Cameroon

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Cameroon atrocity: Finding the soldiers who killed this woman
In July 2018 a horrifying video began to circulate on social media. It shows two women and two young children being led away at gunpoint by a group of Cameroonian soldiers.

Amnesty condemns Cameroon beheading

Soldiers carry a coffin
Getty Images
Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon's separatist conflict

Rights group Amnesty International has authenticated a viral video showing the decapitated head of a Cameroonian security officer apparently filmed by separatists.

It says the footage and "brutal attacks against ordinary people and security forces" are proof of the "horrific escalation of violence" in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions.

Hundreds have been killed and more than 200,000 people forced from their homes since late 2016.

This video is the latest in a series of clips from Cameroon's violent conflict to circulate online. The Amnesty forensic experts who examined it say the gendarme had bruises on his head, which was laid on a blood-soaked cloth close to what they say could be his genitalia. An individual identifies himself in the clip as being a member of the armed separatists group "Ambazonia Liberation Forces".

Amnesty believes the video was filmed in Cameroon's North-West region, but says it has not been able to determine the exact location.

Aid agencies' efforts to assist civilians have been frustrated by the struggle to access conflict areas. Journalists have also been denied access to conflict zones.

Presidential elections are due to take place next month, in which President Paul Biya is seeking a seventh term in office.

Map of Cameroon
BBC
Cameroon's two English-speaking regions are the North-West and South-West
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Villages in Cameroon are on fire.

Hundreds of shocking mobile phone videos from Cameroon have surfaced in the past six months. They are coming from the English speaking part of the country, where rebels are fighting to form an independent state called "Ambazonia".

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Heavy fighting between Cameroon army and rebels

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Soldiers of the 21st Motorized Infantry Brigade patrol in the streets of Buea, South-West Region of Cameroon on April 26, 2018. - A social crisis that began in November 2016 has turned into armed conflict since October 2017
Getty Images
Cameroon troops have been battling to end the rebellion in its English-speaking areas

There has been fierce fighting between the military in Cameroon and Anglophone separatist rebels in the north-west.

Residents of the town of Esu say a gun battle lasted for six hours.

There are reports that the rebels later captured automatic weapons from a contingent of Cameroonian soldiers during an ambush and that municipal council offices were set on fire.

Correspondents say the rebels are trying to make the English-speaking areas of Cameroon ungovernable in an effort to force the government into peace talks.

The minister of territorial administration, Paul Atanga Nji, said the separatists were being wiped out and urged those he described as remnants to surrender.

Cameroon 'may reduce polling stations'

Frédéric Takang

BBC Afrique

Cameroon's electoral body has suggested condensing the number of polling stations in the restive North-West region when elections take place in October.

Elecam Chairman Enow Abraham Egbe made the proposal during a meeting with political parties at the weekend in Bamenda, where many expressed concerns that ongoing violence and calls by some for a breakaway anglophone state could undermine efforts to hold the vote.

If enacted, he said, the North-West region's 1,770 polling station would be grouped together into 228.

Some opposition politicians object to it, saying that it would force voters to travel greater distances and potentially put them off from exercising their democratic right.

A policeman guards the entrance to offices of Cameroon's opposition SDF party (pictured in February 2018)
AFP
A policeman guards the entrance to offices of Cameroon's opposition SDF party (pictured in February 2018)

Cameroon admits soldiers were arrested over execution video

A still from the clip
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The viral clip shows two women and a girl being shot

Cameroon's government has announced the arrest of six soldiers following a probe into a video released a few weeks ago that documented the abuse of civilians, the privately-owned Cameroon Info news site reports.

It marks a U-turn from their previous denials that any arrests had been made over the video which emerged last month.

The six soldiers are suspected of being the perpetrators of, or accomplices in the summary executions of women and children in the Far North Region, Cameroon Info reports.

In the clip which circulated widely on social media, men wearing military fatigues shoot two women, including one with a baby on her back, and a little girl.

They are heard accusing the victims of being connected to the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

The Cameroonian army is deployed in the country's Far North region to counter frequent incursions by Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria, where the jihadists are based.

Rights groups have accused the Cameroonian armed forces of carrying out war crimes in their fight against the militant group.

Chief killed in Cameroon's restive Anglophone region

A paramount chief was shot dead on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in Cameroon's restive South-West region, according to multiple local news sources.

Itoh Esoh, ruler of the Balondo people, in the Ndian division, was attacked as he left church, news site Journal du Cameroun reports.

The news outlet says the killing has created a tense atmosphere in Ekondi Titi commune which has been experiencing "indiscriminate shootings".

Two weeks ago, seven traditional rulers from the surrounding area were released after one of them died in captivity, provoking anger and outrage.

The government blamed separatists group Ambazonia, but the group has not commented.

No group has claimed the killings of chief Itoh Esoh nor have there been any suspects identified or arrested.

Watch: What is happening in Cameroon?

Separatists in Cameroon's two mainly English-speaking areas - the North-West and South-West regions - have been demanding independence.

They say the Francophone majority discriminate against them.

Protests launched in 2016, to push for the integration of English in schools and courts, have morphed into an armed rebellion in the Anglophone region and clashes have resulted in people fleeing the region.

Human rights groups have also reported indiscriminate killings and abuses on both sides.