A prominent lawyer from Cameroon’s English-speaking minority will stand in next year’s presidential election, he announced on Sunday, days after deadly clashes involving the anglophone community.
Akere Muna, former vice president of the NGO Transparency International, said he would promote “zero tolerance for corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favouritism”. Muna’s announcement comes following protests in the country’s restless English-speaking region which have left at least 19 people dead.
The clashes occurred last weekend as separatist leaders made a symbolic declaration of independence. “Our country is now at the crossroads of its history,” Muna said in a statement. “We must now move towards a new Republic.”
Anglophones account for about a fifth of the West African nation’s population of 22 million. English-speakers complain they have suffered decades of economic inequality and social injustice at the hands of the French-speaking majority.
Cameroon is due to hold its next presidential election in late 2018, most likely in October. President Paul Biya, aged 84, who has been in power for 35 years, and his opposition rival John Fru Ndi have not yet confirmed if they will be standing.