The Canadian government on Tuesday issued a travel advisory for Cameroon cautioning citizens on the security situation ahead of October 7 presidential polls.
A summary of the safety and security tab read: Presidential elections are due to take place on October 7, 2018. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the elections.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for the latest information
The upcoming polls have been cited as a key test of the security apparatus in the country especially with threats from separatists elements that voting will not take place in the English-speaking regions – North-West and South-West.
The security situation has deteriorated since the beginning of 2018. Kidnappings have occurred and foreigners have been targeted. A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Specifically on the situation in the two regions, the advisory said: “Since late November 2016, demonstrations, general strikes and clashes stemming from local tensions have led to casualties in the North-West and South-West regions.
“The security situation has deteriorated since the beginning of 2018. Kidnappings have occurred and foreigners have been targeted. A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
“Unofficial road blocks could be set up by armed groups. At any time, local authorities could impose movement restrictions. Telecommunications could be disrupted.”
It also warned against the Far North and Mayo-Louti Department and areas bordering Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic.
Cameroonians go to the polls to elect a new president. Incumbent Paul Biya is up against eight other candidates. The vote is the final process for a busy electoral year that has seen legislative polls being organised by the elections body, ELECAM.