The Cameroonian diaspora in South Africa’s political capital, Pretoria, seized the country’s Embassy on Friday morning from where they moved to the UN building calling for an end to the Anglophone crisis.
Through posters displayed at the Embassy building, the diaspora protesters said Cameroon’s long-serving President, Paul Biya, “Must Go!” adding “No to war in Northwest and Southwest,” and “Yes to inclusive dialogue”.
Dozens of mostly French-speaking Cameroonians had marched, undisturbed by police, from the Embassy in Pretoria to UN headquarters in South Africa
“Cameroon must be free; Cameroon must be free. Paul Biya Must go; Enough is enough,” said one of the protesters.
At the Cameroonian Embassy in Pretoria, protesters displayed flowers, lighted candles and displayed pictures of seven schoolchildren recently killed in Kumba on October 24.
Messages posted at the embassy read that they want a “consensual reformation of the electoral system”.
Cameroon’s President, 87-year-old Paul Biya, is celebrating 38 years in power today. He has been ruling the central African nation since November 6, 1982, when he succeeded the country’s first President, Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Some Cameroonians think President Biya has failed to develop the nation and has been unable to keep the English-speaking minority populations at peace with the French-majority government.
In November 2016, the minority Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest started protesting against French marginalization and lack of development which later turned into secessionist calls.
The conflict has persisted till present and on October 24 this year, unknown gunmen brutally killed seven schoolchildren in the Southwest city of Kumba.
After the incident, a wave of protests were staged in the country’s major cities, with protesters demanding an end to the crisis and an inclusive dialogue between government and separatists in the two regions.