US appoints Christopher Lamora as Ambassador to Cameroon

The US Senate has confirmed diplomat Christopher Lamora as their new Ambassador to Cameroon. The appointment is notable as Lamora is gay, and homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon.

Lampora has been serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Ghana and has had a long career is the diplomatic service. HIs appointment was was first announced in April, but has only now been confirmed.

With nearly 30 years of Foreign Service experience, Lamora is very qualified for his new role, he’s worked in three different African countries, including a previous stint in Cameroon, and he’s spent 12 years of his career focused on African policy, security, and economic development and partnerships. He has held positions at the U.S. Embassies in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Athens, Greece; Bangui, Central African Republic; and the U.S. Consulate General in Douala, Cameroon.

His appointment has welcomed by LGBTIQA+ rights advocates in Cameroon.

“Incredible Joe Biden. We love you!” said Cameroonian LGBTQ rights attorney Alice Nkom when Biden announced Lamora’s nomination in April. “Welcome, Ambassador Christopher Lamora! Welcome to Cameroon, land of tolerance, hospitality and brotherhood!”

Nkom identified as heterosexual but has spent her life fighting for LGBTIQA+ rights in the African nation.

Both male and female homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, and the country leads the world in conducting gay prosecutions. Homosexuality was only made illegal in 1975, and those convicted of homosexuality can face up to five years in prison.

In February 2021 two transgender women spent five months in prison after being arrested for “wearing women’s clothes in a restaurant” in the city’s capital Douala. The pair were later convicted for “attempted homosexuality, public indecency, and failing to carry identification” and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

OIP Staff

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