YAOUNDE, Sept. 9 (Xinhua ) — Local authorities in Northwest, one of the two crisis-hit English-speaking regions of Cameroon, on Sunday declared an indefinite curfew in the entire region.
“Movement of persons and property is hereby restricted as from the date of signature of this present order from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. within the Northwest region till further notice,” the region’s governor, Adolph Lele Lafrique, said in a statement.
“During the said period all off-licenses, snack bars and nightclubs shall remain closed. Motor parks shall remain closed and night travel suspended,” the statement said.
The decision was taken after a driver was killed on Saturday during an attack on transport buses as gunmen attempted to cut the Northwest region from the rest of the country.
“They (gunmen) asked all the passengers to lay in the mud face-down and brought a bulldozer which they used to cut the road into two,” a witness told Xinhua. “Five buses were burnt in our presence.”
Fighting is intensifying in the two English-speaking regions of Southwest and Northwest ahead of the Oct. 7 presidential elections.
Armed separatist forces who want to secede from French-majority Cameroon to form a new nation called “Ambazionia” have vowed to stop the election from taking place in the two Anglophone regions.
According to the government, over 100 security personnel and an unknown number of separatist have died in the clashes; some military officers estimate that more than 200 armed separatists have been killed.