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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Not even the mascot is safe: the other threat in Cameroon to the African Cup

The African Cup of Nations will be held in Cameroon as planned, from January 9 to February 6, 2022, as confirmed by the African Football Confederation (CAF) after agreeing on an anti-anti-football plan. COVID-19 to minimize the damage of the pandemic during the tournament. However, the country is experiencing another threat, internal violence.

And the saying goes that an image is worth a thousand words, and a very representative one of the African Cup is going around the world, as it shows the harsh reality of Cameún and opens the debate on whether it is appropriate to hold the contest.

It is a photo of none other than the Cameroon mascot, a popular lion who has to travel through conflict zones not only guarded by the military, but with his own bulletproof vest.

(Photo: Twitter)

Conflict in Cameroon

The two Anglophone regions of Cameroon have defied the Government chaired by Paul Biya for four and a half years, accusing him of its cultural and economic marginalization and the repression of its protests.

The conflict, which began in October 2016 with the first demonstrations by teachers, lawyers and university students, has caused some 3,000 deaths, according to the organization ACLED, and the flight of some 700,000 people, refugees and internally displaced persons, from their homes, according to UNHCR.

Biya, who will be in power for 40 years in 2022, faces an internal conflict that has deteriorated over time. What started with protests has turned into an insurrection with secessionist aspirations.

The threat of COVID

There had been speculation about a possible headquarters transfer due to the Omicron variant and European clubs have already shown their fears of possible contagion when they give up their international footballers. The unrest in the country is another factor that threatened the event.

Much progress has been made in recent months in Cameroon with the construction of the stadium infrastructure, training fields and other facilities for the venue.”, Said the CAF in a statement on Wednesday before outlining the plan to fight the coronavirus.

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