Safety first

Cameroon: Who will Biya count on to ensure CAN takes place safely?

By Mathieu Olivier

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Posted on January 4, 2022 14:22

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Ahead of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) due to be held in Cameroon are threats from Boko Haram and, above all, the Ambazonian separatists. As such, President Paul Biya relies on long-standing loyalists who are well versed in intelligence, and experienced military personnel to ensure the country’s security.


As of 9 January, all eyes will be on Cameroon, where – after several postponements – the African Cup of Nations (CAN) will finally take place. President Paul Biya is planning to attend the opening and closing ceremonies of this continental event. Even though he has never been a fan of football, one of his major priorities is to make sure this event materialises during his current seven-year term.

Therefore, Biya intends to, above all, respond to the security challenge posed by the 2021 CAN – which is paradoxically taking place in 2022. Faced with threats from Ambazonian separatists, who hope to take advantage of the event’s media coverage to strike during the gatherings, the cities and stadiums of Limbe (south west) and Douala (Littoral) appear to be in the front line. Even though no match will be held in the Far North, the danger posed by Boko Haram is also being taken into account.

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