On Friday, November 24, 2023, the Parliament received two bills seeking approval for the President of the Republic to ratify defense agreements with the United Kingdom and Russia.
The agreement with Russia has been a source of international controversy since its signing in April 2022. Just two months prior, Russia had launched a military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, making a military pact with an aggressor highly unpopular. The agreement, signed for a renewable five-year term, primarily focuses on exchanging insights on international security issues, conducting joint training and education for forces, collaborating on military engineering, health, and topography, sharing experiences in peacekeeping operations, and addressing terrorism and maritime piracy.
The Cameroonian government justifies this agreement by citing the need to diversify the country’s "defense partnership, which has been underway for more than two decades under the leadership of the Chief of the Armed Forces."
Similarly, Parliament is asked to approve the ratification of the defense and security agreement with the United Kingdom as part of this diversification of defense partnerships. Also signed for a renewable five-year term, this agreement aims to strengthen cooperation through force training, logistical support, exchanges of experience and expertise, military health and sport, and sharing information on security threats.
During the June session, Parliament examined a bill ratifying a defense agreement with Egypt. Cameroon has similar agreements with other countries, including France, Algeria, and China.