Cameroon. According to
countryaah, Pope Benedict XVI visited Cameroon in March
during a tour of Africa. He praised the country for the
peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians, but also
said that Cameroon must guard the value and dignity of human
life. It was interpreted in its own direction as a cautious
criticism of the authorities' violations of human rights.
Prior to the pope's arrival, Amnesty International had
harshly criticized the state government for routinely
resorting to violence to turn down all public protests
against the regime.
In June, the government announced that prices for a
number of basic commodities would be reduced by up to 25 per
cent from mid-year. Of all the judgments, the authorities
were anxious to avoid price protests like those in 2008,
when a large number of people were killed by police.
In a major government reshuffle in June, President Paul
Biya appointed his Deputy Chief of Staff Philémon Yang as
Prime Minister but, in accordance with the Constitution,
retained his responsibility as Head of Government. Six
ministries were abolished and six ministers replaced. The
measures were believed to be aimed at curbing criticism of
corruption and high food prices. Biya was also presumed to
try to strengthen his position before the 2011 presidential
election, when, thanks to a constitutional change, he gets
the right to run again.