A “national dialogue” to end hostilities in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions got off to a bad start this week, with key rebel leaders refusing to participate and demanding international mediation.
On Thursday, President Paul Biya said he would release 333 prisoners arrested in connection to the crisis, while recommendations were made to give anglophone areas “special status” with greater autonomy.
But the International Crisis Group said the absence of separatists from the talks “risks further frustrating anglophones, widening the gulf between the two sides and empowering hardliners”.
Fighting between Cameroon’s security forces and the separatists – who are demanding independence from the majority French-speaking country – has displaced more than 500,000 people, according to the UN.
Source: The New Humanitarian