Eight villages have reported been set ablaze leaving hundreds of residents homeless in Cameroon’s English-speaking northwest following clashes between security forces and separatist rebels.
The military says armed separatist rebels torched at least eight villages in northwest Cameroon. Official reports have not confirmed the number of those killed in the clashes but fears are that the accelerating crisis will claim more lives if not addressed promptly.
The crisis began in November 2016 with a strike by Anglophone lawyers and teachers, who were demanding reforms to address what they say is the marginalization of the country’s English-speaking minority by French-speakers. The situation spiraled into all-out conflict as separatists demanded independence for the two English-speaking regions.
Dialogue for the secession has hit a stalemate after separatists say they will not budge on secession. Meanwhile, Cameroon has refused to release dozens of detained separatist leaders, and President Paul Biya says he will entertain no talks that threaten national unity.