Cameroon’s campaign season for its December 6 regional council elections has started. The campaigns commence amid threats and attacks from separatists fighting to create an English-speaking state in the French-majority country.
The separatists vowed to disrupt the polls. They also attacked several military convoys dispatched to protect voters. Cameroonian authorities are now pleading with citizens to help recently deployed troops by denouncing suspects.
Government officials in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions say councilors and traditional leaders who constitute the electoral college are increasingly receiving death threats from fighters.
Councilor Emile Ngalla, 47, ran away from his home after he was threatened by separatists. The council fled from Bui to Mezam on Saturday. The areas are both administrative areas in Cameroon’s English-speaking Northwest region.
“I am not sure taking [I will take] part in the elections, but all I want to beg is that the government should enforce security for those who have the courage to do it [participate]. The issue of elections is bringing a lot of fear,” he said.
He also said separatist fighters came to his home and threatened to kill him if he takes part in Cameroon’s December 6 regional council elections. Ngalla said he will stay in the safer English-speaking northwestern town of Bamenda until the elections are over.
A worrying video has also been circulating on social media. An armed man in his 30s appears in the video threatening to kill candidates. The man says the candidates must stop campaigning and resign.
“I am coming out today to make it clear to the international community that there will be no elections come December 6, 2020. I want to also advise all our people, stay vigilant. There will be no elections,” he said.
Things are expected to get more worse as the country heads towards the December 6 elections.