20 people slain in separatist ambush in Cameroon

20 people slain in separatist ambush in Cameroon
In an attack on a community in one of Cameroon's volatile anglophone districts on Monday, separatist militants killed about twenty people, including women and children, the government reported.

The attack took place during the night in the western Cameroonian village of Egbekaw, which has seen seven years of violent combat between rebels and government forces.

More than 20 people were slain, including men, women, and children, according to Mengot Victor Arrey-Nkongho, the presidency's minister, who spoke on public radio. "It's not acceptable."

Conflict has engulfed Cameroon's predominantly English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions ever since separatists proclaimed their independence in 2017.

That came after decades of complaints over what the francophone majority saw to be discrimination.

Viang Mekala, the prefect of the Manyu department, stated over the radio that "terrorists" had utilized "traditional arms" and guns to commence fire in the middle of the night.

He said, "There are about twenty dead, seven seriously injured, and twelve houses burned."

Ninety-nine-year-old President Paul Biya, who has ruled the country in central Africa with an iron grip for 41 years to the day, has responded to requests for more autonomy by cracking down.

The International Crisis Group reports that over a million people have been forced to escape their homes as a result of the violence, which has claimed over 6,000 lives.

That was at four in the morning. A homeowner who asked not to be named over the phone told AFP that "armed young people came and fired on sleeping residents in their houses and set a whole block of houses on fire" due to security concerns.

"Twenty-three people—some of whom are not even recognizable due to the fire—have already been pulled from the wreckage."

He stated that there was probable cause to think it had to do with November 6th, the anniversary of Biya's presidential ascension in 1982.

He said that the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (RDPC) has scheduled a gathering in the region.

Both the government military and the separatists have been charged with crimes during the conflict.

No one had taken responsibility for the attack on Egbekaw.

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