Lock down in Cameroon English-speaking city

The Cameroonian city of Bamenda is in lockdown after violence erupted there following the sentencing on Tuesday of separatist leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine others to life in jail.

Businesses have been shut and people have been staying at home after shooting between separatist rebels and soldiers, a city resident told BBC Newsday.

He said people in the city, which has the biggest English-speaking population in Cameroon, were despondent about there ever being a way out of the crisis through mediation and dialogue

Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority

Protests over the increasing use of French in courts and schools in Cameroon’s English-speaking heartlands, the North-West and South-West regions, morphed into violence in 2017 and a call for an independent state.

“It’s like the end time is near for the people of Bamenda,” the resident said.

“The act of the military court sentencing these leaders has actually given the impression to the population that there is no hope.”

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