The Israeli Embassy in Cameroon has said it is outraged at comments made by Cameroon’s Deputy Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Momo in which he appeared to justify the Holocaust, in which some six million Jewish people were killed in Nazi Germany.
Asked on state television why he thought opposition leader Maurice Kamto had refused to accept defeat following the 7 October presidential election, Mr Momo used long established anti-Semitic stereotypes:
Quote Message: “In Germany, there was a race of very rich people. They had enormous economic power. And they were so arrogant that the German people felt a little nervous. Then one day, a certain Hitler came to power and put these populations in gas chambers.”
Mr Kamto, the leader of the MRC, comes from the Bamelike ethnic group who have a reputation for being successful businessmen.
Mr Momo, who is also an ethnic Bamelike, said it would be wrong for the group to seek political power alongside their economic influence, and suggested that trying to do so could be dangerous for the entire community.
“Educated people like Kamto should know where he is leading his people. When you are a leader, you lead your people away from danger, not towards it,” Mr Momo said.
The Israeli Embassy in Cameroon said in a statement that “the government official has justified the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany”.
It went on to suggest the comments would have an impact on the two countries’ relationship:
Quote Message: These anti-Semitic comments, coming barely one week after Cameroon and the world participated in the commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Holocaust constitutes a big disappointment for bilateral relations between Cameroon and Israel.”
The embassy has called for “an immediate apology,” from Cameroon’s government.
The government spokesman has not been available for comment.