Cameroon Holds Historical Regional Elections Amid Separatists’ Threats

Cameroon is holding its first-ever regional elections on Sunday as separatists from the Anglophone part of the country threaten disruption.

President Paul Biya, who has been leading the country for 38 years said the historical elections for the provinces will further help the political landscape of the country.

The Ambazonian separatists, however, think otherwise, saying it is a way to hold on to leadership for Biya.

Biya’s critics have accused him of neglecting the 10 regions in Cameroon, and in turn, looking away from Northwest and Southwest English-speaking parts of the country.

The law for a decentralized government has been in place since 1996 but Biya has failed to enact it, and 24 years after, local representatives are expected to elect regional leaders.

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The leaders will be a part of infrastructural development plans, but will not have a say in the legislation of the country.

Biya has been accused of promoting autonomy in the country, and the Ambazonian separatists say it’s too little too late for any great change to happen in Cameroon.

Since 2017, at least 3,000 Cameroonians have died in a conflict between the French-dominated leadership and the English speaking part of the country, called Ambazonia.

Biya has been Cameroon’s President since 1982.

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