The Cameroonian government has apologised to the nation of Israel for the “deplorable” comments made on State Television by the Deputy Justice Minister about the Holocaust that left six million Jews dead during the Nazi regime.
However, in a statement, the governemnt distanced itself from Deputy Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Momo, saying he was speaking as a private individual, not on behalf of the government.
In the Interview Momo was quoted as saying:
“In Germany, there was a race of very rich people. They had enormous economic power. And they were so arrogant that the German people felt a little nervous. Then one day, a certain Hitler came to power and put these populations in gas chambers.”
Mr Momo, who is also an ethnic Bamiléké, said it would be wrong for the group to seek political power alongside their economic influence, and suggested that trying to do so could be dangerous for the entire community.
Cameroon’s apologetic statement follows outrage from Israel, who on Monday demanded an “immediate apology” for the minister’s comments. The Israeli Embassy in Yaoundé had called it a “big disappointment for bilateral relations” between the two countries.
This is a copy of full statement, issued in French: