Cameroon bans pro-independence rallies in Anglophone area

Cameroon bans pro-independence rallies in Anglophone area

- The government of Cameroon has ordered the shut down of its border with Nigeria this weekend

- Bernard Okalia Bilai, the southwest region’s governor, said the border would be closed from 9pm Friday, September 29, until 7am Monday, October 2

- Bilai also said the persistent threats of destabilisation through manipulation by individuals acting from outside the national territory

The Cameroon government has banned public meetings and travel in a mainly English-speaking region ahead of a protest to demand independence for the area.

The southwest region’s border with Nigeria has also been shut to block ''infiltration'' by people threatening Cameroon’s unity.

Reuters reports that the Southwest region’s governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, said the border would be closed from 9pm (20:00 GMT) Friday until 7am Monday ''following persistent threats of destabilisation through manipulation by individuals acting from outside the national territory''.

READ ALSO: Muslims reportedly ordered to hand over all copies of the Quran or face punishment

The officials said that pro-independence marches have been planned for Sunday, the 56th anniversary of Cameroon’s unification. English speakers have accused the Francophone majority of discrimination.

They say they are often excluded from top civil service jobs, and that the French language and legal system have been imposed on them. The government denies the allegations and insists that it treats all citizens equally.

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BBC also reports that the divisions in the central African state dates back to the post-colonial settlement. Cameroon was colonised by Germany and then split into British and French areas after the World War One.

Following a referendum, British-run Southern Cameroons joined the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon in 1961. It is now divided into the South-West and North-West regions.

Demands for independence have grown in the two regions in recent years and tension has been escalating ahead of Sunday’s planned protests.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that a civil society organisation, Stand Up for Peace Movement, criticised the United States of America (USA) over its comments on the proscription of the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) by the federal government.

In the video below, NAIJ.com TV takes a critical look at Nnamdi Kanu and the struggle for the actualisation of the Republic of Biafra.

Source: Naij.com

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