Ilaria Allegrozzi is the Senior Central Africa Researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW). She has been following the military campaign led by the Biya regime in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon since 2017. Although it is clear that the war is entirely the responsibility of the Biya regime considering that its military campaign sparked armed resistance, Ms. Allegrozzi alleges repression by separatists in this new article published by HRW. Here is an excerpt:
Armed separatists kidnapped John (not his real name), a medical doctor in Cameroon’s English-speaking North-West region, on February 27 and took him to their camp. They accused John of “not contributing to the struggle,” pointed a gun at his back, and threatened to kill him. He was released six hours later, after a 300,000 CFA [US $544] ransom payment.
“They said I had to give them money to support their struggle for independence, to buy guns,” John told Human Rights Watch. “They told me not to tell what happened to anyone; otherwise, they would kill me and anyone in my family.”
John’s story is far too common in Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions. Since 2017, armed separatists have kidnapped hundreds of people, including students, clergy, political leaders, and humanitarian workers, while calling for the Anglophone regions to separate. The separatists have enforced a boycott of education in the English-speaking regions to protest against what they perceive as the assimilation of the Anglophone education system into the central, French-speaking one.
Read the full story here.