from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – SOME Cameroonian journalists have sought refuge in Nigeria and South Africa after fleeing a crackdown on media and activists in the Central African country.
Others have fled to the United States of America.
The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), which disclosed the trend, said this was the aftermath of the unrest gripping the central African country over the past two years as English-speaking regions seek autonomy from Cameroon.
They claim the government dominated by French-speakers is marginalising them.
State actors and groups clamouring for self rule have been identified as the major perpetrators of freedom of expression violations from the beginning of 2017 to date.
Security officials, according to AFEX, have arrested, physically assaulted journalists and destroyed their equipment.
“The crackdown has forced a number of journalists to flee the country to neighbouring Nigeria. Some have even gone on exile to the United States and South Africa,” the media rights group stated.
Others have left the volatile regions to find safety in major towns such as Douala and the capital city, Yaounde.
AFEX and the Association for Integrated Development and Interactive Solidarity jointly called on the government of President Paul Biya to take urgent steps to end to the ongoing crisis in the English-speaking regions and ensure that the rights of journalists and activists were respected.
– CAJ News