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U.N. chief backs Biya's dialogue calls in Cameroon's Anglophone crisis

U.N. chief backs Biya's dialogue calls in Cameroon's Anglophone crisis

Cameroon

The United Nations (U.N.) has officially spoken on the ongoing political crisis in Anglophone regions of Cameroon.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the violence and called for a cessation of hostilities in order for dialogue to be pursued.

A statement from his office called on “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.”

[He] takes note of the calls by the authorities for dialogue and encourages 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

“[He] takes note of the calls by the authorities for dialogue and encourages 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,” the statement added.

Guterres’ condemnation and call for dialogue ties in to a similar call by President Paul Biya in a recent social media post. It is, however, not known the nature of the dialogue that the president is talking about.

The U.N. has stressed further that its regional office will continue to support the political process. Access to social media has been cut in the region. This is despite a government communication that no such action was in the offing.

The violence in North-West and South-West regions of the Central African nation has claimed scores of lives according to separate accounts. Over 50 others have been reported injured whiles at least 200 have been detained.

People in the region are pushing for independence from Cameroon after what they say is years of marginalization by the dominant French part. They had planned to declare independence under the name of Ambazonia Republic on October 1.

Heavy security was deployed to the region in late September before the deadly clashes ensued on October 1 extending into October 2. The government insists that the unity of the country remains non-negotiable.

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