President Paul Biya on Friday signed decree convening voters for the 2018 Presidential polls for Sunday, October 7.
The decree read over Cameroon’s National station stipulates that polling stations shall be open at 8am and close at 6pm.
Biya’s decree comes amidst worsening insecurity in the two Anglophone Regions (Northwest and Southwest), caused by the escalating Anglophone crisis.
The crisis, which started as a modest industrial strike action by English-speaking lawyers and teachers against the imposition of French, has spiraled into an unprecedented internal armed conflict. There are fears the country could slide into civil war as the conflict persists. In recent months, frequent clashes between government forces and separatists seeking to establish a state they would call “Ambazonia” has left scores of civilians dead, including women and children. The recurrent deadly confrontations have provoked mass movement of people.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that no fewer than 160,000 people have been internally displaced, while a further over 21,000 have crossed to next door Nigeria as refugees.
In a bid to express dissent activists have instituted a civil disobedience action called “ghost town”; which grounds daily activities every Monday, with extensions to some other key days.