The United States on Monday imposed visa restrictions on those believed to be undermining efforts to end the Cameroon Anglophone conflict with state forces.
The English-speaking rebels have been at war with federal forces since 2017, as they try to break away from the predominantly Francophone government. More than 3,500 people have died and 700,000 have been displaced in the violence.
Announcing the visa sanctions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was deeply concerned by the continued insecurity and called for both sides to negotiate for peace.
“This decision reflects our commitment to advance a dialogue to peacefully resolve the Anglophone crisis and support respect for human rights,” he said in a statement.
He did not state the individuals to be possibly affected by the visa restrictions.
The English-speaking people of Cameroon accuse the Francophone central government of marginalization.
According to Reuters, rights groups accuse both sides of committing atrocities. While the government typically dismisses these accusations, it has, in a few cases, subsequently arrested soldiers and accused them of being involved in killings and torture.
The extrajudicial killings, torture, and other human rights violations by Cameroon’s security forces, in 2019, forced the Trump administration to end preferential trade benefits with the Central African country.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: Reuters | Media Agencies