26, September 2017
The United States has issued a travel advisory to citizens in respect to Cameroon’s predominantly anglophone regions. The “Security Message” titled “Unrest in the Northwest and Southwest regions,” said there was the possibility of protests – some which could turn violent.
The statement read in part: “The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde informs U.S. citizens that demonstrations, some violent, occurred in Bamenda, Buea, Limbe, and elsewhere in the Northwest and Southwest regions on September 22, 2017.
The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde informs U.S. citizens that demonstrations, some violent, occurred in Bamenda, Buea, Limbe, and elsewhere in the Northwest and Southwest regions on September 22, 2017. “Further demonstrations are likely over the next two weeks. The U.S. Embassy has deferred all non-essential travel for U.S. Embassy personnel to these regions until October 3.”
The Embassy said citizens were advised to adjust travel plans accordingly and continually review their security settings. Thousands of demonstrators from the English-speaking regions late last week took to the streets chanting songs of independence and requesting the unconditional release of activists.
Long-standing complaints of political and economic discrimination spilled over the last year when lawyers and teachers called for reforms. In many parts of the English Speaking regions, protesters took down the national flag of Cameroon hoisting another referred to as the Ambazonia flag.
The protests were the largest and most widespread in months and came the day after a bomb suspected to have been planted by separatists wounded three policemen in Bamenda, capital of the Northwest region.
Cameroon’s current difficulties stem back to its pre-independence history when it was formed by combining a region that was colonized by the British with the larger region run by the French. Mean while Cameroonian authorities insist the unity of the State remains a fundamental and non-negotiable value enshrined in the constitution.