Numerous clashes between Anglophone separatists and security forces were reported throughout Buea, the capital of Southwest region, on Tuesday, February 5. According to residents, gunfire was heard in various parts of the city starting at 05:00 (local time), particularly in the Molyko area and Muea district. An unconfirmed number of people were also arrested throughout the day. Anglophone separatists have declared a ban on all activities in the Southwest and Northwest regions from February 5 through Thursday, February 14.
Also on Tuesday, suspected Anglophone militants attacked a school in Babadjou (West region). Local authorities said that classrooms, the library, and two vehicles were burned during the incident. Further clashes between security forces and separatists are possible in Northwest and Southwest regions over the near term.
Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities are high in the Northwest and Southwest regions amid an ongoing separatist movement. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and violence. These tensions have escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the regions.
Individuals in Northwest and Southwest regions are advised to closely monitor the situation, follow all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. particularly curfews), and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.
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