Cameroon will celebrate its National Day, also called the National Day of Unity, on Monday, May 20, with events hosted across the country, particularly in Yaoundé. Marches and parades are common, with main celebrations held in Yaoundé and regional capitals. Road closures are expected in Yaoundé, particularly near Quartier Général and the Boulevard de la Réunification, on National Day and during celebration rehearsals in the weeks before the event.
Anglophone and opposition groups are planning to boycott the events, however. The Social Democratic Front (SDF) announced that it would be boycotting any celebrations. A heightened security presence is expected at National Day events and in the Anglophone areas in Cameroon's Northwest and Southwest regions. Violence from social unrest, militant attacks, or security operations is possible on National Day and the preceding days.
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.
National Day celebrates the national referendum on May 20, 1972, that abolished the federal system and created the United Republic of Cameroon.
Individuals in Cameroon, particularly the Southwest and Northwest regions, are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions near all National Day events and a heightened security presence, remain vigilant for suspicious behavior, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution.
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