Cameroonian city of Buea a ghost town on eve of major protests

Tensions are mounting ahead of a symbolic declaration of independence in Cameroon.

The country’s English-speaking region wants independence from the French and trouble is centered around the city of Buea, which has become a virtual ghost town ahead of the declaration.

Weeks of protests have been taking place in the city.

Anglophone Cameroonians accuse the Francophone government of President Paul Biya of discrimination.

Government has banned all public meetings, as well as travel in the city of Buea.

Shops were closed, streets were almost deserted on Saturday and the normally bustling university campus was lifeless after residents left, apparently fearing violence.

According to a report on, social media access has been cut in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions which is contrary to a government communication that said no such measure was to be taken.

The majority of Cameroon’s 22 million people are French-speaking, while about a fifth is English-speaking.

The legacy dates back to 1961, when a formerly British entity, Southern Cameroons, united with Cameroon after its independence from France in 1960.

The anglophone minority has long complained about disparities in sharing out Cameroon’s oil wealth.