Cameroon. In May, Cameroon became the 19th country to qualify for the World Bank’s and the International Monetary Fund’s debt-cancellation program for particularly heavily indebted countries. The equivalent of close to SEK 9 billion. was postponed, since Cameroon met the requirements for reduced poverty and increased social investment. However, as a condition for depreciation, there was reduced corruption and increased transparency in the state’s business. During the autumn, some 30 high-ranking officials were brought to justice for corruption. In a later review of the state administration’s activities, it was discovered that about 45,000 public employees who received salaries did not exist, which had cost the state equivalent to about SEK 70 million. per month.
The former colonial power in France granted Cameroon an aid package valued at approximately SEK 460 million. for five years. In return, the government undertook to invest at least SEK 180 million during the same period. in environmental protection in the Congo Basin. The 200 million hectare forest area along the Congo River extends over six countries and has a rich animal and plant life. However, human encroachment and extensive deforestation mean that 70% of the forest stock according to the World Nature Fund may have disappeared by 2040 if no effective measures are taken.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Cameroon include Independence Day (May 20) and New Year (January 1). Opposition leader John Fru Ndi was indicted in August for murder in connection with the death of a party activist in clashes earlier this year between rival factions of the Social Democratic Front. He was not himself involved in the brawl but was considered by the prosecutors to have overall responsibility for the actions of his employees.
In August, Nigeria handed over the long-contested Bakassi Peninsula to K. The International Court of Justice in The Hague had already granted K. the right to the potentially oil-rich border area in 2002, but continued negotiations and formalities had elapsed over time.
At the beginning of the 21st century the process of liberalization of the political system started in the early nineties showed all its weakness, confirming the deeply undemocratic nature of the regime: the power of the President of the Republic P. Biya, in office since 1982, remained uncontested as well as that of his party, the Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (DPRK), while the activity of the opposition was hampered by the frequent use of illegal practices, repeatedly denounced by human rights associations, and through the use emergency measures such as the systematic proclamation of a state of siege. The introduction of multi-partyism (1992) and some constitutional amendments (1995) therefore did not allow a real exercise of the fundamental rights of freedom and association, and political life continued to be dominated by the ruling party thanks to a careful use of the powerful administrative machinery, the co-optation of different ethnic groups and a complex network business (Cameroon is considered one of the most corrupt countries on the continent). The president also enjoyed strong international support, in particular from France, of which he traditionally represented the most faithful and strategic ally in Central Africa. This situation was confirmed once again in the legislative and presidential elections held in June 2002 and October 2004 respectively.. In the first, postponed several times (they were to be held in January 2001 and then in the same month of 2002), the victory went to the RPCD, which won 149 seats out of 180, while 22 went to the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF). The elections took place in a climate of strong tension (preceded by severely repressed demonstrations) and their regularity was contested not only by the opposition, but also by a monitoring body organized by local churches. As for the latter, won by Biya with about 71% of the votes were boycotted by many opposition parties that contested the lack of freedom in the electoral campaign and denounced the intimidation of the population by representatives of the ruling party. The lack of democratization and the very high degree of corruption did not prevent international organizations from considering positively the country’s economic behavior after the start of the privatization processes of many public companies, from electricity to agri-food. On this basis, aid and assistance programs such as the one decided in 2000 were initiated or extended from the International Monetary Fund, and guaranteed subsidized loans such as the one launched in the same year by the World Bank for the construction of an oil pipeline with Chad.
An ancient border dispute, which opposed the Cameroon to Nigeria over the sovereignty of the Bakassi peninsula, a territory rich in oil, seemed to find a solution in 2002 with a sentence of the International Court of Justice which ruled in favor of Cameroon; this decision sanctioned the international credit enjoyed by the country, but in the bilateral talks of October 2004 Nigeria put forward technical reasons that prevented the transfer of sovereignty, thus leaving the question unresolved.