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Cameroon News Alert

Cameroon: Curfew extended in Northwest and Southwest regions /update 2

Authorities extend the curfew in Northwest and Southwest regions March 11 due to persisting tensions

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/13/2018, 12:00 AM until 4/8/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Southwest region, Northwest region
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Event

The nightly curfew in the Northwest and Southwest regions has been extended. In the Northwest region, the curfew has been extended indefinitely, while in the Southwest region the curfew will remain in place until Sunday, April 8. During this time, the curfews will be in effect on a nightly basis in both regions from 21:00 to 05:00 (local time). On March 12, Cameroonian authorities also announced a ban on the use of motorbikes in the Momo and Ngohketunjia areas of the Northwest Region.

Local officials have stated that the measures have been implemented due to persisting waves of violence attributed to separatist militants. On March 11, suspected separatist militants killed a police officer in Batibo (Northwest). Continued unrest and a heightened security presence are expected in the region in the coming days and weeks.

Context

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.

Meanwhile, the United Nation’s refugee agency UNHCR has reported that more than 20,000 Cameroonians have fled to Nigeria’s Benue and Cross Rivers states amid the ongoing crisis.

Advice

Individuals in these regions 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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