One of Africa’s longest-serving presidents has appointed new military leaders on the same day a junta seized power in neighbouring Gabon.
President Paul Biya, 90, has been in power since 1982
President Biya of Cameroon carried out a wide-ranging reshuffle of his country’s defence ministry and armed forces on Wednesday.
No reason was given for the shake-up.
Colonel Cyrille Guemo, the director of communications at Cameroon’s ministry of defence, told a Turkish news agency that the new appointments had been on the president’s table for many days.
But with the “tsunami of military coups that is sweeping across former French colonies… leaders that have been in power for a very long time” should be concerned, says David Otto, a security expert.
“The younger generation which is made up of military leaders is no longer tolerant of regimes that operate in some kind of dynasty,” Mr Otto said.
Although Mr Biya’s presidency initially came under threat when soldiers tried to seize power soon after his first election, he has since succeeded in maintaining the military’s loyalty.
While Wednesday’s new military appointments are wide-ranging, observers say the roles involved lack the power and capacity to stage a coup.