In Summary
  • Gunfire is heard frequently, despite army patrols introduced as part of a wide-ranging crackdown.
  • On Tuesday, the EU issued a statement warning about Cameroon's political and security situation.
  • Authorities in Yaounde have responded to the rebellion by stepping up the security presence in the region.

Cameroon

In the capital of Cameroon's Southwest Region, people drily say the streets are so dangerous that even the dogs are too scared to go outside.

The city has been stalked by violence for 18 months, after English-speaking separatists declared an independent state and took up arms against the French-speaking authorities.

In Buea, barely a day goes by without the "Amba Boys" attacking police stations, state-run enterprises and public buildings -- anything that is a recognisable symbol of the state.

GUNFIRE

Gunfire is heard frequently, despite army patrols introduced as part of a wide-ranging crackdown, and kidnapping is rampant.

Last month, around 15 rebels entered the city, firing into the air and burning cars. After they left, people found a decapitated head left on the pavement. The victim has so far not been identified.

A disturbing video being shared on social media shows a woman in her 30s being disfigured by separatists who accuse her of being an informant for the army.

EU WARNING

On Tuesday, the EU issued a statement warning about Cameroon's political and security situation, pointing especially to the two restive anglophone regions, where there were "persistent violence and violations of human rights".

One civil servant, who asked not to be identified, told AFP he had been living in his office for five months out of fear of being attacked.

"I spend the night at the office to avoid the trip home," he said. "Informants could see that I was disobeying the Amba Boys' ban on working for the government."

Nearby, his camp bed was folded in one corner, just beside his suitcase. Two jackets were hung up nearby while the remains of the previous day's meal sat on a hotplate.

CONFLICT

The town, once known as a peaceful haven nestled at the foot of Mount Cameroon, has been transformed by the conflict.

"Buea is suffering," one local radio presenter recently lamented on air.

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