On Friday, February 2, Cameroonian authorities announced a six-month ban on the possession, purchase, and sale of firearms (both artisanal and imported) as well as on ammunition. The ban, which was issued on February 2, is in effect throughout the Northwest. According to local sources, the ban was enacted in response to a recent uptick in attacks, and to increasing tensions between English- and French-speaking communities in the Northwest region.
Anglophone separatists have launched several attacks on Cameroonian soldiers over the past year, killing at least 22 soldiers since November 2016. An increased military presence has been established in the restive English-speaking Southwest and Northwest regions.
Simmering resentment dating back to the period of independence has resurfaced within the minority English-speaking community in Cameroon's Northwest and Southwest regions in recent years. 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 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region.
Individuals in Cameroon are advised to closely monitor the situation, adhere to advice issued by local authorities and their home governments, and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated 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; travel to these areas should only be considered with appropriate security protocols in place.
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