Cameroonian President, Paul Biya has dispatched the military to the South West and North West regions of the country to face off secessionists ahead of its October 1 Independence Day celebrations.
The military deployment was officially announced by the Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia on Thursday after restricting the movement of people and vehicles, closing all public places and banning all meetings in the region.
“Following repeated threats propagated by secessionists through the social media, their Southern Cameroonian Broadcasting Corporation and tracts to mislead public opinion and destabilize our country; The Head of State has ordered and mobilized the Army to protect the territorial integrity of the nation as well as guarantee the security of all law-abiding persons and their property in conformity with the provisions of our Constitution,” Okalia said in the statement.
While urging all parents to keep their children at home, Okalia called on the people to disregard calls for demonstration as violators will be met with the firm reactions of the armed forces.
The rising tension which necessitated the measure is in anticipation of another massive demonstration following last week’s peaceful protests in several towns calling for the release of arrested inhabitants of the English-speaking region and independence from the French Cameroon.
Last year, several protests were held against marginalization and repression under the 35-year-old rule of President Paul Biya. Several people were killed and hundreds arrested by security forces during the protests.