30, September 2018
Government officials in Cameroon’s strife-torn Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions on Saturday declared a 48-hour curfew ahead of planned “independence” celebrations by armed separatist forces.
“Movement of persons from one sub-division to another within the Northwest region is hereby prohibited for a period of 48 hours from Sept. 30 to Monday Oct. 1, 2018” said Adolph Lele Lafrique, governor of the Northwest region, adding that public gatherings and assembly of more than four persons shall be strictly forbidden.
“All off-licenses, snack bars and night clubs shall not operate. Motor parks shall remain closed and the circulation of motorbikes completely suspended,” Lafrique said in a statement that was released on Saturday.
In Buea, chief town of Southwest region, local authorities also announced a curfew from Sept 30 to Oct. 1.
“During the period there shall be systematic closure of all business and drinking places, suspension of leisure activities, be it cultural, social or sporting, prohibition of all forms of transport, both public and private, and closure of motor parks,” said Kouam Wokam Paul, divisional officer for Buea sub-division.
Authorities in the restive regions had earlier imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew indefinitely but extended the measure to a 48-hour one after armed separatists’ announcement that they will be celebrating the “independence” of Anglophone regions on Oct. 1.
On Oct. 1, 1961, Francophone and Anglophone Cameroon officially reunited to form one country, after Anglophone Cameroonians voted to join Francophone Cameroon in a plebiscite that was organized by the United Nations on Feb. 11, 1961.
However, separatists now want the two Anglophone regions to secede from French-majority Cameroon to form a new nation called “Ambazionia,” complaining that they have been marginalized since unification.
In the midst of a presidential campaign, fighting is escalating in the two Anglophone regions, displacing over 180,000 people internally, according to the United Nations.