The Cameroonian government announced the imposition of additional security measures in Buea (Southwest region), effective immediately, on Friday, November 10. The new rules prohibit the use of commercial motorbikes from 19:00 to 06:00 (local time) and restrict the sale and use of firearms, among other restrictions. The Cameroonian government has not yet announced when the measures will be lifted. The announcement follows recent attacks in the region, including the killing of at least four members of Cameroonian security forces in the past few days.
Tensions remain high and large-scale protests are anticipated throughout the Anglophone regions in the coming weeks.
Simmering resentment that dates back to the period of independence has resurfaced within the minority Anglophone community in Cameroon over the past year, sparked by the central government's decision in November 2016 to not translate a law into English. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of all English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and sporadic violence. Tensions between English and French-speaking communities have escalated considerably since October 1, 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. Others protesters, conversely, have demanded better integration into mainstream Cameroonian society and politics and an end to the political and economic marginalization of the regions.
The government has responded with a heightened security presence and the implementation of curfews with little warning.
The recent unrest has prompted the US Embassy in Yaoundé to advise its citizens and embassy staff to defer all nonessential travel to the Southwest and Northwest regions. Similarly, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has released a travel warning advising against all travel to the Southeast region's Bakassi Peninsula and all nonessential travel to Bamenda (Northwest region) and Buea (Southwest region).
Individuals in Cameroon are advised to closely monitor the situation, adhere to advice issued by local authorities or their home governments, and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.
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