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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

English-speaking crisis in Cameroon: Commonwealth boss calls for "unity and dialogue

                  

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has been making an official visit to Cameroon since Tuesday, calling for "unity and dialogue" as the country faces a serious socio-political crisis in her western regions. anglophones, the public media reported.

Mrs Scotland met in audience the day of her arrival President Paul Biya. During an official dinner in the evening, she expressed "her great sadness" on the current events in the English-speaking area, as she "called on Cameroonians to preserve peace and unity and to give priority to any circumstance the dialogue, "according to these media.

In a speech in honor of his guest, President Biya reaffirmed his commitment to "bilingualism and multiculturalism, exceptional assets" for Cameroon. Again denouncing the attacks "extremists against members of the police isolated, on behalf of a terrorist organization claiming clearly secessionist objectives," he said he wanted to "persist in the search for solutions of a nature to to strengthen national unity ".

During her four-day visit, Scotland will meet with key political leaders in the country, as well as representatives from parties, civil society and the business community.

Security in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon has deteriorated considerably in a few weeks. Four gendarmes were killed in a new attack earlier this week, bringing to fifteen the number of Cameroonian security forces who were killed in less than two months.

Nigeria's western border, the West Anglophone of Cameroon has since the end of 2016 the theater of a serious socio-economic crisis with separatist accents for a year, while the English-speaking minority of the country - about 20% of the 23 million inhabitants - protests against its marginalization.

As the Cameroonian authorities have increased security pressure and repression of separatist demonstrations, the ranks of secessionists have grown in recent months, while the violent incidents have increased, raising fears, observers and analysts, the emergence of an "armed insurrection" in the region.



AFP