At least seven people were killed in Cameroon’s restive anglophone belt at the weekend as a separatist group made a symbolic declaration of independence.
The separatists chose October 1, the anniversary of the official reunification of the anglophone and francophone parts of Cameroon, to declare independence for “Ambazonia”, the name of the state they want to create.
Since November, the anglophone minority has been protesting against perceived discrimination.
The government deployed security forces at the weekend in English-speaking regions, notably Buea in the southwest and Bamenda, the main town in the northwest and a hub of anglophone agitation.
Several people were admitted to hospital in Bamenda Sunday after clashes between demonstrators and police, according to a medical source.
“At least one person was injured by live fire” in Bamenda, where the situation was “very tense”, a source close to the local authorities told AFP.
The “security forces had to resort to tear gas and sometimes to shots to disperse the protesters”, the source said by telephone.
Bamenda residents contacted by AFP reported “shooting” by the security forces without giving further details.