In January 1993, Finance Minister Antoine Ntsimi introduced reductions in salaries of public servants of between 4 and 20%, which, as he put it, avoided layoffs of 50,000 employees. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Cameroon.
France decreases one-third of Cameroon’s exports. This dependence led to opposition concerns about any boycott campaigns against French goods due to French support for Biya.
The Vice President of the UDC, Benjamin Menga, was assassinated in January 1993. Several political leaders were arrested and the press censorship sharpened; the split among the opposition parties facilitated Biya’s “iron fist policy”.
In the economic sphere, Biya ridiculed the opposition’s proposal and maintained its bond with the French franc despite a 100% devaluation of it. Cameroon received help from the IMF and the Paris Club after introducing tough financial adjustments.
The opposition in 1995 continued to be divided. The former secretary general of Mrs Ndi’s Social Democratic Front, Siga Assanga, left the group and founded the Social Democratic Movement. The UNDP, for its part, also had problems following the exclusion of two of its members for holding posts in Biya’s governments.
The results of the January 1996 local elections cemented Biya’s position. Biya was re-elected in October 1997 following an election criticized by the opposition parties, which had also called for a boycott of the election. Only 3 of Cameroon’s 6 million inhabitants were eligible to vote; the rest had the authorities excluded after declaring them “foreigners”.
At the end of 1997, opposition to an oil extraction project grew, with the support of the World Bank, to transport oil from southern Chad, across Cameroon, to the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of NGOs instead urged the World Bank to spend the money on social development programs.
Cameroon and Nigeria filed a case before the Court of Justice in The Hague in March 1998 following disagreements over the Bakssai Peninsula where, besides being a good fishing area, there are also probably rich oil deposits. The conflict between the two countries had led to several armed clashes.
The economic crisis was compounded by the devaluation of the franc and shaking the community in Cameroon. In the 1990s it became increasingly widespread to pierce people – a practice that had been unknown before the crisis. Corruption in the police and judicial inefficiency caused sectors of the population to catch and pierce the thieves – often to the dead in the case of men or to the severely wounded in the case of women. Often it was later revealed that innocents had been killed.
In October 1999, Transparancy International released its annual report on economic corruption, placing Cameroon in the square the world’s second most corrupt country. In January 2000, Biya therefore launched a campaign against corruption within the government’s own ranks and for the continuation of economic reform. At the same time, he promised to implement the constitutional amendments that Parliament had adopted as early as 1996, which included the creation of a Senate, Regional Council and Constitutional Council.