SECESSION IN CAMEROON


President Paul Biya of Cameroon
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    Written by: Meshack Masibo
    For the past several months, the otherwise peaceful state of Cameroon has been facing a major crisis. A crisis that has claimed lives of state actors and separatists alike, in between ordinary citizens have been killed, villages reportedly burnt down and thousands internally displaced or seeking asylum in neighbouring Nigeria.

    The majority of Cameroon’s 22 million plus people are French-speaking, while about a fifth is English-speaking. The anglophone minority has long complained about marginalization which led to protests by teachers and lawyers over a period of time. Then came October 1, 2017; when separatists decided to make a symbolic proclamation of independence for the so-called Ambazonia, the name of the state they want to create.

    In response, President Paul Biya sent a heavy army deployment and commanded a subsequent clampdown to deal with the army insurgency.  Red Dragons, Tigers and Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) – these are just some of the armed groups which have sprung up to fight for independence in English-speaking parts of Cameroon, posing a major security threat to Sunday’s elections, in which President Paul Biya, 85, is seeking to extend his 36-year rule.

    The militias, formed in the past 12 months, have made many small towns and villages in the two main Anglophone regions, the North-West and South-West, ungovernable, something unimaginable just a few years ago, Nigeria-based Cameroon analyst Nna-Emeka Okereke told the BBC. The militias have repulsed attempts by the powerful Cameroonian army into the region.

    The militias began to emerge in 2017 after a security force crackdown……Subscribe to Readmore………

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