Amid the hue and cry about the abuse of the rights of Cameroonians especially girls smuggled or trafficked to the Middle East, the government has finally created embassies in Kuwait and Qatar.
In two separate Presidential Decrees signed April 18, 2016, Head of State Paul Biya, appointed a single person to head the two diplomatic representations.
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador, Iya Tidjani, would be heading the Cameroon Embassies in the Emirates of Kuwait and Qatar simultaneously. He would be resident in nearby Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, further stated the decree.
Before his new and cumulative appointment, Iya Tidjani was for many years Head of the Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Cameroon in Saudi Arabia with authority over nearby countries.
An official in the Ministry of External Relations, Yaoundé who did not wish to be named raised doubts about the usefulness of the April 18 Decrees. “They just reminded the Ambassador of other attributions for him to ‘cover’ Kuwait and Qatar. He was playing that role but now it is official. He is in sum covering all countries in the Middle East,” said our source.
The source said there would be no Consulate or Embassy in Kuwait and Qatar for the moment, although there would be the increased presence of Cameroonian diplomats in the two countries.
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“The hope is that with the appointment the creation of embassies in those countries can be soon, depending on the means available. The appointee would continue to issue laissez passezs,” and carrying out other diplomatic assignments in the Middle East,” said our source.
The interviewee was silent when asked why for more than eight months Cameroonian girls trapped at the Kuwaiti government shelter have not been issued the said document that would have enabled them return home.
Other skeptics pick holes with what they described as an ‘empty and appointment to distract people from the real issues affecting Cameroonians.
“The decree is a welcome idea and I think that the government is beginning to listen to the problems that Cameroonians girls in particular are facing in the Middle East. It is a first step and we do hope that an embassy, a full embassy is created in Kuwait where there seem to be lots of problems.
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We expect the Ambassador to make it a priority to visit the Kuwait government shelter and issue ‘laissez passers’ to the more than 100 girls who have been there for months waiting just to return home.
I think that would be a protection of their rights and the best thing to do, once he presents his letters of credence.
If not, the decree to our organization would just be another decree to many,” the President of a Cameroon based Committee for the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Rights Abuses, COMATHRA, Esong Larry, said.
Monday’s appointment of a Cameroon Ambassador to Kuwait and Qatar comes months after much bashing on the failures of MINREX and its Department of Cameroonians in the Diaspora to treat abused compatriots in Middle East with respect.