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Cameroon must de-escalate Anglophone crisis, allow human rights monitors: U.N.

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The United Nations Human Rights chief has stressed that it is in the interest of the Cameroonian government to de-escalate tensions arising from the Anglophone crisis.

In an oral update by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council on March 7, 2018; he added that his office had yet to be granted access to monitor rights violations.

His address also addressed the arrest of Anglophone leaders in Nigeria and their subsequent deportation to Cameroon, where they are yet to be put before court. The U.N. has criticized the move saying it violated international principles.

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The Anglophone regions remain under curfew imposed by their respective governors. The curfews have been imposed supposedly to allow security forces to contain attacks by armed attacks by separatists on members of the security forces.

About 24 members of the security forces – the military, police and gendarmes – have so far been killed in guerilla style attacks especially on checkpoints. The separatists have also reported having kidnapped two government officials.

The government still maintains that there is security in the regions but recently created a fifth military region in the capital of the North West region, Bamenda. The move was seen as a means to face off with the separatists.

The separatists under the so-called Ambazonia Republic have since October 2017 attempted to breakaway from French-majority Cameroon. There has been international calls for dialogue to end the crisis which has also created a humanitarian situation with people fleeing into Nigeria.

“In Cameroon, what appears to be long-standing structural discrimination in the Anglophone region of the country has led to continuing clashes between security forces and separatist groups.

“The arrest, in Nigeria, of 47 Anglophone community leaders, and their extradition to Cameroon has reportedly led to renewed violence in the south-west and north-west of the country.

“Allegations of summary executions of civilians by members of the security forces have been reported, and are generating widespread resentment. I regret that my Office has not been given access to verify these allegations.

“Acknowledging the complex challenges facing the authorities – including renewed displacement from the Central African Republic and the increase in Boko Haram attacks in the north – I urge the Government to make every effort to de-escalate the conflict in the Anglophone regions, and to allow unimpeded access to human rights monitors so that accurate information on the situation can inform constructive engagement on the way forward.”

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UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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