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Cameroon lashes out at media coverage of murder of radio journalist

Cameroon lashes out at media coverage of murder of radio journalist
Screengrab of loca media coverage of radio journalist Martinez Zogo's killing, Yaoundé, Camreoon, February 2023   -  
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Cameroon's government has lashed out against international media coverage of the murder of a radio journalist last month in a case that has got the attention of much of the country.

Government spokesman Rene Emmanuel Sadi said Arsène Salomon Mbani Zogo's killing is now being used as a pretext to put the state of Cameroon itself on trial - and he named both the French newspaper Le Monde and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as the prime culprits.

It was the government's first public comment on the case in more than three weeks.

Zogo was abducted on January 17th by unidentified assailants at a police post in the suburbs of the capital Yaoundé.

Five days later he was found dead, his body clearly showing the signs of physical attack.

Then two weeks later in Yaoundé an influential businessman called Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder.

He had close links to several ministers and senior government officials.

RSF, which defends the rights of journalists, reported that "the net is closing on Minister Laurent Esso, one of the pillars of the Cameroonian government." Esso is the Justice Minister and has been in Paul Biya's government since the 1996.

Zogo managed the private radio station Amplitude FM and was the star host of one of its programmes, Embouteillage.

In it he regularly criticised the rampant corruption in a country that has endured the repressive rule of just one president for over forty years - Paul Biya. He is now 90 years old, which makes him the oldest president in the world.

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