At least two people have been killed, and another 10 wounded, in the latest round of protests in English speaking areas of Cameroon. Police opened fire on protesters in Ndop, a town in the Northwest region, when some 100 people rallied near a police station on Friday ( 10th February).
Witnesses told Reuters that protesters were calling for the release of some people arrested on suspicion they had set alight a school in a Francophone area of the country.
The Southwest and Northwest provinces, Cameroon's only English-speaking region, have been rocked by anti-government protests for months.
Lawyers, teachers and students have been striking and protesting since October 2016 against perceived marginalisation and the use of French in courts and schools in the provinces.
The Cameroonian government is facing condemnation for the way it is handling protests, amid fears another four people were killed during rallies in 2016. Dozens have been arrested, with rights groups calling on authorities to investigate the fatalities.
Authorities have been criticised for their decision to shut down the internet in the English areas.
The block, implemented earlier in January, is forcing people to travel to French regions where they can use the internet.
Amid the ongoing unrest, some groups have taken to the streets demanding a return to a federal state system, the breakaway of the Northwest and Southwest provinces and the restoration of Southern Cameroons, the Republic of Ambazonia, a British mandate during colonisation.
The Cameroonian government, which denied allegations of excessive force by the military and police to quell protests, initially engaged with the organisers of the strikes. However, it has rejected calls for a referendum on a possible return to a federal system.
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Some analysts have claimed authorities are failing to address people's long-standing grievances, which go beyond the use of French in courts and schools. The internet shutdown has now intensified resentment, with claims that the measure is now affecting local businesses.