Swiss government mediating in Cameroon's separatist crisis

July 21, 2019 - 11:17 am

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Switzerland's ambassador to Cameroon says his government is helping to negotiate a peaceful end to the separatist crisis in which an estimated 2,000 have died.

Ambassador Pietro Lazzeri said the negotiations are being guided by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mark Bareta, a representative of the separatist movement, said in a post on Facebook that two meetings have already taken place in Geneva, without giving further details.

Cameroon's separatist problem worsened on October 1, 2017, when militant secessionist groups proclaimed the independence of an English-speaking state they call Ambazonia. Cameroon President Paul Biya responded in November 2017 by declaring war against the separatists, calling them terrorists.

The United Nations estimates that at least 2, 000 people have been killed and more than 530,000 displaced since fighting broke out.

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