Cameroon’s Ambazonia leaders on hunger strike

Cameroon's Ambazonia leaders on hunger strike

Detained leaders of Cameroon’s Anglophone separatist movement have begun an indefinite hunger strike.

They say they are concerned over the whereabouts of around 200 of their comrades after riots in two separate prisons last week.

The detainees say they also have fears that a “genocide” of English-speakers in Cameroon will take place.

The secessionist movement has been campaigning to create an independent state called Ambazonia, made up of the North-West and South-West regions – the two English-speaking regions in a country where French is the most widely spoken official language.

Their lawyer Joseph Fru told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme¬†that his clients feared that the “profiling of Ambazonians” by Cameroon authorities was a “prelude to a genocide”.

“One of the Cameroon ministers has actually asked that all people of southern Cameroon origins in French-speaking Cameroon should be identified and recorded and they have termed this profiling,” he said.

The BBC found no evidence that such profiling is going on in Cameroon.

Political leaders of the Ambazonia movement were arrested in Nigeria in 2018 and transferred to Cameroon where they are facing trial.

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

Some of them took up arms in 2017.

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