Cameroon’s English-Speaking Areas Becoming Deserted
Cameroon’s English-speaking area that separatists had declared the independent Republic of Ambozonia has become heavily depopulated following two years of violence and fighting. Well over 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting, with unknown thousands, relocating internally to Francophone areas. The government has blamed separatist fighters for the ongoing problems, due to their sporadic and waning attacks in the area. The separatists, however, claim that the government has turned the area into a dangerous wasteland, shooting residents and burning houses and shops in retaliation for suspected collusion. The President has vowed to kill all those who will not lay down their weapons. The separatist movement largely grew out of protests by English-speaking teachers in November 2016 against the increasing dominance of French in the country that is official bilingual.