Monday, January 27, 2020

2020 elections: secessionists restrategized

Actions to try to prevent the holding of legislative and municipal elections on February 9 in NoSo are increasing on the side of the English-speaking separatists. Between an upsurge in assaults, attacks on candidates and even warnings launched by humanitarian organizations, all means are good to thwart the local elections, the electoral campaign of which began on Saturday 25 January.

The Ambazonia Restoration Force, often seen as the military arm of the interim government in southern Cameroon, said it would restrict movement of people between February 7 and 12. “These days, anyone seen anywhere outside in our towns and villages will be considered an enemy and treated as such. The information is published at this stage to allow the civilian population to take the appropriate measures to stay safe, "said a statement which said that the 2020 municipal and legislative elections would not take place in the two English-speaking regions. 

The rebels also abducted around 40 candidates for legislative and municipal elections in the northwest region in December. They said the hostages would remain in their possession until the February elections. In addition, according to information from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), attacks on those who express an interest in participating in the next elections have increased. 

Aid organizations banned from aid during election period

On January 7, fighters suspected of being separatists also torched an electoral office in the northwest region. According to Le Journal du Cameroun, these tactics pushed several candidates in the conflict regions, mainly of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), to withdraw their candidacies. 

Humanitarian organizations are not to be outdone, however, they are helping nearly 680,000 English-speaking people who fled their homes in the conflict and others who are suffering after a series of closings in 2019 that reduced commercial activities . The rebels have called on these humanitarian organizations to suspend all activities in NoSo while the elections are locked. This should make it difficult to obtain aid for displaced and vulnerable populations in the regions on election day.