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The government deployed thousands of soldiers to restive separatist regions in western Cameroon


Cameroon separatists kill six at army post: government

Douala, Cameroon, Jan 9 – Separatist fighters in Cameroon killed six people in a raid on an army post in the troubled English-speaking Northwest province, the government said Saturday.

The dawn raid on Friday involved “armed separatist groups” and claimed the lives of four soldiers and two civilians at Matazem, said a statement from communications minister and government spokesman Rene Emmanuel Sadi.

Matazem sits on the border between the Northwest province and the predominantly French-speaking West province.

On Wednesday, in Northwest province, the government said “separatist terrorists” killed four soldiers and a civilian in an attack on an official convoy.

Anglophone separatists have been fighting for independence in Cameroon’s two mainly English-speaking provinces, Northwest and Southwest, since October 2017, launching regular attacks on the army.

Most of Cameroon, a former French colony, is French-speaking, and the separatists cite decades of grievances at perceived discrimination by the francophone majority.

But their self-proclaimed state of Ambazonia has not been recognised internationally.

International rights groups and the United Nations have denounced the toll the conflict has taken on the region’s civilian population, who they say are frequently victims of crimes and abuses on both sides.

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As well as attacks targeting police officers and soldiers, the armed separatists — nicknamed “Amba Boys” — are increasingly kidnapping civilians, especially students and teachers they accuse of teaching French.

They have also murdered inhabitants who they suspect of “collaborating” with President Paul Biya’s administration.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and at least 700,000 have fled their homes since the separatists launched their armed campaign.


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