Badjeck made the observation to reporters on the sidelines of ECCAS regional security meeting which opened at the War College in Yaounde, June 6.
Pointing accusing fingers at the Pan African magazine Jeune Afrique as heading the band that wants to destabilize Cameroon, Badjeck said the magazine and other media are painting the impression that countries in the central African sub-region – Cameroon in particular, are late and slow in reacting to crisis. He dismissed the claims citing interventions by Central African countries in the Central African Republic, Mali, and Ivory Coast.
“All those write-ups are intended to illustrate that Cameroon is not playing its role as a leader in the central African sub-region.” He stated.
Badjeck had posted on his Facebook wall last year that some people are not happy that Cameroon is winning the war against Boko Haram in the Far North Region. Then, he accused French radio, RFI of distorting information in a press release he said he sent to them. He said RFI journalists have formed the habit of reducing the number of Boko Haram casualties and increasing the number of soldiers killed in attacks in the Far North.
It should be noted that the colonel was decorated with a medal of valour at the military headquarters same June 6, for professionalism in the fight against Boko Haram. He and other soldiers were decorated following a presidential decree of April 20, honouring officers who participated at the level of strategy and cooperation in the ongoing war.
Badjeck’s claims follow a series of similar claims by Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma. Most banners, flyers and posts in recent public activities, such as the national and youth day celebrations, the university games, carried messages sensitizing Cameroonians against manipulations on social media, aimed at disturbing the peace of Cameroon.
Tchiroma had described the publication of an article in French Le Monde newspaper as a strategy to incite civil unrest in Cameroon.
Though most state officials avoid pointing fingers, as regards the supposed sponsors of such publications, Cameroonians suspect France’s hidden hand in the on-going conflict in the Far North region. French officials have, however, on several occasions denied the allegations.
Jeune Afrique Denies Allegations
Francois Soudan, Managing Editor of Jeune Afrique in an interview in yesterday’s edition of the French language daily, Le Jour, denied Badjeck’s allegations that the magazine is publishing sponsored articles intended to destabilize Cameroon
“I would like to know what campaign we are said to be instruments; who is the architect; who pays for them and to what purpose”; he argued.
To Soudan, “those who say those things have a problem with freedom of expression. When you write something positive, you are rewarded. When you write something critical, they say you are part of a plot. To them; there is no place for freedom of opinion, talk less of objectivity. Everything is bought and sold. That is how they function, but it is not a reason for them to drag us into their compromises.” Soudan said.
Quizzed on why Jeune Afrique is becoming more and more critical of the Cameroon regime, he said too much talk of a conspiracy in a country is an indication that the people are living in deep misery. He added that “the tone, violence and hysteric manner, in which some newspapers and TV stations in Cameroon criticize, Jeune Afrique, justifies what I am saying.”
Francoise Soudan dismissed claims that he had been a close friend of the Biya regime. “If people thought I was close to the regime, it does not mean that I am. The regime and the opposition used to criticize me; at times simultaneously.”
He revealed that at a certain point in time, he was blocked from entering Cameroon as he was denied visa without any justification. “They would ask me for an authorization from the Secretary General at the Presidency…which is not the case with other journalists seeking visas in Cameroon embassies.”
He argued that the articles written on Cameroon are done by a Cameroonian; George Dougueli. He said it was Dougueli who wrote the article on how Biya has always governed Cameroon from abroad. Soudan said he is not the author of the ‘troublesome’ article but said he shared the same opinion.