A Cameroon separatist movement has warned CAF that the northwestern city of Limbe is a war zone and unfit for African Nations Championship matches.
These matches include pool D matches involving Namibia, Zambia, Guinea and Tanzania. The tournament is due to run from 16 January to 7 February across three cities. Other tournament venues are in Yaoundé and Japoma Douala.
“Caf shall be morally and legally be held liable for any loss of human life”, Ambazonia Governing Council foreign affairs secretary Larry Ayamba cautioned.
It is unclear if the threat is authentic as there was no immediate response from the tournament’s organisers or Namibia Football Association.
“Caf is strongly advised to immediately terminate any plan to play any game in Victoria (Limbe), to host ant team anywhere in the territory of Ambazonia, or to cause the gathering and movement of spectators for Cad games in Ambazonia for urgent safety and security reasons,” Ayamba stated.
People in Ambazonia, the English speaking part of the country, have often claimed they are being unfairly treated by Paul Biya’s French-centred government. Biya has been Cameroon’s President since 1982.
This resulted in militant secessionist groups symbolically proclaiming the independence of a new nation — including the two Anglophone regions — called Ambazonia, which lies between Nigeria to the west and Cameroon to the east.
The leader of the secession fighters, Julius Ayuk Tabe, and other members of his group are in Cameroonian prisons where they have been sentenced for life.
It is a conflict which is scarred by violence and severe human rights violations from both security forces and armed groups, Amnesty International reported. Over 3 000 people have died and close to half a million have been displaced. Multiple separatists groups have formed in the southwest and northwest of the country.
At least five people died and five more were wounded on Wednesday after a roadside bomb exploded in Cameroon’s Northwest region.