The Cameroonian city of Bamenda is in lockdown after violence erupted, following the sentencing on Tuesday of separatist leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine others to life sentence in jail.
Businesses have been shut and people have been staying at home after shooting between separatist rebels and soldiers, a city resident told reporters
He said, “people in the city, which has the biggest English-speaking population in Cameroon, were despondent about there ever being a way out of the crisis through mediation and dialogue.”
Cameroon’s English speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French speaking majority.
Protests over the increasing use of French in courts and schools in Cameroon’s English speaking heartlands, the North-West and South-West regions, morphed into violence in 2017 and a call for an independent State.
“It’s like the end time is near for the people of Bamenda,” the resident said.
“The act of the military court sentencing these leaders has actually given the impression to the population that there is no hope” he added.