Death Threats against US Ambassador to Cameroon: Is Another Benghazi Attack in the Making?
YAOUNDE, CAMEROON, 5 JUNE 2018 – A fanatic of Cameroon’s 85-year-old and long-serving dictator Paul Biya – in power as prime minister and president since 1975 – has made death threats against the US Ambassador to Cameroon Peter Henry Balerin.
“He will go home in a coffin,” Banda Kani, said of Ambassador Balerin during a “live” television broadcast that has gone viral.
The death threats have many worried, recalling the attack by members of Ansar al-Sharia on the American diplomatic compound and the CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11-12, 2012 during which Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and three others were killed.
“Isn’t that over the top?” questioned the lady TV in an effort to calm Banda Kani.
“That man,” retorted Banda Kani. “That ambassador… he will go home in a coffin. I am not mincing words. No power in the world… none, could ever dare Cameroon,” the well-known Biya sycophant added.
With video footage of Ambassador Balerin and Banda Kani sharing a spilt screen, the sycophant promised that Balerin’s blonde hair will turn pale, repeating: “he will go home in a coffin.”
“Would you, please, calm down,” said the TV host.
“No!” came the response from Banda Kani. “It is too much. This is unacceptable,” he added, describing the American ambassador as “a thug.”
Banda Kani is only one of many pro-Biya editorialists, commentators, spin doctors, surrogates and propagandists who have resorted to fire-throwing rhetoric against the United States ever since Balerin issued a statement critiquing the criminal crackdown of the pro-independence movement in Ambazonia – the next-door territory which gained independence in 1961 as Southern Cameroons.
Following a meeting with Biya at the presidential palace in the capital, Yaounde, last May 18, Balerin blamed Biya’s terrorist forces for “targeted killings”, incommunicado detentions, and the looting and burning down of entire villages. An estimated 74 villages have been burnt to the ground since last October in a scorched earth policy which has killed over 500 people suspected to be supporters of an independent Ambazonia.
Those, like Banda Kani, hurling hot words on state-owned media and pro-Biya press outlets are, clearly, taking their cue from the Biya regime. Ambassador Balerin was called up for consultation by Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations (Foreign Affairs). Yaounde issued a statement indicting Balerin for reportedly violating diplomatic rules. The cabinet minister who serves as the regime’s spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma, slammed Balerin during media briefings. The statement that apparently irritated Cameroonian officials the most was the suggestion by Balerin that Biya should think about his legacy by retiring, or as Balerin put it, emulating the examples of American President Washington and South African President Nelson Mandela.
Ambassador Balerin left Cameroon on scheduled leave in the United States, only hours after meeting with Cameroon’s Minister of External Affairs.
Commentators and editorialists on state-owned media who disagreed with the statement issued by Balerin upon leaving his meeting with Mr. Biya have been claiming that Balerin fled from Cameroon shortly after meeting with Cameroon’s Minister of External Affairs.
Like many other Biya surrogates, Banda Kani used very colorful language, including describing Ambassador Balerin as “a son of a b***h.”