Unknown to the vast majority of Cameroonians, Israeli Eran Moas had no difficulty blending into the background of the Yaoundé military hospital on 13 May, despite the presence of half a dozen plainclothes bodyguards at his side.
In what was a rare occurrence for this elusive character, a master in the art of making himself invisible, journalists were allowed to attend the event – but they were forbidden to take photos. The businessman insists on secrecy even for his humanitarian activities.
An unofficial advisor to the Bataillon d’intervention rapide (BIR, Cameroon’s special forces), even though he does not appear on any official organisational chart, Moas is also the head of the Cameroon-based Avi Sivan Abraham Foundation (ASAF).
A pillar of the Israeli community in Yaoundé, Eran Moas enjoys (very) high-level friendships in the heart of the Cameroonian capital
From 6 to 14 May this year, in collaboration with American-Ghanaian surgeon Michael Obeng’s Restore NGO, the foundation organised a week of assistance in reconstructive surgery for the people of Yaoundé and the surrounding area. The Israeli was present in this capacity.
Nearly 1,300 Cameroonians had registered before the campaign, which was entirely paid for by ASAF. About 50 surgical operations were performed daily at the Cameroonian capital’s military hospital by 40 specialists and volunteers who came from seven different countries for the occasion. More than 300 people were treated, according to the figures provided by ASAF.
From primates to orphanages
Moas has been living in Cameroon for more than two decades, during which time he has worked with the military – in particular the BIR – and Cameroonian business circles. He has also been regularly involved in humanitarian work.
In addition to this campaign to provide aid for reconstructive surgery, ASAF, which he created with his wife Lucie, Moas is involved in several other charitable operations. This includes helping the children of incarcerated people, financing orphanages and protecting endangered primates.
It was in Los Angeles where Moas met Michael Obeng, a famous plastic surgeon on the West Coast of the US – Moas has a home there. The Israeli then invited his new American-Ghanaian friend to add Cameroon to the list of beneficiaries for Restore’s missions.
Friendships in the top office
A pillar of the Israeli community in Yaoundé, Eran Moas enjoys (very) high-level friendships in the heart of the Cameroonian capital. First and foremost are those that link him to the secretary general of the presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh.
The latter, an all-powerful minister of state who has the BIR troops under his financial control, has participated – on several occasions – in sea excursions from the Cameroonian seaside resort of Kribi, where the boat of his Israeli friend Moas is moored.
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