Biya assumed office as president of the centrally located African nation on Nov. 6, 1982. He’s been president now for 38 long years. Biya, now 87 years old, became president after serving as prime minister under the late President Ahmadou Ahidjo. That was in 1975. At the time he was only 32 years old.
Since he became president Biya has led Cameroon through many elections, during which, we are told, he muzzled the opposition in every way and used the military to aid his stay in office.
Today, Cameroon is grappling with a civil war, its worst crisis since independence which it gained separately, from France in 1960, and Great Britain in 1961.
The parties in the conflict involve the Republic of Cameroon, with a central government operating from Yaoundé, its capital, and English-speaking or Anglophone separatists, operating mostly in hiding, and with feeble international support. The separatists say their goal is to carve out a separate nation for the country’s English-speaking minority. They have named the new country, Ambazonia. The situation has escalated into bloodshed, with thousands now reported killed, and hundreds in refugee camps in neighboring countries.
Just as beleaguered Cameroonians are using social media to deride the state of their country, the anniversary of Biya’s stay in power came under scrutiny from international media and humanitarian organizations, including Germany’s Deutsche Welle News Service, UNICEF, The Guardian, and The Daily Nation.
U.S. Department of State — November 2020
UNICEF — November 2020
Deutsche Welle (DW) — November, 2020
The Guardian — November 2020
The Daily Nation — November 2020
The Africa Report — November 2020
Catholic News Agency — November 2020
Jeune Afrique — November, 2020
Brookings Institution — October 2020
NBC News — October 2020