Cameroon, on Wednesday strongly condemned French broadcaster TV5 Monde for displaying the flag of a separatist group during a news program, calling it a "serious misunderstanding" and demanding an immediate correction.
The incident occurred during a prime-time news segment on Tuesday evening, while journalists were reporting on the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches. During a segment on Cameroon's national team, known as the Indomitable Lions, the program mistakenly used the flag of Ambazonia, the name used by English-speaking separatists seeking to create an independent state in western Cameroon.
In a strongly worded letter sent to the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Cameroon's embassy in France denounced the error as "highly regrettable and highly prejudicial to Cameroon's international image." The letter demanded "respect for its sovereignty and coat of arms," and called for the immediate removal of the segment from TV5 Monde's platforms.
"The Cameroonian government would like to see an immediate correction of this unfortunate oversight in the same form that accompanied it," the letter stated. "We also request the removal of this part of the news from the sites of the TV5 Monde television channel and cyberspace in general."
The National Communication Council (CNC), Cameroon's media regulator, also issued a press release on Wednesday requesting "appropriate explanations regarding this error" from TV5 Monde.
The incident has sparked outrage among Cameroonians, with many taking to social media to demand an apology from the broadcaster. Some have even likened the error to a "provocation by France." Later, on Wednesday, TV5 Monde apologized for the mistake.