Source: www.africanakua.com | Mafany Tande Myles, Cameroon
The current relationship between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea has deteriorated, and Equatorial Guinea is not keeping quiet about it.
“Bilateral relations between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea are friendly and excellent. Both countries, are committed to constantly strengthen security, monetary and trade agreements.” These were the words of H.E. Baltasar Engonga Edjo’o, the last Equatoguinean diplomat who visited Cameroon in February 2018 to deliver a sealed envelope from President Teodoro Obiang Ngeuma to Cameroon’s head of state, President Paul Biya.
Fast forward a year later, things do not appear to go right since the relationship between the two nations has gone awry.
As the USA is developing a literal wall to prevent illegal entry of migrants coming from Mexico, so is the central African nation of Equatorial Guinea developing a literal wall to prevent movement from Cameroon into their country. Well, in the ideation phase that is.
Army sources from Cameroon say that is the plan of Equatorial Guinea. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Cameroonian army officer said Equatorial Guinean soldiers had crossed the River Ntem, which forms a natural border between the two countries, and erected milestones in the town of Kye- Ossi on Cameroon’s side.
Cameroon’s national radio reported that Cameroon army chief, Rene Claude Meka, visited the spot at the end of July to see where the border had been intruded upon, expressing the expansionist ambitions of the smaller neighbouring country. He went on to say that the Cameroonian army would not tolerate any “unlawful intrusion” into its territory. Equatoguinean soldiers have declined to comment.
Nonetheless, Equatoguineans said they have been told about the plans their county has to erect a border wall with Cameroon.
Based on different sources, Equatorial Guinea accuses Cameroon of letting in undocumented West Africans into its territory illegally. Equatorial Guinea is especially keen about the border with Cameroon because it is where some 30 foreign armed men from Chad, the CAR and Sudan were arrested in what Equatorial Guinea says was a failed coup attempt in December 2017.
On the one hand, Equatoguineans have been ruled by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the longest ever serving African ruler. Although rich in oil amongst many other natural resources, the nation is marred in poverty and an outstanding reputation for corruption. On the other hand, Cameroonians have been ruled by Paul Biya, who seconds Obiang Nguema only in length of leadership, but undoubtedly surpasses the latter in his country being ranked high in corruption levels, which has heightened with the crisis hitting the two restive English speaking regions.