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UN calls for investigations in English-speaking areas of Cameroon

Adama Dieng, the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, has called for immediate investigations on killings in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Adama Dieng described the atrocities being committed in the country as “concerning” and said both sides of the conflict should “sit around the table and dialogue to end the conflict”.

“The crimes committed by both parties need to be properly and independently investigated and perpetrators of those crimes need to be brought urgently to justice so that people know that no-one is above the law – that all Cameroonians are equal,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

The anglophone crisis which is now a war between the military and a separatists movements began in 2016, from a peaceful strike staged by lawyers and teachers, to arrests, killings and kidnappings.

The grievances brought to the table years ago by those who staged the peaceful protests reiterated long-held complaints by residents of the South-West and North-West region over what they see as marginalisation by the French-speaking majority of the country.

As a result of the violence in the Anglophone regions, up to 400 ordinary people have been killed since a year by both the security forces and the armed separatists.

Amnesty International has recorded more than 260 security incidents since the beginning of the year, ranging from clashes between armed separatists and security forces, kidnappings of members of the general population and the killing of security forces by armed separatists. The incidents also include unlawful killings by the security forces, and the destruction of private properties by both sides, Amnesty revealed in a report in September.

Mr. Adama Dieng told a BBC reporter that he is worried about so many people being killed and the atrocities being committed. He is also concerned about the upcoming presidential elections on October 7.

“It is true that one could not exclude some form of violence Caround the polls) but for the time being things seem to be under control,” Mr Dieng said.

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