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Anglophone Cameroon in shutdown protest at separatist leader’s jailing

Yaoundé (AFP) – Cameroon’s restive anglophone regions were in shutdown on Monday as schools and shops closed in protest at the sentencing of charismatic separatist leader Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe to life in prison.

Troops were seen patrolling the streets in flashpoint areas and in Bamenda, the capital of the anglophone Northwest Region, residents reported hearing sporadic shooting and explosions.

Since 2017, Cameroon’s army has battled anglophone separatists seeking an independent state in response to perceived discrimination from the country’s francophone majority.

The conflict has killed some 2,000 people and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

After two years of fighting, schools across English-speaking regions for the most part have remained shut, and the government and civil-society organisations had wanted children to return to school as normal this September.

However, separatist leaders decided to put anglophone towns on shutdown from Monday for a period of two weeks, after a military court last month sentenced Ayuk Tabe, in a ruling many feared would deepen the crisis.

“It seems that most residents in the Northwest and Southwest regions are abiding by the lockdown,” James Nunan, the head of the UN’s humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) in the two areas, told AFP.

Most schools and shops remained closed in Buea, the capital of the Southwest region, according to a local charity worker who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons. Other Buea residents confirmed the city was at a standstill.

Flashes of violence were reported in Bamenda.

“Soldiers are occupying the streets and very few people have left their houses,” said a regional official who chose to remain anonymous.

Two other Bamenda residents said there had been unrest. “The streets are full of soldiers, no-one is outside, we heard gunshots in the city this morning,” said one. Another reported hearing explosions.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the reports.

Separatists have been pursuing the so-called “dead city” protest tactic since 2017, bringing towns to a standstill every Monday.

English speakers — making up roughly one fifth of Cameroon’s 24 million inhabitants — mostly live in the country’s Northwest Region and Southwest Region.

The regions, formerly a British colony, voted to join French-speaking Cameroon after the end of colonial rule six decades ago.

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10 comments

  1. Intercontinental Hotel down
    ISLAND OF PEACE down
    Swiss Persona Grata down
    SONARA down
    CDC down
    PAMOL down
    DEL MONTE down
    CAMAIR-CO down
    Timber down
    Brasseries down
    Cocoa down
    Coffee down
    commission on bilingualism down
    commission on disarmament down
    Dictator Biya’s sh*thole war down
    taxes down
    AFCON19 down
    « One and indivisible » LRC down

    CONCLUSION

    It is very easy to start a war. However, it is EXTREMELY difficult to stop a war.
    Little wonder, the US has decided to NEGOTIATE with the Taliban in order to stop the Afghanistan war.
    The US did NOT attempt to stop the war by creating a commission on disarmament and asking the Taliban to surrender weapons. Of course, the Taliban would have said N-I-E-T.
    Dictator Biya should NEGOTIATE with the “secessionists” before it is too late

  2. When it rains, where does the military hide? I guess, the stand under the rain to
    obey y`de orders. What a dumb group of people.

  3. For ones, why can`t Cameroonians, see where Biya men are taking the country,
    and hold it back? Na which kind na people dem dis? If a horse can be taken to the
    stream and it refuses to drink, why would a human kind, be draked into suffering,
    pain etc etc by a group of miscreants, and they are less concerned about it?

  4. African REGIMES seek outside approval when treating their people horribly just to save face. This requires handshakes with money/resources as the facilitating agency. Those same funds and resources would’ve been used to serve their people. The aggrieved people would stand up and challenge the system and would be greeted by indiscriminate slaughtering, arrests and incarcerations.
    None of the so-called elders would stand up and the battered people would seek the help of the same power brokers to resolve tyranny at home. Isn’t that sad?
    How any African supports continued dictatorship is in deed bewildering. What makes evil men like Biya revel in so much misery and clinging to power is perplexing. Survival is the goal. Biya fears his own doom like that of Inoni, Marafa et al. Get up folks!

  5. This is misleading or not? . It states the two regions only voted whereas I understand from past comments that at the time it was a national vote .Can someone confirm what actually happened ? Thankyou

  6. Une fois de plus, Biya vient d’être battu à son propre jeu.

    Les forces de défense et de sécurité du Cameroun ont incendié des maisons et des magasins en AMBAZONIE. Nous avons la liste de ce qu’ils font en plus de leurs actes barbares.

    Ils pillent, ils brûlent, ils tuent, ils mangent des chiens, volent du bétail
    Pour se faire passer pour des Ambazoniens.
    Ils s’habillent en clochards dans les rues et cachent des armes.
    Ils infiltrent pour écouter ce qui se dit.
    Les fonctionnaires vivent dans le chantage permanent
    Ils volent les pc, les téléphones et tout ce qu’ils trouvent.

    LA RIPOUBLIQUE thief our ressources, buy weapons with the money then come and kill us with the weapons from the money of our ressources way dem thiefam.La Ripoublique Voleur. Assassin. Bandit. NoBoDy can Accept slavery

  7. Lucking of stores that don`t belong to councils, gov`t etc is an illegal venture.
    Is this the demorcracy biya / cpdm think can move the country forward?
    Those embacking on such moves headed by the moroon called Ekema Patrick,
    have not used their brains well. They are not administrators.

  8. Biya essaye de torpiller la révolution de l’Ambazone avec des coups tordus. Ils essayent de faire des montages ridicules oubliant que nous sommes en alerte, nous sommes prêts et déterminés à exposer tous ces faussaires aux yeux du monde entier.c’est Biya lui même qui fabrique ces guerriers. Chaque personne que tu tue donne naissance à des dizaines de guerriers de la vengeance, surtout dans une telle situation.(Echec lamentable).All your patch work is pretty amusing.

    Patch commission bilingue
    Patch Enam anglo caniche qwe qwe
    Patch commission armement
    Patch decentralisation
    Patch école anglophone SONARA.

    Tout est patché dans cette Ripoublique francophone de M*E*R*D*E
    Tous les patches ont des chevaux de troie et sont buggés.

Aliquam velit, elementum Aenean at venenatis,