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Territorial Administration Minister, in a recent statement, vowed that the heavy arm of the law shall henceforth be mercilessly fall on all those who spew messages that aim at dividing fellow Cameroonians
Those involved in peddling hate speech, xenophobia and other tribal diatribe will henceforth be met with the brutal force of the law.
This is a vow from the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, contained in a statement issued early this week. The warning comes days after Communication Minister and Government Spokesman, René Emmanuel Sadi, chaired a joint press conference in which he deplored the rising spate of the social ill.
“Hate speech, xenophobia, unprecedented tribalism and stigmatisation of some ethnic groups or components of our society are now rampant on the media and social media, and the hidden agenda behind this attitude, which promotes ethnic division, is to set Cameroonians against one another,” regretted Atanga Nji in the statement.
He said the attention of the Head of State had been drawn to the situation which shall henceforth not be tolerated by the powers that be.
“These grievous acts seriously threaten our living together and social cohesion which are so dear to the President of the Republic, HE Paul Biya. The Government of the Republic therefore wants to put an immediate end to this deviant behaviour,” he stated.
“It is worth recalling that relevant provisions of Section 77 of Law No. 2010/012 of 21 December 2010 on cybersecurity and cybercrime in Cameroon, and Section 241-1 of Law No. 2019/020 of 24 December 2019 to amend and supplement some provisions of Law No. 2016/007 of 12 July 2016 on the penal code, which punishes contempt of tribe or ethnicity, shall henceforth be applied strictly,” the Territorial Administration boss vowed, citing the details of Section 241 of the penal code which sanctions the vice.
He further warned: “Henceforth, any person guilty of hate speech and any media used as conveyors of xenophobic messages shall be punished in accordance with the laws of the Republic. The same shall apply to those who, through social media, propagate hate speech, violence and tribalism. Accomplices or facilitators of the above-mentioned offences shall be prosecuted and sentenced in the same way as the offenders.”
As part of the crusade, Atanga Nji said the government also counts on the support of civil administrators to check the proliferation of the phenomenon. “Administrative authorities have already been instructed to take precautionary measures ranging from the suspension of activities to the closure of communication and media organs that have become vectors of biased messages that promote tribalism, xenophobia and hate speech.”
Atanga Nji thus urged the mass media to show a high level of responsibility in the manner in which they disseminate information.
“It should be noted that the bedrock of the New Deal founded by His Excellency Paul Biya is living together; that is, harmony, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence among the sociological components of our country. According to the Republican ideals which HE Paul Biya holds close to his heart, every Cameroonian is at home wherever he or she is,” he reiterated.