Seven suspected English-speaking rebels killed by military
Rebels have been waging a campaign against the government in response to alleged discrimination by the French-speaking majority.
The English-speaking community in Cameroon have held numerous protests over alleged discrimination
Seven suspected English-speaking separatist rebels have been killed by the military in Cameroon.
The country’s army confirmed the deaths after fighting broke out in the northwestern city Bamenda on Monday evening, which also left four soldiers in hospital with injuries.
Locals fled their homes as the sound of gunfire filled the air and the violence continued through the night, with an elderly woman shot in the leg as she made her way to a market on Tuesday morning.
Regional army commander General Agha Robinson has admitted the military have found it difficult to battle the rebels, who hide among innocent civilians.
The separatists have been in the sights of the army since they began protesting against alleged discrimination by the French-speaking majority in Cameroon.
Demonstrations were peaceful when they first emerged in 2016, but some have begun waging a violent campaign in response to a government crackdown on the rallies.
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Deben Tchoffo, the governor for northwest Cameroon, said: “We are urging the fighters to drop their guns.
“We will take care of them and reintegrate them socially and economically.”
According to the government, at least 1,200 people have died in the heightened violence this year, which was sparked when separatist leader Julius Ayuk Tabe and 46 followers were extradited from Nigeria.
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Last week, Cameroonian President Paul Biya freed 289 suspected rebels, many of whom later urged the government to release their leaders who remain in jail.
They have said that there will not be peace until Tabe and the others are also freed.