The Cameroonian president said Monday in his end-of-year speech accepting the decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to withdraw the organization of the African Cup of Nations Football (CAN) in Cameroon.
"As you know, our country was committed to hosting the big meeting of African football in 2019. According to some data, the African Football Confederation thought that we had to make a date shift. took note, "said Biya.
CAF withdrew the organization of the 2019 edition in Cameroon at the end of November, due to delays in infrastructure works and the security situation.
Cameroon has accepted since December 10 to host the 2021 edition of the CAN football, to the detriment of Côte d'Ivoire which will host the 2023 edition.
The Cameroonian head of state promised that his country would continue to prepare to host the championship, and that "all the investments related to the organization of the CAN will be realized".
More than 1,000 billion CFA Francs (more than 1.5 billion euros) have been injected into the construction of CAN infrastructure, AFP has learned from concordant sources.
The Cameroonian president also spoke during his speech on the security situation in the country.
Paul Biya believes that the situation is "stabilized" in the Far North region affected by the group jihadist Boko Haram.
The president was more worried about the two English-speaking regions of North-West and South-West facing an armed conflict between separatists and the Cameroonian army.
"This situation can not go on any longer," he says, as clashes are frequent between soldiers deployed in large numbers and separatists, made up of scattered groups in the equatorial forest.
In early December, Yaoundé launched a disarmament program in all its conflict zones with a "national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration committee" (CNDDR) for combatants.
"If the call to lay down the weapons that I launched to war contractors remains unanswered, the defense and security forces will be instructed to neutralize them," said Biya.
According to concordant sources, the separatists have been joined by gangs of bandits and looters who rack up people and businesses.
The Cameroonian army is also regularly accused of violation of human rights.