DOUALA VOA | An attack by suspected Cameroon separatists left one person dead and several wounded in the latest bout of unrest in the country’s Northwest, a local official said.
The attack, which also saw several houses set ablaze, came in the early hours at Bangourain, a town in a French-speaking region bordering the anglophone area in the country’s western highlands.
The official said it was not clear how many people had been hurt or how many properties had been torched as “we are still piecing together a toll.”
Unprecedented violence has marred the past year in Cameroon’s two mainly anglophone provinces, spilling over into French-speaking regions as English speakers rail against “marginalization.”
Cameroon’s newly-reelected 85-year-old President Paul Biya vowed last month to ramp up decentralization to address “frustrations and aspirations” in English-speaking regions after winning a seventh term in office.
That was the first time in 13 months of pro-independence violence that Biya had clearly acknowledged the struggles of those living in anglophone areas.
But although Biya has earlier this month dropped charges against 289 people detained for violence, he firmly ruled out secession for the English-speaking regions, home to around a fifth of Cameroon’s 22 million people.
The unrest has left more than 500 civilians and more than 200 security forces personnel dead according to the International Crisis Group, while displacing almost 450,000 more.