At least 69 people have been killed and scores injured in renewed fighting between the military and separatists in the English-speaking regions in Cameroon. The attack coincided with the anniversary of the Anglophone region joining Cameroon on February 11th 1961. Since then, disputes have erupted continually between the French speaking majority and English speaking minority in the west of the country.
Fighting in the south-western regions of Limbe, Buea, Mutengene, Kumba, Manfe and Tombel broke out on February 5th. The violence was orchestrated to disrupt National Youth Day, which is celebrated on February 11th. Cameroon's President Paul Biya in his Youth Day message, published on February 10th, avoided speaking about the violence in the Anglophone parts of the country, mentioning only his achievements in creating employment for the nation's young people and in setting up youth vocational centres.
"Those that will continue to challenge the state, our security, and furthermore the population, are going to be treated accordingly. Soonest, the situation will come back to normalcy in our region," said Deben Tchoffo, governor of the north-west Anglophone region, referring to the recent violence.
In 2017 armed English-speaking separatists declared the region Independent, naming it Ambazonia. The two western English-speaking regions in the country accuse the government of marginalising the Anglophones in terms of governance and development.