Cameroon government reacts to accusations of abandoning Cameroonians resident in Ukraine
Following the broadcast of a report by the French television channel France 24, in which Cameroonians recounted their ordeal in Ukraine and urged the Cameroonian government to reflect on the situation, Yaoundé's response has been delayed.
In a statement released on Thursday, March 17th, 2022, the minister delegate to the Commonwealth's Minister of External Relations, Félix Mbayu, rejects the version of events widely circulated by the French media.
"Contrary to what some slanderous media outlets claim about the government's alleged inaction, the President of the Republic has deployed all necessary resources in this case, as he has in the past to ensure the repatriation of Cameroon citizens, at the expense of the state, of 2665 Cameroonians who were stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or for the return of those of our compatriots who are in need due to crises in various countries around the world,"
He hasn't shied away from evoking the efforts that the government might take, whether through its consulates in Europe or through Cameroonian diaspora organizations, to try to rescue citizens who have been stranded in Ukraine due to the conflict.
According to the report, "the Ministry of Finance has been instructed to proceed with the release and immediate transfer of funds to the embassy of Cameroon in Berlin (a diplomatic station with easy access to Ukrainian borders), in order to take responsibility of the Camerounais in distress."
Despite this, dozens of Cameroonians featured in the documentary claim to have been forgotten and live in squalid conditions with only one meal a day.
While the government tries to distance itself from the situation, the number of calls for assistance from Cameroonians grows.