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Cameroon must de-escalate anglophone crisis, allow human rights, say monitors


Demonstrators march during a protest against perceived discrimination in favour of the country’s francophone majority on September 22, 2017 in Bamenda, the main town in northwest Cameroon and an anglophone hub.Several thousand demonstrators took to the streets in English-speaking parts of Cameroon in protest at perceived discrimination in favour of the country’s francophone majority, concurring sources said. English-speakers have long complained that Cameroon’s wealth has not been shared out fairly and that they suffer discrimination. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

The United Nations Human Rights chief has stressed that it is in the interest of the Cameroonian government to de-escalate tensions arising from the Anglophone crisis.In an oral update by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council on March 7, 2018; he added that his office had yet to be granted access to monitor rights violations.

His address also addressed the arrest of Anglophone leaders in Nigeria and their subsequent deportation to Cameroon, where they are yet to be put before court. The U.N. has criticized the move saying it violated international principles.

The Anglophone regions remain under curfew imposed by their respective governors. The curfews have been imposed supposedly to allow security forces to contain attacks by armed separatists on members of the security forces.About 24 members of the security forces – the military, police and gendarmes – have so far been killed in guerilla style attacks especially at checkpoints.

The separatists have also reported having kidnapped two government officials.The government still maintains that there is security in the regions but recently created a fifth military region in the capital of the North West region, Bamenda. The move was seen as a means to face off with the separatists.

The separatists under the so-called Ambazonia Republic have since October 2017 attempted to breakaway from French-majority Cameroon. There has been international calls for dialogue to end the crisis which has also created a humanitarian situation with people fleeing into Nigeria.

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