By Mbei Julius
Many Cameroonians have been questioning whether the US Ambassador to Cameroon has a hidden agenda to destabilize Cameroon ever since he spoke to the media after an audience President Paul Biya was so kind to grant him at the Unity Palace five days ago.
Ambassador Peter Henry Barlerin, equally cast doubts on his level of competence as he acted like a typical amateur or cub diplomat who has limited knowledge on international relations and diplomacy. Political pundits have been quick to criticize his uncontrolled utterances in an interview with journalists of the national television in which he practically exposed the content of a message from US President Donald Trump to his Cameroonian counterpart. Besides divulging the content of the letter, the diplomat went as far as revealing discussions he had with Head of State behind closed doors.
Inasmuch as newspapers and the social media is awash with selected parts of his declaration focusing on the fact that he asked President Biya to walk in the footsteps of former presidents George Washington of the United States of America and Nelson Mandela of South Africa; the long and short of the message he passed on was that he has asked Cameroon’s head of state to leave power. It is equally the strange that the local media seem to have fallen for the ambassador’s gimmicks, failing to question whether it was or it is appropriate for an ambassador to undermine the sovereignty of an independent country. Cameroon is neither an oversees territory of the United States nor a US colony to take orders from the Trump administration as some misguided newspaper headlines appear to make it seem.
Anyone would be forgiven for believing that Ambassador Peter Henry Barlerin had ulterior motives when he made the declarations. Publishing the entire interview on the Facebook page of the US embassy in Yaounde and on its website, equally smacks of bad faith. It goes to show that the former Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of African Affairs, who was responsible for the policy and operations of nine domestic offices and 51 embassies and consulates knew pretty well that the press would have edited his statement to make it void of any nuances.
Citizens of doubtful doses of patriotism have also been quick to pick out of the lengthy statement of nine paragraphs, the section in which he states “The President and I discussed upcoming elections. I suggested to the President that he should be thinking about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered in the history books to be read by generations to come, and proposed that George Washington and Nelson Mandela were excellent models,” leaving out the many praises showered on President Biya. He is also being criticized for out rightly condemning soldiers fighting separatists in the restive Anglophone regions.