Cameraoon – The death of a nurse on Saturday in an attack by “suspected” members of armed groups in Cameroon’s English-speaking north-west, which has been racked by violent conflict between separatists and the military, is “condemned in the strongest possible terms” by the UN. According to a statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “suspected members of armed groups stopped a medical convoy” on Saturday and “shot at one of the two trucks.” A nurse was killed, and two other people were hurt.
“This is completely unacceptable. Medical personnel should be protected in order to continue saving lives, “UN coordinator in Cameroon, Matthias Z. Naab, remarked. The UN “strongly condemns” the incident and “urges those responsible to abstain from restricting access to medical care,” according to the UN. There are a small number of English-speaking people in Cameroon, a mostly French-speaking country that has been run by 89-year-old President Paul Biya with an iron hand for nearly 40 years. They live mostly in the northwest and southwest.
Armed separatists and the military have clashed for the past five years, following the repression of peaceful demonstrations accusing Yaoundé of ostracizing Anglophones in a deadly conflict that has killed over 6,000 people and displaced about a million, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank. The medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was compelled to halt activities in the north-west after authorities accused it of “colluding with local armed groups,” a claim it denied. Five MSF staffers were kidnapped by gunmen on Thursday, this time in the country’s far north, where Islamist organizations linked to Nigeria operate.