Five public employees killed in Cameroon attack
February 12, 2023 01:12 AM
TFive employees of Cameroon's main public agro-industrial group have died after their truck was attacked in the English-speaking west of the country plagued by separatist unrest, the company said Saturday.
"Unidentified armed men attacked a truck carrying workers" on Friday in Mondoni, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) north-west of the economic capital Douala, Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) managing director Franklin Ngoni Njie said in a statement.
Five employees, including a woman, died and a further 44 were injured, one seriously, according to CDC, one of Cameroon's largest employers specialising in rubber, banana and palm oil processing.
No motives were given for the ambush which state broadcaster CRTV reported was "suspected of being separatist fighters".
Cameroon's primarily English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions have been gripped by conflict since separatists declared independence in 2017 after decades of grievances over perceived discrimination by the francophone majority.
President Paul Biya, who has ruled the central African nation with an iron fist for 40 years, has resisted calls for wider autonomy and responded with a crackdown.
The conflict in the former French colony has claimed more than 6,000 lives and forced more than one million people to flee their homes, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank.
Civilians have suffered abuses committed by both sides, NGOs and the United Nations say.
Eighty-percent of Cameroon's population of 24 million are French-speaking. The presence of the large anglophone minority is a legacy of the colonial era.