YAOUNDE, July 25 (Xinhua) — Calm has returned to Buea Central Prison in Cameroon’s war-torn English-speaking region of Southwest, said an official statement released Thursday evening.
The protests in Buea came a day after Anglophone detainees in the country’s largest prison, commonly called Kondengui Central Prison, organized violent protests to press for good prison conditions.
On Tuesday, Anglophone detainees blocked the main entrance to the prison and set fire to “important” parts of the prison, the statement said, adding that government forces fought running battles with the prisoners.
“Two government forces and 43 detainees were injured. Twenty of them were immediately taken to the prison hospital. No human life was lost,” Rene Emmanuel Sadi, Cameroon’s minister of communication and government spokesman, said in the statement.
The situation in most areas where there were disturbances has been contained, Sadi added.
“The government strongly condemns these unacceptable acts perpetrated by detainees on trial. The government reiterates its determination to accelerate the judicial procedures in conformity with the law,” he said.
Since November 2017, Cameroon has been facing serious security challenges in the two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to create an independent nation they called “Ambazonia.”
At least 430,000 people have been displaced internally by the conflict, according to the United Nations. The crisis also cost the lives of more than 300 soldiers, according to the Cameroon army. There are no official figures of the number of separatists killed.