Amnesty International has expressed worry over reports that some protesters in the Anglophone region of Cameroon have been killed by security forces.
In a statement issued on Monday, the group said the development represented the campaign by the government to silence opposing voices in the West and South-West regions of Cameroon.
Amnesty International declared that the decision to silence the people was unacceptable.
The statement reads in part: “The reported unlawful killing of several people in the Anglophone regions by the security forces coupled with the blocks on Facebook and WhatsApp represent an extremely worrying escalation of the government’s on-going campaign to silence any form of dissent in the West and South-West regions of Cameroon.
“In order to avoid further bloodshed, the security forces must cease unnecessary and excessive use of force, and protesters should be peaceful if they want to make their voices heard. The government should investigate these killings.
“The arbitrary decision to ban meetings and movement is totally unacceptable. The authorities must respect people’s right to freedom of assembly and movement.”
It would be recalled that soldiers shot dead no fewer than eight people and wounded others in Cameroon’s restless Anglophone region on Sunday during protests by activists.
The people were calling for its independence from the majority Francophone nation.
The demonstrations – timed to take place on the anniversary of Anglophone Cameroon’s independence from Britain – came as a months-old movement against perceived marginalisation by the Francophone-dominated government gathered pace.