EU warns of unfolding catastrophe in Cameroon

Anglophone separatists in Cameroon have undertaken a campaign of attacks on schools on grounds that the French system discriminates against English speakers. AFP/File/-

Anglophone separatists in Cameroon have undertaken a campaign of attacks on schools on grounds that the French system discriminates against English speakers. AFP/File/-

The union’s legislative body has asked Yaounde to ensure an open space in which civil society can operate.

A catastrophe is unfolding in the conflict-ridden English-speaking regions of Cameroon where government forces and separatist militia are engaging in atrocities, according to the European Union (EU).

In a recent resolution, the EU Parliament said the security and political situation in the north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon were deteriorating and called on President Paul Biya’s government to immediately take all steps to bring an end to the violence and impunity in the country.

The resolution slammed the rising violence and discrimination facing the West African country’s Anglophone community, stating that government forces were responsible for the indiscriminate use of force, killing and torture of civilians.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told the EU parliament: “Regrettably, unlawful killings and atrocities continue to be reported regularly in the regions, allegedly involving both the security and defence forces and separatist groups.”

In 2016 violence erupted in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions over accusations of marginalisation by the Francophone government, with separatists calling for an independent region known as Ambazonia.

The EU, comprising 28-member states, has repeatedly stated that dialogue between the government and armed separatists is the only way to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

The EU’s legislative body has asked Yaounde to lift the ban on the activities of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, to release political detainees, and to ensure an open space in which civil society can operate.

In addition to the ongoing fighting between the English-speaking separatists and the military, the country is also facing continued attacks by Boko Haram in the north.

About 500,000 people are now displaced, including 32,000 refugees from Cameroon registered in Nigeria.

– African News Agency

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