Cameroon probes separatist unrest in anglophone region
Government of Cameroon has launched an investigation into recent deadly violence linked to a declaration of independence in the English-speaking region, of the West African country, the defence minister said on Friday.
“Apart from the material damage, precise enquiries have been opened by judicial authorities on the toll,” Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said on state radio.
AFP reported that 14 people died “in violence in the run-up to the symbolic October 1 declaration of independence of Ambazonia, the name of the state the separatists want to create”. But Amnesty International has given a toll of 17.
Assomo had on Thursday visited Buea, the main city in the English-speaking southwest region, where he headed a meeting to review security.
The Guardian reports that Cameroon’s anglophone-francophone rift dates back to 1961 when the British-administered Southern Cameroons united with Cameroon after its independence from France in 1960.
The English speakers complain they have suffered decades of economic inequality and social injustice at the hands of the French-speaking majority.
Anglophones account for about a fifth of the 22 million population.