Youth shot dead in Cameroon’s troubled anglophone region

A pedestrian walks in a street of Buea some 60 kms west of Douala, on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2017

Youth shot dead in Cameroon’s troubled anglophone region

BUEA, Cameroon: A young man from Cameroon’s English-speaking region was shot dead by security forces on the eve of an expected symbolic declaration of independence by anglophone separatists, medical and security forces told AFP Sunday.
“They fired at him during a security operation” in the city of Kumba, a nurse who requested anonymity told AFP. The incident was confirmed by a security source and several local residents contacted by phone.
Kumba is known as a rebellious city since the start of protests by the anglophone minority last November, with clashes erupting between security forces and the local population.
The majority of Cameroon’s 22 million people are French-speaking, while about a fifth is English-speaking.
The legacy dates back to 1961, when a formerly British entity, Southern Cameroons, united with Cameroon after its independence from France in 1960.
The anglophone minority has long complained about disparities in sharing out Cameroon’s oil wealth.
On Sunday, the date of the official reunification of the anglophone and francophone parts of Cameroon, the anglophone separatists are expected to make a symbolic proclamation of independence for Ambazonia, the name of the state they want to create.
On Thursday, the Cameroonian authorities announced a temporary curb on travel and public meetings across the Southwest Region, adding to a curfew in the neighboring Northwest Region, also English-speaking.
In Buea, the southwest’s main city, the streets were mostly deserted early Sunday as security forces patrolled the area including where the separatists are expected to gather, an AFP correspondent reported.
“I can’t go out, they asked us to stay home,” said one city resident who identified herself just as Nancy.
“Everyone is afraid... it’s not good,” added another resident Thom.
Since November 2016, the anglophone minority has been protesting against perceived discrimination, especially in education and the judicial system, where they say the French language and traditions are being imposed on them, even though English is one of the country’s two official languages.
Most anglophone campaigners want the country to resume a federalist system — an approach that followed the 1961 unification but was later scrapped in favor of a centralized government run from the capital Yaounde. A hard-line minority is calling for secession.
Both measures are opposed by the country’s long-ruling president, 84-year-old Paul Biya.


Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

Updated 6 min 11 sec ago

Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

  • Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame while a third person died of injuries
  • Macron called for churches around the country to be given added security

NICE: A man wielding a knife at a church in the French city of Nice killed three people, slitting the throat of at least one, and injured several others before being apprehended by police, officials said Thursday.
French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what the city’s Mayor Christian Estrosi called an “Islamo-fascist attack.”
“He (the attacker) kept repeating ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greater) even while under medication” after he was injured during his arrest, Estrosi told journalists at the scene.NIC

Video footage shows police entering the church in Nice where the attack is thought to have been carried out. (Twitter)

Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame, in the heart of the city on the Mediterranean coast, while a third person died of injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar, a police source told AFP.
“The situation is now under control,” police spokeswoman Florence Gavello said.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks since the January 2015 massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The trial of suspected accomplices in that attack is underway in Paris. 

 

There have been unconfirmed reports that at least one of the victims was decapitated. (Twitter)

In Nice in particular, painful memories remain fresh of the jihadist attack during the Bastille Day fireworks on July 14, 2016, when a man rammed his truck into a crowded promenade, killing 86 people.
It was part of a wave of attacks on French soil, often by so-called “lone wolf” assailants, which has killed more than 250 people since 2015.

The attacker was captured by police and taken to hospital. (Twitter)

The assault prompted lawmakers in parliament to hold a minute’s silence on Thursday, before Prime Minister Jean Castex and other ministers abruptly left for an emergency meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.
Estrosi, who said Macron would soon be arriving in Nice, called for churches around the country to be given added security or to be closed as a precaution.