Sangmelima (National Times)-Cameroon’s deceased celebrated diplomat and former Director of the Civil Cabinet at the presidency Martin Belinga Eboutou has been laid to rest in his Nkilzok Village-Zoatele, South Region of the country with a requiem mass held in his honour despite rumours that catholic authorities had rejected such.
A funeral mass was staged for the deceased at a catholic church in Sangmelima, South Region in the presence of the high and mighty of the Biya regime on Saturday June 8th. The Bishop of Sangmelima Christophe Zoa was the chief celebrant of the mass staged to pay last honour to the fallen states man.
According to the Bishop, the deceased was a batpised catholic Christian and so deserved the honour of a funeral mass like every other catholic faithful. The comment surfaced after controversial narratives emerged days to the funeral that, Church authorities had rejected conducting a mass for Eboutou.
Zoa told the cream of mourners at the funeral that, the essence of life is to learn from the errors of others and prepare to meet God at any time. The man of God said, every child of God must be prepared at anytime to face God. He charged mourners to reflect on the legacy they will leave when their own day comes.
Before the arrival of Eboutou’s remains back home, Bishop Zoa is reported to have had a closed door exchange with president Biya at the Unity palace over the issue. Accounts which The National Times could not independently confirm hold that, President Biya played a key role in dousing the confusion over a funeral mass for his erstwhile ally.
Public Service and Administrative Reforms Minister Joseph Le told reporters after the mass that, he had good memories of the former regime baron. Le described Eboutou as a man who took his state assignments seriously.
Samuel Mvondo Ayolo, Minister Director of the Civil Cabinet of the presidency represented president Biya at the funeral. Mvondo decorated his predecessor posthumously for his services rendered to the state.
Belinga Eboutou’s name featured in public discourse repeatedly as the nation was mired in varied narratives over the death of Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Mballa of the Bafia Diocese in May 2017.
The native of Zoetele had become too influential and powerful within the Biya regime. His name alone sent shivers down the spines of certain regime lackeys. Eboutou was viewed as president Biya’s eyes and ears during his last years as director of the civil cabinet.
Eboutou had a rich career within the Biya regime. His removal from government following the March 2, 2018 cabinet shakeup left many surprised.
He rose from the position of Director of state protocol to become Chief of State protocol between 1989 and 1997. From September 19th to December 8th 1997, Eboutou served as Director of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency. In 1998, he was moved to the United Nations as Cameroon’s permanent representative to the world diplomatic body.
He cumulated the post of Cameroon’s Ambassador to Jamaica with that of Permanent Representative of Cameroon to the UN Permanent mission in Geneva . He left the corridors of the UN in 2007 back to the presidency as special adviser to the president.
On June 30, 2009, Belinga Eboutou was again appointed Director of Civil Cabinet of the presidency. He held that position again till March 2nd, 2018.
In 2010, he was made president of the organizing Committee of the Celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s Reunification. He was last seen in public during the period he handed over power to his successor Samuel Mvondo Ayolo as Director of Civil Cabinet at the presidency.
Eboutou was an associate professor at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC). He earned a doctorate in Law from the University of Paris-France. He graduated from the Catholic University in Lavanium-Kinshasa with degrees in Law and Economics. He also had post graduate diplomas in Internatinal Studies and Public Law.