Murder Of American Pastor, Kenyan Priest And Cameroon’s Security Concerns Ahead Of 2019 AFCON

Yaoundé (National Times) - Cameroon has heightened its political will to ensure that it host the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2019.

Fears of lobbying from other nations interested in dispossessing the country of her hosting rights won in 2014 are also concurrent.

While President Biya has made public utterances engaging Government’s commitment to satisfy Africa when the showpiece rumbles-off, the narrative of the socio-political pressures in the North West and South West Regions continues to blight the nation’s image.

At least 1 million visitors are expected to spend a month on Cameroon soil, savouring not only football, but exploring its rich touristic and cultural potential. The North West and South West Regions currently buried in insecurity has some of the country’s best touristic attractions.
Kenyan Priest And Cameroon’s Security Concerns Ahead Of 2019 AFCON
Limbe in the Restive South West Region is one of the host cities, while the North West Region is a direct neighbour to another host City Bafoussam in the West Region.

Shockingly, on the national and international scale, the controversial deaths of foreign nationals mostly servants of God may tilt the narrative against Cameroon being able to provide a safe environment for sports lovers.

On October 30, American missionary, Charles Truman Wesco, died from bullet wounds in Bambui on the outskirts of Bamenda.

21 days after, precisely on November 21, Keyan Priest, Cosmas Ondari Ombutu, died from gunshots. In both cases, the Government bench and separatist activists have traded accusations over the killings.

Yet, in the case of Fr Ombuto, the Bishop of the Mamfe Diocese wherein the Kenyan served has accused the military of killing the Priest.

Whatever be the case, the fear of sport lovers is that at the diplomatic level, narratives could be formed around the Wesco and Ombuto affair to deny Cameroon the right to host the tournament.
Already, the country is still expecting a final confirmation from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in December.

Reports are already emerging that Cameroon may ask CAF an extra three months to deliver the infrastructure.

These uncertainties and the controversial tales surrounding Cameroon within the context of insecurity as a result of the Anglophone Crisis, many fear could cost the country more.

Already billions have been invested to give the country the best infrastructure.

Yet, social peace and the security of persons during the tournament are of immense importance. Already, the United States Embassy in Cameroon has issued a statement advising its citizens not to visit the troubled Regions.

Unconfirmed reports from Kenya talk of a campaign at some level to get CAF dispossess Cameroon of the right to host the tournament on grounds of insecurity. If this happen, many fear that may be a price too high which Cameroon is not ready to pay.

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