I have been consistent with my analysis that Cameroun is struggling financially and heading towards a financial crisis of a magnitude never seen in the history of the republic.
The country’s financial crisis have been exacerbated by the ill-conceived war declared on the Southern Cameroons by Mr Biya, who has ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for 36+ years.
Unlike the war on Boko Haram in the North of French Cameroun where international partners are helping the ailing nation pick the bills, the war in the Southern Cameroons is a matter for the Cameroun treasury alone.
It is no longer a secret that the Cameroun government is slowly drowning in public and private debt, with most creditors turning their backs away and pulling their feets as the demands and appetite for new loans increases in order to keep the country afloat.
Mr Biya is slowly (albeit stubbornly) coming to the realisation that he was deceived by his military advisers and others, who fooled him into a war on grounds that it was better to quickly crush what they dubbed “patches of poorly armed resistance” before they had the ability to mutate into a major threat. Plans were to get the job done in weeks.
Helas, the conflict is heading into its third year, and getting more complex and sophisticated with each passing day. The fighters are becoming more skilled and upgrading their weaponry from the den guns we were used to seeing, to modern AK 47s and sub machine guns.
To try imagining an impoverished country struggling to meetup with its own fiscal budget, planning a three – four weeks war that turns out to drag for 2+ years and counting is frightening. But that’s the exact prism through which one can understand the “merde” La Rep. du Cameroun is in.
It won’t be long before the financial noose around its neck tightens even stronger. It has now been revealed that Hundreds of billions borrowed under the cover to fund the failed AFCON 2019 projects ended up being channeled to fund the costly war in the Southern Cameroons, while the projects were delayed and some not even started.
Their plans and hopes as it is now alleged were to packaged whatever they could in the name of AFCON2019 and milk it, so as to partly pay some of the loans, helas little did they know CAF had other plans.
Withdrawing the hosting rights from Cameroun was not only humiliating, but was like putting the country’s head under a sledge hammer and smashing it, given the scale and financial impact of the already crippling economic sabotage from the resource rich Southern Cameroons.
Institutions and partners are beginning to ask real questions and take this conflict seriously, as the ramifications of Cameroun failing and going flat could be disastrous.
As I have said in the past, one thing is certain: Cameroun can not financially on its own sustain this war for much longer and if Biya & CameroUn do not quickly bring this war to an end, the war will precipitate their own end.
14th December 2018