Cameroon lifts opposition leader’s house arrest

Cameroon security forces on Tuesday lifted the blockade of opposition leader Maurice Kamto’s residence in the capital Yaounde.

While speaking to Andalou agency, Olivier Bibou Nissack, a spokesman for Maurice Kamto, said that the security forces camping around the residence of the opposition leader left the scene on Tuesday.

The decision came a few days after regional elections took place in the Central African country “in peace and serenity, despite calls for a boycott by certain opposition parties, and threats made by separatist groups in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions,” government spokesman Emmanuel Rene Sadi said in a statement on Tuesday.

Kamto, who lost to President Paul Biya in 2018’s election, has been prevented from leaving his home since the eve of a peaceful protest march in the capital Yaounde on September 22 when demonstrators called for Biya to go.

Kamto was imprisoned in January 2019 following a march protesting the vote. Biya ordered him freed nine months later under international pressure.

Despite a ban on gatherings, people in major Cameroonian cities took to the streets demanding Biyo, who has been in power since 1982, finally step down.  Citizens also want reforms to the electoral system and an end to the Anglophone crisis that has claimed over 3,000 lives, according to Human Rights Watch.

“Legal proceedings against the leaders and organizers of this insurrectionary movement will nevertheless continue,” Sadi said, adding that related developments will be made public in due course.​​​​​​​