Cameroon national borders will be closed ahead of the presidential polling day on Sunday, the country’s minister of territorial administration Paul Atanga Nji said on Friday.
“National borders shall be closed 48 hours to polling day. They will be reopened the following day after voting.” Nji told a press conference in the capital Yaounde.
The authorities announced the measure as the election is taking place in a context of growing tension in the Anglophone regions where separatists are fighting to create a new nation called “Ambazonia”.
Armed separatist forces have vowed they will disrupt voting in the regions.
Nji also said that the circulation of goods and persons within the territory by road, railway, and airlines is banned as from 6 pm October 6 to 6 pm October 7, adding that assembly of persons in front of polling centers are also banned.
Over 6,500,000 registered voters are expected to vote during Sunday’s presidential race, according to the Cameroonian electoral body, Elections Cameroon.
The outgoing president Paul Biya, leader of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, is seeking to extend his 36 years in office by winning a new seven-year mandate.