Israel ‘outraged’ by Cameroon minister’s Holocaust comment

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YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon

Following Holocaust comments made by Cameroon’s Deputy Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Momo in which more than six million Jews perished during the Nazi regime in Germany, the Israeli embassy in Cameroon said it was outraged by his comments that pay no respect for the people of Israel.

During an interview aired on State television , Momo was asked why he thought opposition leader Maurice Kamto had refused to accept defeat following the 7 October presidential election, he replied:

“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.”

Both Momo and the opposition leader originate from the Bamelike ethnic group who have a reputation for being successful businessmen.

The Deputy Justice Minister stressed that 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.

“Educated people like Kamto should know where he is leading his people. When you are a leader, you lead your people away from danger, not towards it,” Mr Momo said.

In a statement, the Israeli Embassy in Cameroon said: “the government official has justified the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany,”

The Israeli embassy warned that these comments would have an impact on the two countries’ relationship.

“These anti-Semitic comments, coming barely one week after Cameroon and the world participated in the commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Holocaust constitutes a big disappointment for bilateral relations between Cameroon and Israel.” it noted.

Officials at the embassy have called for “an immediate apology,” from Cameroon’s government.

The government spokesman has not been available for comment.