The United States announced on Monday visa restrictions against “leaders” and “accomplices” of violence in western Cameroon, the scene of a four-year bloody conflict between armed Anglophone groups and the army.
The sanctions are aimed at “those who undermine the peaceful resolution of the crisis,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement, without naming those targeted by the ban.
Members of the anglophone minority in the country’s westernmost provinces have long complained of being
marginalised by the French-speaking majority and President Paul Biya, in power for 38 years.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the visa restrictions would apply to those “believed to be responsible for, or
complicit in undermining the peaceful resolution of the crisis in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.”
“We condemn those who undermine the peace by provoking or inciting violence, human rights violations and also threats to peacekeepers and humanitarian workers,” the U.S. diplomacy added.
“We continue to call for both the Cameroonian government and separatist armed groups to end the violence and
engage in a dialogue without preconditions,” he also added in a statement.
In the past four years, they have killed more than 3,500 people and also over 700,000 have fled their homes to escape the conflict.
The UN and international aid groups say both troops and rebels have committed abuses and crimes against civilians.
By Victoria E.I