Cameroon: Separatist Group Announces Two-Week Ceasefire During COVID-19 Pandemic

A map showing Cameroon's Northwest and Southwest regions.
27 March 2020

Cape Town — A separatist militia in Cameroon is to implement a two-week ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBC reports.

The Journal du Cameroun reports that the Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF), which is led by Ebenezer Akwanga, said on Thursday that it was temporarily halting hostilities due to the outbreak of the virus.

Journal du Cameroun quotes Akwanga as saying that the ceasefire - from March 29 to April 12 - is "in order to permit international humanitarian preparation for the COVID-19 prevention".

He is quoted as saying that the fourteen-day ceasefire is a response to UN Secretary General António Guterres's call for a global ceasefire to allow for concerted worldwide action against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Xinhau news agency reports that the ceasefire move has been welcomed by the United Nations.

Separatist fighters in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon are protesting what they say is marginalization by the country's French-speaking majority. SOCADEF is one of these militia groups, Xinhua says.

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