YAOUNDE, CAMEROON (AP) — A surge of violence in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions threatens to derail the the West African nation’s Parliamentary election yesterday, as militant separatists kidnap scores of candidates and warn civilians not to vote, observers said.
At least 120 candidates have been abducted in the North West and South West regions over the past two weeks.
Only about 60 of the candidates have been released, and the separatists on social media have indicated they will release the rest after the election.
Residents said suspected separatists have chopped off the fingers of at least 12 people caught with voter cards.
“They said I did not respect their injunction that no one should be found with the cards,” said resident of the southwestern town of Kumba who escaped to the city of Yaounde Bunui Claudine. She said she will not return until after the election “because I am not sure my security is assured”.
The threats by separatists come as opposition leader who claims he won the 2018 presidential election Maurice Kamto has called for a boycott of the elections, saying they will not be free or fair.