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US Embassy extends travel alert for Cameroon's restive anglophone region

US Embassy extends travel alert for Cameroon's restive anglophone region

Cameroon

The United States Embassy in Cameroon has renewed a security alert issued for the restive town of Bamenda in the country’s northwest region.

The Embassy asked citizens to ‘‘review their personal security plans’‘ and also remain vigilant at all times. Their first alert was issued last Friday warning of planned protests between November 21 – 23.

‘‘U.S. citizens are advised that the U.S. Embassy has extended its deferral of all non-essential travel for U.S. Embassy personnel to the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, particularly in the city of Bamenda, through November 28. This extension is due to current unrest in these areas.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

‘‘Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations,’‘ a fresh statement issued on Tuesday read.

Security forces clashed with anti-government protesters in the English-speaking part of the country, they fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse the protesters. Local media reports that at least one person was killed and several others wounded. 

Tensions have been rising over the last few months and erupted on Tuesday when people took to the streets in support of a teachers’ strike against the imposition of French in schools in Anglophone parts of the country, a BBC reporter says.

Before the current clash, Bamenda lawyers had been on strike for two months after being ordered to use French in legal proceedings.

Cameroon is predominantly Francophone, with people in the English-speaking areas protesting marginalization.

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