Cameroon: 84 soldiers, police killed in separatist clashes

A protest march against the violence in southern Cameroon, where a nascent secessionist movement’s clashes with government forces has led to widespread loss of life. (Reuters)
Updated 20 June 2018

Cameroon: 84 soldiers, police killed in separatist clashes

  • Prime Minister Philemon Yang announced a new $220m emergency humanitarian assistance plan for hundreds of thousands of civilians that the government says live in precarious conditions because of separatist attacks.
  • English speakers have called for reforms and greater autonomy, alleging their marginalization by French speakers. The English-speaking community accounts for about one-fifth of Cameroon’s 25 million people.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon: Cameroon’s prime minister says 84 soldiers and police have been killed during months of fighting with separatists who seek an English-language state.
Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Wednesday announced a new $220 million emergency humanitarian assistance plan for hundreds of thousands of civilians that the government says live in precarious conditions because of separatist attacks.
Yang says civilians, mostly in rural areas, have paid the highest price of the “ugly war imposed by the terrorists.” He appeals for national solidarity.
English speakers have called for reforms and greater autonomy, alleging their marginalization by French speakers. The English-speaking community accounts for about one-fifth of Cameroon’s 25 million people.
Amnesty International this month called for an end to “unnecessary and excessive force” on both sides.


UK PM Boris Johnson locks down England as COVID-19 cases pass 1 million

Updated 31 October 2020

UK PM Boris Johnson locks down England as COVID-19 cases pass 1 million

  • Lockdown starts just after midnight on Thursday morning
  • United Kingdom has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England back into a national lockdown after the United Kingdom passed the milestone of one million COVID-19 cases and a second wave of infections threatened to overwhelm the health service.
The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned the “worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded.
Johnson, at a hastily convened news conference in Downing Street after news of a lockdown leaked to local media, said that the one-month lockdown across England would kick in at a minute past midnight on Thursday morning and last until Dec. 2.
In some of the most onerous restrictions in Britain’s peacetime history, people will only be allowed to leave home for specific reasons such as education, work, exercise, shopping for essentials and medicines or caring for the vulnerable.
“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative,” Johnson said, flanked by his chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and his chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance.
The government will revive its emergency coronavirus wage subsidy scheme to ensure workers who are temporarily laid off during a new England-wide lockdown receive 80% of their pay.
Essential shops, schools, and universities will remain open, Johnson said. Pubs and restaurants will be shut apart from for takeaways. All non-essential retail will close.
Johnson’s imposition of stricter curbs came after scientists warned the outbreak was going in the wrong direction and that action was needed to halt the spread of the virus if families were to have any hope of gathering at Christmas.
Johnson was criticized by political opponents for moving too slowly into the first national lockdown, which stretched from March 23 to July 4. He fell ill with COVID in late March and was hospitalized in early April.
The measures bring England into alignment with France and Germany by imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.
So far the United Kingdom has reported 46,555 COVID-19 deaths — defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. A broader death measure of those with COVID-19 on their death certificates gives the toll as 58,925.
The United Kingdom has the world’s fifth largest official death toll, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.