6, September 2019
Several businesses in Cameroon have been fined by the government and had their licences withdrawn after they obeyed a lockdown imposed by separatists.
Kumba City Council says the businesses will be reopened once the owners pay a fine of 25,000 CFA francs ($42; £34).
Separatists are enforcing a lockdown across cities, towns and villages in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions – the north-west and south-west – to ensure schools remain shut for a fourth academic year in a row.
The conflict has its roots in the government’s decision to increase the use of French in schools and courts in the mainly English-speaking regions in 2016. Protests later turned violent and armed groups who want to create a breakaway state have sought to control territory.
More than 437,000 people are currently displaced in Cameroon according to the latest UN estimates, most of them women and children.
US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Tibor Nagy has called on Cameroon’s government to hold mediation talks with separatists “without any preconditions”.