Cameroonian President Paul Biya Marks 40 Years in Power

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Cameroonian President Paul Biya marked 40 years in power Sunday but stayed out of the spotlight as questions swirled about the 89-year-old who is the only leader most of the Central African country’s people have ever known.
Thousands of his supporters gathered in the capital, Yaounde, to celebrate the anniversary but there were only giant portraits of the absent president.
Biya has not appeared in public since French President Emmanuel Macron visited in July. Decrees and photos of Biya receiving various diplomats are regularly posted on the president’s social media accounts.
“Since our father took power we live in peace — he protects us well,” said Biya supporter Paul Ambassa on Sunday. “May God keep him.”









"The people in charge of these various mobilizations are very much driven by the logic of clientelism, as each tries to show his allegiance, to show a lot of fidelity and loyalty," Mono said.
Displays of loyalty have become particularly important as Biya gets older. The president's son, Franck Biya, has been more visible at his father's side. Some think he is positioning himself as a possible successor.
There are fears chaos could break out in a country with more than 200 different ethnic groups once the president's long tenure ends.
"Biya hasn't taken the time to prepare a successor, someone who could amply inherit his power," Mono said.

VOA

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