The Social Democratic Front (SDF) has called for a march in Douala on Sunday, October 21, to show "solidarity" with the populations of the Northwest and Southwest regions affected by the Anglophone Crisis. Activists will reportedly gather at the Bepanda Omnisport Stadium at 13:00 (local time) and march to the Salle de fêtes d'Akawa, via Carrefour Agip, Marché Mboppi, Carrefour Deux Eglises, and Carrefour Ancien Dalip. Although the SDP has submitted a request to march with the local government, reports state the party has not received approval as of Friday, October 19. An increased security presence should be expected and if the march proceeds without authorization, clashes between demonstrators and security forces are likely. Additionally, widespread business and transportation disruptions along the march route are to be expected in Douala.
The government previously denied SDF requests to march in February and March of this year, and it is unlikely the party will receive authorization ahead of the scheduled start on October 21. The demonstration is being organized in support of Anglophone activists as well as to condemn the recent government crackdown on popular unrest, including alleged indiscriminate killings, violent home searches, and armed roadblocks.
Tensions between English- and French-speaking communities have risen considerably since October 2017 when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. English-speaking lawyers and teachers supported by Anglophone protesters have carried out a number of strikes and demonstrations that have paralyzed the northwestern and southwestern regions. Killings and arrests by security forces have occurred during these rallies and rights activists claim the violence has resulted as many as 100 deaths since October 2017.
Individuals in Douala are advised to closely monitor the situation, adhere to advice issued by local authorities or their home governments, and any protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.
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