Cameroon calls for calm following the death of a child in the Anglophone region.
On Thursday, authorities in English-speaking western Cameroon asked for calm after a police officer in the turbulent region killed a schoolgirl and was lynched by a crowd.
The incident occurred in Buea, a flashpoint city in a part of the French-majority country where anglophone separatists and government forces have been involved in a violent four-year battle.
“The public is urged to remain calm. This is a tragic and unlucky occurrence “Bernard Okalia Bilai, the governor of the Southwest Region, told the state television channel CRTV.
Police ordered a mom driving her children to school to halt at a checkpoint, according to Blaise Chamango, the president of a local campaign group called Human Is Right.
“The driver did not follow the rules. A gendarme opened fire, fatally wounding a schoolgirl “she stated
“The gendarme was lynched as a result of the public outcry. Over 500 people turned out to march with the girl’s body to the governor’s office. He attempted to quiet the crowd by vowing to punish them “Those who are to blame, he stated.
On social media, pictures purporting to be of the dead girl, the gendarme, and the mob circulated but could not be verified.
English-speakers make up around a fifth of Cameroon’s 22 million population, who live in the Southwest and neighboring Northwest regions.
On October 1, 2017, militants’ decades-long fight to remedy perceived discrimination at the hands of the francophone majority culminated in a proclamation of independence.
Armed separatist attacks on security personnel were met with retaliation, plunging the two regions into a cycle of violence that has claimed over 3,500 lives and caused 700,000 people to abandon their homes.
Last month, 15 troops were slain in two separate attacks over the course of five days, while four suspected separatists were sentenced to death for the murder of seven kids last year.
The presence of anglophone areas dates back to the colonial period.
After World War I, Britain and France divided the former German stronghold of Cameroon.
After Cameroon obtained independence from France in 1961, a portion of British territory, the Southern Cameroons, joined the country.
Anglophones have long been enraged by perceived inequity, particularly in education and the legal system.