Four Cameroonian soldiers were killed by suspected separatists in a restive English-speaking region early Wednesday, army and government sources said. “Four soldiers were killed around 2am around Mamfe,” a city in the country’s Southwest Region, according to an army source.
“They murdered our soldiers. If that’s not terrorism, what is it?” the source said angrily. The deaths were confirmed by a government source, although the circumstances were not given.
The bloodshed is the latest episode in an escalating crisis in the Southwest and Northwest regions, home to a large minority of English-speakers in the francophone-majority nation.
Eight members of the security forces have been killed this month alone. Resentment among Anglophones over perceived discrimination has fed a spiral of political demands and a crackdown, leading to calls for secession.
On October 1, a breakaway movement issued a symbolic declaration of independence for their putative state of “Ambazonia,” led by Sisiku Ayuk. President Paul Biya fiercely opposes secession or a return to Cameroon’s former federal structure.
The campaign against the separatists has led to night-time curfews, restrictions on movement, raids and body searches, as well as an attempt by the central government in Yaoundé to reach out to the Anglophone community for political dialogue.
Source: The Nations