YAOUNDE, Cameroon – As campaigning for Cameroon’s presidential election begins, thousands of civilians continue to flee the deadly violence between the government and Anglophone separatists who threaten to disrupt the Oct. 7 voting.
Even as President Paul Biya, in power since 1982, vows to hold the largely French-speaking country together, the fighting grows.
Muslim and Christian clerics and leaders of all major denominations say they are afraid a wave of carnage could occur if peace is not found before the election. The minister of territorial administration says attacks were reported in at least 20 towns and villages over the weekend.
Cameroon’s government vows the election will be peaceful and that voting will take place nationwide. The 85-year-old Biya is favored to win another seven-year term.