Paul Biya has been sworn in as Cameroon‘s President for a seventh term. The 85-year-old, who has ruled the country for 36 years, pledged to uphold the “integrity” and “unity” of the country in a ceremony overseen by parliamentary speaker Cavaye Yeguie Djibril.
Biya secured 71% of the vote in the October 7th election but opposition parties said the election was marred by fraud. The swearing in ceremony was however clouded by Monday’s kidnapping of 80 people, including 79 students, in a school in the restive North-West region.
The government and separatists who are pushing for an independent state in mainly English-speaking areas have been trading accusations as to who is behind the kidnapping. More than 300,000 people have fled the violence in the North-West and South-West regions with some crossing the border into Nigeria.