The Republic of Cameroon is a country in equatorial Africa. German colony until the First World War, by mandate of the League of Nations its territory was then divided into two parts, in turn integrated into the French and British possessions respectively. The country became an independent republic in 1960 with the reunification of the former French Cameroon and a part of the former English Cameroon (the strip located in the far north-west joined Nigeria in a referendum instead). The initial federal structure, which reflected the division of the country between the two mandatory powers, was abandoned in 1972, when Cameroon became a unitary republic with Yaoundé as its capital.
According to itypeusa, the internal political life of the country is marked by an exceptional and problematic continuity of government, which translates into an almost total absence of alternation in power, with some concessions at the municipal level. The main political figures, from independence to today, have been that of President Ahmadou Ahidjo, in the first twenty years of history, and that of Paul Biya, in the following thirty years. Paul Biya was already prime minister in 1982 when he succeeded the resigning president Ahmadou Ahidjo and has remained uninterrupted at the helm of Cameroon ever since, winning the presidential elections of 1992, 1997 and 2004. His last and most important political success concerns the approval of a constitutional amendment, in April 2008, which, in addition to guaranteeing him immunity, eliminated the limit in force for two presidential terms, thus ensuring the possibility of re-running in the elections of October 2011 (won with 78% of the votes from his party,Rdpc) and for those of 2018, even if his re-nomination seems unlikely for the latter at the moment. The probable withdrawal from the political life of Biya is a strong element of political instability, as it generates tensions and struggles within the dominant party. In 2013 the Senate was finally established, the upper house of the Cameroonian parliament provided for by the 1996 Constitution and never installed, but it was more of a facade concession than of real democratic progress.
The legislative and administrative elections held in September 2013 did not hold any surprises. The DRPC won 148 out of 180 seats in the National Assembly, and the result of the local elections allowed the party to govern without the need for a coalition in 300 of the 360 municipalities in the country. The SDF, Social Democratic Front, won 18 seats, establishing itself as the main opposition party. Although a multi-party system has existed in Cameroon since 1992, the internal political scene is dominated by Biya’s party, the Rdpc, which, since its foundation, has systematically won all the elections. On the other hand, the parties are marginal, often disunited and suffer from the same deficit of credibility and trust in the electorate that affects, more generally, the entire Cameroonian political system.
In addition to the authoritarian drifts and the weakness of his opponents, Biya’s permanence in power was guaranteed by the nature of the CPR, which can be defined in all respects as a party-system, whose members enjoy a capillary network of privileges and concessions. Biya’s long presidency, combined with scarce democratic concessions and widespread corruption have fueled the discontent of the population, which was expressed in protests in 2012, during the institutional celebrations for the thirty years in office of the president. The government contrasts the democratic deficit with satisfactory economic performance and the timely application of development and poverty reduction policies in line with the strategy of the International Monetary Fund (Imf) and the World Bank (Wb).
The serious political instability and wars that have affected some neighboring nations, such as Chad and more recently Nigeria, Mali and the Central African Republic (from which more than 200,000 people come), are pushing the Cameroon government to do more for the regional political cooperation. Border instability not only causes a progressive increase in the number of refugees seeking shelter in Cameroon, but also puts the security of the state itself at risk. Due to the porosity of the borders with Nigeria, militants of the terrorist group Boko Haram have repeatedly infiltrated the north of the country, a strategic crossroads between Nigeria and Chad, essential for the supply of armaments and recruiting grounds. The danger represented by the The deterioration of security in the north materialized in early 2013, when a French family was kidnapped in Cameroonian territory on the border with the Nigerian state of Borno and subsequently released under ransom. Despite the emergence of an international coalition to face the extremist group, the attacks have intensified in the last two years. In the south-east area, there have been infiltrations by militants belonging to the séléka group, the Islamic rebel militias that foment the crisis in the Central African Republic.
France occupies an important position in political and economic relations: Paris remains one of the major trading partners, for imports, as well as the first country for development aid among the OECD countries, and one of the largest foreign investors. Relations with other Western countries and in particular with the United States are stable: the government of Yaoundé, thanks also to offshore oil resources , is gladly accepted by international institutions, which react very weakly to the restrictions on civil liberties present. in the country. The US, already the first investor country, has declared its intention to extend its economic presence in Cameroon, even if the American company Aessold all of its shares in Sonel, the electricity company that also participates in the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, to Actis, a French company. China is stepping up its economic cooperation and, even in the absence of reliable estimates, there is no doubt that its investments, especially in infrastructure, occupy a very important place. Beijing, which has become the country’s main trading partner, has been involved in the construction of the port of Kribi, a key logistics hub and arrival point for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, and has entered into agreements with Yaoundé for huge investments in the telecommunications field. The role of Turkey, India, Morocco, United Kingdom and South Korea is also increasing in the country. Relations with Chad remain good, with which Cameroon cooperates militarily in various operations, including the one to fight Boko Haram. In August 2008, after a long dispute culminating in a 2002 ruling by the International Court of Justice, Nigeria’s restitution of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, located on the border between the two countries and very rich, was peacefully concluded. of oil and gas. The relationship between the two states remains characterized by mistrust, despite the collaboration in the fight against Boko Haram’s militias and the visit of the new Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015. The role of the C is growing.emac (Economic Community of Central African States), an organization that promotes cooperation for economic integration between the states of Central Africa.