A speech by Cameroonian Prime Minister Dion Ngute on Tuesday during a visit to the capital of the restive North West region that Anglophone separatists had vowed to disrupt was interrupted mid-way by a distant machine gun fire.
Since insurgents seeking to form a breakaway state first took up arms against the military in fire, Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions has been plagued by insecurity that has killed over 3,000 and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.
North West is one of two regions where English-speaking secessionists seeking to form a state called Ambazonia have been battling government forces over perceived marginalisation by Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.
A source at the office of North West’s governor said the shots were fired in the mountains outside Bamenda, the regional capital, and the prime minister was unharmed
“The situation was brought under control,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Before the shots rang out, Ngute told a cheering crowd that he was there to help resolve the crisis. “It is time that this suffering ends for us all. This is what brought me here,” he said in pidgin English.
Ahead of Ngute’s visit to Bamenda, the so-called Ambazonian Defence Forces ordered residents to stay at home, saying that anyone participating in meetings with Ngute did so at their own risk.
“There will be planned military operations to challenge the colonial prime minister’s visit,” they said on Monday.
It was not clear who was responsible, for the incident.