NEWSROOM (ADV) – Authorities in Cameroon say hundreds of people have fled villages in a French-speaking region after suspected Anglophone separatists abducted 15 people and torched 80 houses.
The French-speaking villages of Menkefou and Choupat in western Cameroon are almost empty.
An attack by suspected Anglophone separatists early Monday sent hundreds of villagers fleeing for safety.
The government blamed Anglophone separatists in the neighboring northwest region for the attack, and said they appeared to be men fleeing from military raids. Cameroon’s separatists did not issue any immediate response to the accusation.
It is the second time the Bangourain region where the villages are located was attacked.
The government deployed the military and asked communities near separatist areas to create village militias for self defense.
Cameroon’s English-speaking separatists have been protesting since 2016 against discrimination by the French-speaking majority.
Their protests were initially peaceful but, in response to a government crackdown, some separatists are waging a violent campaign for independence.
The insurgency gained pace in 2017 when leader JuliusAyukTabewas arrested in Nigeria with 46 collaborators and extradited to Cameroon.
They face a possible death penalty in Cameroon on charges of secession, terrorism and attempting to destabilize the country.
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