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Cameroon: Authorities ban motorbikes in Northwest March 8

Authorities issue a ban on motorbikes in the Northwest Region on March 8 following a series of attacks

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/9/2018, 12:00 AM until 3/16/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Dakar). COUNTRY/REGION Northwest region

Event

On Thursday, March 8, Cameroonian authorities announced a ban on the use of motorbikes in the Momo and Ngohketunjia areas of the Northwest Region. According to local sources, the ban was enacted following a string of attacks by separatist militants using motorbikes.

Continued unrest and a heightened security presence are expected in the Northwest Region in the coming days and weeks.

Context

A curfew between the hours of 21:00 and 05:00 is currently in effect for the Southwest and Northwest regions until Sunday, March 11. 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 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.

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 Northwest Region are advised to closely monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, 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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