Anglophone crisis may worsen strained relations between Cameroon and Nigeria

Gunmen attacked a border crossing in the Southwest Region of Cameroon on Thursday, launching their assault from Nigeria, according to local reports.

No one was killed in the attack, but the incident is likely to further damage relations between the two countries. Relations are already strained over the rise of an Anglophone Cameroonian separatist movement, with most of its members residing in Nigeria.

Five security and administrative agents said the unidentified gunmen launched their attack on the Ekok border post along Cross River and the shooting lasted nearly three hours and the border remained closed on Thursday morning.

Government officials in Cameroon have not yet commented on the attack; just as they haven’t for some other attacks that have been ongoing in the country.

According to Reuters Nigeria’s defence ministry spokesman said he was not aware of the incident and referred queries to the military. A Nigerian military spokesman said he was not aware of the attack but would make checks.

Last month Cameroonian troops crossed into Nigeria in pursuit of rebels without seeking authorization from Nigeria, causing a falling-out between the governments behind the scenes. Nigerian security forces were deployed to the border to stop any further crossings.

Cameroonian military officials and pro-government media accuse Nigeria of sheltering the insurgents, who since last year have waged a guerrilla campaign to establish an independent homeland for Cameroon’s English-speaking minority.

A leading member of the separatist movement; Ayuk Sisiku Tabe are in custody in Nigeria with his aides.

More than 43,000 Cameroonians have fled as refugees to Nigeria to escape a crackdown by the government on Anglophone separatists.


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