficult questions in Washington DC

Cameroon opposition figure Maurice Kamto who will be meeting Cameroonians living in the United States for the first time since he was released from detention late last year would have a delicate path to navigate here on Sunday.

At the heart of the contention would be three difficult questions he would need to answer when he addresses a carefully selected crowd of loyalists and supporters at the high point auditorium located on 3601 powder Mill Road, Beltsville, Maryland, for two and half hours.

Maryland is not exactly Washington DC, but it shares a border with the American capital and a subway that often blurs the geographical divide.


Those who would be meeting with Mr. kamto between 12 noon and 2.30 p.m. would be old comrades who have known him for a very long time from when he was in the good books of the administration of President Paul Biya to when he stormed out and began to pursue his own destiny, and those who have never heard him talk.

To his base, Mr. Kamto would have virtually nothing to prove. It will be a time to celebrate his release from detention, to meet with an old leg and shower praises on a comrade they wish to see one day lead Cameroon.

To many others, however, beyond his agenda and how he intends to unite a divided country, Mr. Kamto would need to answer three difficult questions to earn their support and admiration.

The first question would be how he intends to resolve the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Many Ambazonians, who have privately aired their views to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC, have recalled negative comments attributed to Kamto regarding the crisis in their regions, especially the burning of villages by soldiers, and the massacre taking place in Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.

The second question would be how broad is his appeal in Cameroon. Many of those in attendance would be wondering how appealing the Maurice Kamto brand is from southern Cameroon to northern Cameroon, from central Cameroon to eastern Cameroon as well as in the Anglophone regions of Southwest and Northwest.

The lack of national appeal may leave that group of non-committed Cameroonians labeling him a regional leader made bigger by the social media than he really is on the ground.

The last question would be on his complicated relationship with President Paul Biya and his administration. Many Cameroonians would be wondering what makes him so different from the system he was part of for many years.

How can you be the solution to Cameroon’s myriad of problems if you were part of the same system that is accused of crumbling the economy and institutions? Many may want to ask him.

How Mr. Kamto answers those three questions would give a clear picture of the path ahead.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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