News24.com | Cameroon frees anglophone youths in bid to end protests


News24.com | Cameroon frees anglophone youths in bid to end protests
  1. News24.com | Cameroon frees anglophone youths in bid to end protests
    www.news24.com
    Cameroonian authorities have freed 21 young protesters arrested during deadly clashes, hoping to calm growing protests by the English-speaking minority who complain they are treated as second-class…
    Africa

Yaound - Cameroonian authorities on Tuesday freed 21 young protesters arrested during deadly clashes, hoping to calm growing protests by the English-speaking minority who complain they are treated as second-class citizens.

Schools and courts have been shut in Cameroon's two anglophone regions since November after teachers and lawyers went on strike in protest at what they say is the marginalisation of their community.

The English-speaking regions, in the northwest and southwest, are longtime bastions of opposition to President Paul Biya and a recent surge in unrest comes ahead of a crucial presidential election next year in the majority French-speaking nation.

General strikes kept shops shuttered in several anglophone cities on Monday, and the secessionist groups which organised the action have vowed to stage the same action on the same day every week.

But as authorities look to ease the protests, state radio reported that 21 detained youths had been released in "a new step in the search for solutions in the crisis born from the demands of anglophone teachers' and lawyers' unions".

The youths were detained on December 8 during violent clashes between protesters and security forces in the opposition stronghold of Bamenda which left at least two people dead and saw nearly 60 arrested.

Government officials have been negotiating with the teachers and lawyers' unions, but some unions had walked out of the talks demanding the release of the arrested protesters.

A fifth of Cameroon's 22…

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