Separatist leaders said on Friday they will be imposing a 6-day lockdown in Cameroon’s two troubled English-speaking regions in February to disrupt the general elections.
The lockdown will run from Feb. 7 to 12, according to a statement by the leaders.
“On these days, anyone seen anywhere outside in our villages and towns will be considered an enemy and treated as such,” the statement said.
The move was taken to disrupt parliamentary and municipal elections scheduled for Feb. 9 in Cameroon. “Anyone suspected to be involved in those outlawed elections in any form or shape shall be dealt with,” the statement added.
On Tuesday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya said in the new year address to the nation, security forces will continue the fight against armed separatists if they don’t drop their weapons, and that security measures have been taken to ensure that all citizens countrywide exercise their voting rights.
Fighting between government forces and armed separatist groups has been going on since November 2017 after the separatists declared the independence of a nation called “Ambazonia” in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.
According to the United Nations, more than 700,000 Cameroonians have been displaced internally as well as fled to neighbouring Nigeria by the conflict.