The Minister of Communication threatens to cut the signal of Radio France Internationale in Cameroon.
The threat is barely veiled. Issa Tchiroma Bakary warns: the RFI signal could be cut in Cameroon. The Minister of Communication, the government’s spokesperson, gave a press conference yesterday, 2 May 2017, on the celebration of International Press Freedom Day on 3 May.
Responding to a question on the sentence imposed on RFI correspondent Ahmed Abba (who was recently sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for “laundering terrorism” and “no denunciation of terrorist acts”), MINCOM reiterated that our colleague is not a journalist.
“There are no journalists imprisoned in our country. Ahmed Abba is being punished for the reasons you know, “said the former Minister of Transport before adding” it has nothing to do with journalism. A phone was found on him that belonged to a man murdered in Maïduguri (Nigeria editor’s note). That is why we are talking about the laundering of terrorist acts, “he said.
Yaounde had misunderstood the mobilization initiated by RFI after the condemnation of its correspondent. Issa Tchiroma had even made an exit calling the attitude of the French radio “unacceptable“. The government spokesman went further Tuesday. “RFI mobilized everything they could mobilize; Reporters Sans Frontières, people from Washington, others from New York … it was a pitched battle against our Nation. But they find that our nation is always standing tall. On the other hand I told them one thing: RFI is not essential. Peace, concord, national unity in our country is what is indispensable, not RFI. If this threat persists, I am invested with regulatory powers to put an end to any threat, “warned Issa Tchiroma.
As we can see, the MINCOM is once again resorting to the conspiracy theory which he is so fond of. A few days ago, it was Jeune Afrique that was being fired. At the same time, Cameroonian journalists whose voices are like Haman Mana or Denis Kwemo, and international organizations continue to denounce the serious threats to press freedom in Cameroon.