The US Department of State issued a warning to its citizens on Friday, September 28, of the likelihood of protests and demonstrations in Northwest and Southwest region on Monday, October 1. The events on Monday will be in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of pro-Anglophone independence protests that turned violent, leaving eight protesters dead. Additionally, there are likely to be political rallies and campaigning across the country for the upcoming presidential election on Sunday, October 7. Clashes between protesters and with security forces cannot be ruled out.
October 1 is the one-year anniversary of pro-independence rallies in the Northwest and Southwest regions that turned deadly when security forces responded, killing eight protesters. It is also the anniversary of Anglophone Cameroon's independence from Britain and the unification of the country. An Anglophone secessionist movement unilaterally declared independence in the region, escalating tensions that have resulted in the deaths of 400 civilians and 172 members of the security forces in 2018 and forced tens of thousands to flee to Nigeria. Most recently, six civilians and two police officers were killed in Beau and Limbe (Southwest region) on September 26-27.
Presidential elections are scheduled to be held on October 7 as incumbent President Paul Biya seeks to extend his 35 years in power. A total of 6.6 million citizens are eligible to vote in the election.
Individuals in Cameroon, particularly in Northwest and Southwest regions, are advised to closely monitor the situation, maintain vigilance, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. curfews), and avoid protests or public gatherings due to the risk of violence. On a separate note, some Western governments advise against travel to the Far North region as well as other areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic (CAR); travel to these areas should only be considered with appropriate security protocols in place.
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