Troops and armed males have exchanged fireplace in Buea, the capital of a Cameroonian area hit by separatist violence and a number metropolis for groups within the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the city’s mayor mentioned Thursday.
A number of individuals had been wounded within the gunfight on Wednesday, David Mafani Namange instructed AFP, describing what occurred as “sporadic incidents.”
“The security forces rapidly intervened and an investigation is under way to determine who is responsible,” he mentioned.
Earlier Thursday, a senior army officer mentioned separatists had “attacked a number of districts in Buea.”
The gunfight “happened after the Malian squad had finished training — it did not have an impact on the training session,” he instructed AFP by phone.
Additionally Wednesday, an opposition senator was discovered shot lifeless within the area, in response to his social gathering and an official.
Lawmaker Henry Kemende of the Social Democratic Entrance (SDF), one in every of Cameroon’s predominant opposition events, had been shot a number of instances within the chest, in response to the SDF’s vice chairman, Joshua Osih.
Nobody claimed duty for the killing, however Osih blamed separatists.
A number of SDF leaders have been focused beforehand, together with John Fru Ndi, the social gathering’s president, a runner-up a number of instances in elections gained by President Paul Biya, 88, who has dominated the nation with an iron grip for practically 40 years.
Biya has been accused of repressing dissent within the English-speaking areas in addition to clamping down arduous on political opponents.
Describing Wednesday’s violence, a human rights lawyer, Agbor Balla, instructed AFP: “There have been heavy exchanges of fireside between troops and separatists.”
Speaking by telephone, he added: “Panic grew as the separatists moved towards the town centre.”
Balla, who heads an NGO known as the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, mentioned one individual “carrying civilian garments” died in the exchange, but this toll was not immediately confirmed by other sources.
Buea is the capital of the Southwest Region, which with the adjacent Northwest Region has been rocked by violence since 2017, when anglophone militants declared independence from the majority French-speaking country.
The central government in Yaounde responded with a crackdown.
Both the separatists and government forces have been accused of atrocities in the fighting, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives and forced over 700,000 to flee their homes.
Armed groups are regularly accused of abducting, killing or injuring civilians whom they accuse of “collaborating” with Cameroonian authorities.
Armed teams had warned earlier than the beginning of AFCON final Sunday that they deliberate to disrupt the month-long event.
Groups in Group F — Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and Gambia — practice in Buea and play within the coastal resort of Limbe.
English audio system account for practically a fifth of Cameroon’s inhabitants of 24 million, who’re majority French-speaking.
Their presence is a legacy of the colonial period in western Africa.
The previous German possession of Cameroon was partitioned after World Conflict I between Britain and France.
In 1961, a part of the British territory, the Southern Cameroons, joined Cameroon after it gained independence from France.
The anglophone separatists name their entity the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, from the Ambas Bay on the shoreline. It isn’t recognised internationally.