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Cameroon News Alert

Cameroon: Nightly curfew extended in Southwest, Northwest to Mar. 4

Government officials extend the nightly curfew in Southwest and Northwest an additional seven days, from February 25 to March 4

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/26/2018, 12:00 AM until 3/4/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Southwest region, Northwest region
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Event

The nightly curfew in the Southwest and Northwest regions has been extended for an additional seven days, from Sunday, February 25, to Sunday, March 4. During this time, the curfew will remain in place on a nightly basis from 20:00 to 06:00 (local time). Local officials have stated the curfew was implemented due to growing unrest, and following a wave of violence attributed to separatist militants.

Continued unrest, and a heightened security presence are expected in the region in the coming days and weeks.

Context

Tensions between the English-speaking community and the national authorities in the Northwest and Southwest regions remain high following a wave of violence in recent weeks and months. On February 2, Cameroonian authorities announced a six-month ban on the possession, purchase, and sale of all firearms and ammunition throughout the Northwest region. On February 24, suspected separatist militants killed one police officer and injured three soldiers during violent clashes in Nyen (Northwest region). Also on February 24, an administrative official was kidnapped by Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) militants in the town of Batibo. ADF militants previously abducted the deputy head of the Batibo district on February 11.

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.

Advice

Individuals in the Southwest and Northwest regions are advised to closely monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities (particularly curfews), 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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