US ACTION INSPIRES FRANCE
By ABOUDI OTTOU, US Africa News. Updated 2015-11-06
After the visit of the commander of Africom (US forces for Africa), the commander of the French forces stationed in Gabon landed in Cameroon last week.
Brigadier General Vincent Guionie, base commander of French forces in Gabon since 1 August 2015, was received Friday last week by Joseph Beti Assomo, Cameroon's Minister Delegate in Charge of Defense. He had at his side, Christine Robichon, France’s ambassador to Cameroon. Reportedly, the two men had taken stock of the security situation in Cameroon’s Far North and stressed the need for France’s contribution in the fight against Boko Haram.
The highly-ranked Robichon is responsible for the implementation of the operational military cooperation between France and all the countries of ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States). Following the meeting, it was reported that in the coming days Paris will make a dozen patrol cars available to the Cameroonian army. It will also continue its contribution in the field of training.
In addition to training in landmine clearance, France has undertaken training in the areas of battalion command and combat seasoning of Cameroon's Special Forces. A first wave of about forty soldiers is already on the ground, and a second contingent will also be getting training with the French forces in Gabon. The visit of General Vincent Guionie can be seen as a response to the action of the Americans, who benefited a week ago from strong media exposure after sending 300 American soldiers to Cameroon within the framework of the fight against Boko Haram, as well as the visit of General David Rodriguez, commander of Africom. "The meeting was set up at the request of France," stated a source close to the proceedings, who noted that the Gallic request came after the visit of US senior officer.
How to understand the enthusiasm of the great powers in wanting to appear to be on the Cameroon side as part of the war against the terrorist cult? "Cameroon proved it was initially capable as a lone defender. In addition we are now at a pivotal level in the sub region, so that if the Cameroon defense system is ever breached, it will be difficult to restore peace and security," is the interpretation of the military high command. The diplomats of the involved countries are all continuing to praise the bravery and skill of the Cameroonian armed forces.