Cameroon:Beti Assomo faced with debts of Mebe Ngo’o

Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o

A French company hired to build military barracks for new ammunition stockpiles still claims the payment of the bill of her works, after 8 years.

The said company is SISCO International, a French company specializing in the supply of ammunition and cleaning up hazardous sites based in Compiegne, northern France. The company, which in 2008 had received from the Cameroonian authorities the permission to clean up the former ammunition depots and build new military barracks and provide new ammunition stockpiles, is still demanding for the payment of their work.

According to certain document of 10th February 2016, “the slate amounts to nearly 22 million euros (about 13 billion francs CFA). ” To believe the Intégration newspaper, Joseph Beti Assomo, the defense minister, is very embarrassed by this case. He would be “willing to reimburse SISCO all its ammunition delivered to the State of Cameroon, rather than settling this unpaid left by his predecessor Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o“.

The newspaper also says that the proposal of the current Cameroonian Minister of Defense (MINDEF) is not at the taste of the French company. Simply because according to him, it is only about a few hundred thousand euros while many military sites scattered around the country were cleared. The French service provider, estimates the cost of this project to be over 20 million euros.

In what is considered by the the Intégration newspaper as a “business fable between the Cameroon government and SISCO,” they recalled that in November 2013, “the French company, supported by a large school of lawyers, planned to go to court through a massive complaint. Informed of this, Paul Biya, the supreme leader of the Cameroonian arm forces, had instructed a fussy look into this matter. ” Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, then MINDEF, had even held an emergency meeting with his staff. Only an evaluation of the work entrusted to SISCO was done.

In their contract, the expected outcome from the French company was well defined: the French arms dealer was required, first, to secure hazardous sites (ammunition mixture, detonators and explosives, unmarked ammunition inventoried in 37 units of the joint military regions) and secondly to deliver over 3 million 7.62 mm AK47 assault rifles cartridges.

“The deal lasted from July to September 2008, punctuated by an addendum to the contract signed with Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o. Then arose the quarrel. There was a silence on the side of the MINDEF. Between the two partners, the war took hold. The French side has even spoken of a “breach of contract“. Meanwhile, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o left Mindef for the Ministry of Transport. Joseph Beti Assomo, his successor inherits of a real hot potato, “wrote Intégration.

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