UN calls for dialogue to end Cameroon violence

Cameroon police patrol the streets of Buea

The United Nations has condemned the spate of violence in the south-west and north-west regions of Cameroon, calling upon political leaders to urge their supporters to refrain from violence.

“The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the situation in Cameroon and strongly condemns the acts of violence reported in the South-West and North-West regions of the country on 1 October, including reported loss of life. He calls on the Cameroonian authorities to investigate these incidents and urges political leaders on both sides to appeal to their followers to refrain from any further acts of violence, and to unequivocally condemn all actions that undermine the peace, stability and unity of the country,” UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement.

There are fears that as many as 30 people have been killed in protests in English-speaking parts of the Central African nation.

Security forces were reported on Sunday to have opened fire on demonstrators calling for independence in Bamenda, a city in the country’s north-west. Amnesty International confirmed that 17 people were shot dead.

Dujarric said that Secretary General António Guterres had noted the calls for dialogue, encouraging representatives of the Anglophone community to “seize the opportunity in their quest for solutions to the community’s grievances, within the framework of the Cameroonian constitution.”

Cameroon’s linguistic conflict erupted last year, prompting the government to shut internet in the Anglophone region for months.