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US restricts visas over Cameroon conflict

Washington, United States | June 8, 2021, Tuesday @ 14:47 in World » GENERAL | By: AFP | Views: 1771
US restricts visas over Cameroon conflict

An United Nations (UN) Bangladeshi soldier part of MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) stands guard in Central African Republic at the Cameroon border post, on September 22, 2020. The 3R militia is now threatening the RN1, the main road of the country linking the capital Bangui with Cameroon. Trucks must be escorted by the MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) soldiers all along the way. (Camille Laffont / AFP)

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(AFP) - The United States on Monday announced visa restrictions on individuals accused of fueling violence in western Cameroon, which has seen vicious fighting for four years between army troops and separatist English-speaking rebels.

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 continue to call for both the Cameroonian government and separatist armed groups to end the violence and engage in a dialogue without preconditions," he added in a statement.

It gave no details on the number or names of those affected by the US visa measure.

In the past four years, more than 3,500 people have been killed and 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.

© Agence France-Presse

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