On October 25, Paul Biya received a congratulatory letter from his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron a few days after the announcement of his re-election as head of the Republic of Cameroon. While said letter was to remain private, it was unexpectedly published on the official Facebook page of the presidency of the Republic of Cameroon, Sunday, October 29.
Very quickly, several Internet users and some Cameroonian media doubted the authenticity of this letter. The three points that cast doubt on the fact that the letter does not include the official emblems of the French Republic as one might expect; Emmanuel Macron’s signature does not look like the signatures he usually uses and finally, the missive is dated October 25, and it was only published by Paul Biya’s page four days later, ie October 29th.
This letter from Emmanuel Macron addressed to Paul Biya was brief. Three paragraphs of this letter evoked the major issues of Cameroon: the challenge of youth, the crisis in the English-speaking area, the fight against Boko Haram. The French president has also assured that France stands alongside Cameroon.
Recall Paul Biya was officially re-elected President of the Republic for a seventh term on 7 October with 71.28% of the vote, a very broad victory. His runner-up, Maurice Kamto, is credited with 14.23% and still does not recognize the results of the poll. The official results were on October 22 last by Clement Atangana the president of the Constitutional Court.
CheckNews, the verification service of the facts of Liberation, contacted the Elysee to see clearly: the presidency of the French Republic affirms that this letter is authentic, but that it was not intended to be made public.
To justify this decision to publish the private letter of President Macron on the official facebook page of President Biya, the Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma told the editors of the Observateurs de France 24 that ” it is an eminently diplomatic matter, subject exclusively of the competence of the President of the Republic “
Mr. Tchiroma also welcomed that ” the Elysee has confirmed the authenticity of the correspondence, it is a perfect foothold to detractors of the policy of the president who said that this letter was false “.
For RFI, despite the fact that President Macron’s letter is authentic, the fact that it was intended to remain private and was only sent late can be justified by the embarrassment of Paris in dealing with the management of the crisis in the area. English speaking by the re-elected president.
In the aftermath of the reelection, Paul Biya had to be content with a simple statement from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. President Macron did not call him as was often the case.