News Alerts

26 Sep 2018 | 07:01 PM UTC

Cameroon: 117 detainees escape prison in Northwest September 26

Cameroon News Alert

117 detainees escape from Wum prison in Northwest on September 26; heightened security presence anticipated

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/26/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/3/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Wum

Event

In the early hours (local time) of Wednesday, September 26 armed men stormed the Wum prison, located in Menchum (Northwest region). At least 117 detainees, including multiple separatist militants, reportedly managed to escape during the attack. The assailants also seized weapons and ammunition from the prison armory. A heightened security presence is likely in the area in the coming days.

Context

Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities in the Northwest and Southwest regions remain high. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of all English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and sporadic violence. These tensions have escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. Armed separatists in English-speaking regions of Cameroon have killed over 80 soldiers and police since October, according to a report released by the government on June 20. The fighting has forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee over the border into Nigeria.

Advice

Due to ongoing sociopolitical violence, individuals in the Northwest and Southwest regions are advised to closely monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities (particularly curfews), and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.

 

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