BY GODFRED SACKMU
The French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Christophe Guilhou has said that Africans should leave France alone as well as French Ambassadors because France is not responsible for their suffering.
H.E Christophe Guilhou made the statement in Yaounde during the Yaounde International Forum on Disinformation. The event spanned from June 13 to June 14, 2022.
The event was aimed at discussing the stakes and bringing to the limelight the devastating effects of disinformation and false information, to better guarantee the freedom of press and expression and better the sereneness of public debate and encourage the democratic process.
Addressing the negative impact of disinformation and false information during the event, the French Ambassador to Cameroon said the phenomenon is becoming alarming in some African countries. He said false information has been circulating about France being responsible for the living condition of Africans.
He said people have been pointing accusing fingers at France as being responsible for the predicament of many African countries. “France is not responsible for what is happening to Africans. Leave France alone, leave the French Ambassador alone. People attribute their sufferings, and joblessness to France, which is not supposed to be the case,” he said.
A point of focus in the course of the event was measure put in place by some African countries to combat disinformation. Representatives of the media regulatory bodies of Cameroon and the Central African Republic discussed the measures put in place by their countries to control the spread of information.
According to the representative of the High Council of Communication of the Central African Republic, Isabelle Vacatte, “We train journalists so that they work in strict respect of the law put in place. We also watch over the writings of the journalists. This is in a bid to ensure that people do not publish what will not jeopardise the peace of our nation. We have passed through a lot, so we will not want history to repeat itself,” she said.
Mbezele Alain Denis, who represented the National Communication Council of Cameroon, said, “We do our possible best to ensure that information is well filtered in Cameroon. It is true that some people call us names each time we sanction a media house that has gone against the canons or the deontology of the profession. We also lay emphasis on the aspect of fact-checking, which is very fundamental in Journalism,” he said.
As a solution to disinformation, it was proposed that there should be a synergy of institutions, having judicial control on the functioning of media regulatory bodies and educating the media on the stakes and dangers of fake information and disinformation.
The two-day event was attended by some Cameroonian dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society organisations, and journalists from Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.
The role of journalists and the media in informing citizens, countering disinformation, and shaping legislative frameworks, information and communication were some of the high points of the event.