National dialogue on Cameroon separatist crisis


Cameroon President Paul Biya announced organisation of a national dialogue to solve a separatist crisis in the country’s English-speaking regions.

Biya said the talks, led by the prime minister and starting at the end of this month, would bring together a wide range of people to seek ways to end violence plaguing the region.

An insurgency erupted in late 2017 after government cracked down on peaceful protests in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest English-speaking regions. Protesters complained of being marginalised by the French-speaking majority.

Since then, fighting killed about 1 800 people and displaced over 500 000, according to United Nations estimates.

“The dialogue will rally all the sons and daughters of our beloved and beautiful country to reflect on values dear to us, namely: peace, security, national unity and progress,” Biya said on state television.

He did not specify if representatives for the separatist movements would be invited to participate.

In June, NGO Human Rights Watch said prospects for talks between government and separatist leaders were slim.