Cameroonian President Paul Biya said on Friday the security situation in the troubled English-speaking region of the country has improved since a national dialogue to end the conflict took place last year.
“Thanks to the determination of our defence and security forces to protect our fellow citizens in the northwest and southwest (Anglophone regions), the situation has significantly improved,” Biya said here in a speech during the 37th graduation ceremony of the Combined Services Military Academy.
“It is hoped that the new measures taken following the major national dialogue will contribute towards restoring lasting peace and calm,” Biya said.
He regretted that despite the peace efforts, “few (armed) groups” continue to commit atrocities and to destroy the property of citizens in the region.
“For those who persist in going down the wrong road to use violence, we will have no other choice but to combat them to protect our fellow citizens,” Cameroon’s Minister of Defense Joseph Beti Assomo told Xinhua following the ceremony.
Since 2017, government forces have been clashing with armed separatist forces who want the northwest and southwest English-speaking regions to secede from the majority French-speaking nation and form a new country known as “Ambazonia.”