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Separatists launched attacks in Anglophone regions during country’s Youth Day, concerns rose over Biya’s succession plans, and jihadist kept up attacks in Far North. In Anglophone regions, violence ran high, notably when separatists 10-11 Feb sought to disrupt Youth Day, national day marking 1961 plebiscite for independence in British Southern Cameroons. Armed militiamen 10 Feb set fire to girl’s secondary school dormitory in Okoyong, Mamfe, South West (SW), announcing ghost town and threatening defaulters to prevent celebrations next day. International diplomats 14 Feb jointly condemned attack and Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC) same day called for attacks on schools to stop. In most Anglophone towns, few people demonstrated on Youth Day in fear of reprisals while marches took place in Francophone regions; President Paul Biya 11 Feb delivered speech without reference to situation in Anglophone areas. Armed separatists conducted attacks throughout month; notably, separatists 1 Feb carried out attacks in North West (NW) in Bui’s division capital Kumbo killing at least three; 7 Feb killed govt soldier in Kumba city. Unidentified armed men 8 Feb also set fire to primary school in SW’s capital Buea. Desertions among security forces increased; notably, police 5 and 16 Feb announced total of twelve officials failed to report in different parts of NW. Govt forces 16 Feb killed lead separatist commander “General” Ebube in Alabukam village (NW). Separatist Interim Govt of Ambazonia faction based in Maryland, U.S., saw rift during month with leader Samuel Sako dismissed but refusing to leave. Several other groups held meetings towards unity: AGovC’s Ayabo Cho (armed wing: Ambazonia Defence Forces) and African Peoples Liberation Front’s Ebenezer Akwanga (armed wing: Southern Cameroon Defence Forces, SOCADEF) 11-12 Feb met in Ireland, discussed common approach to fighting and negotiation; AGovC 26 Feb met representatives of 11 other groups from Ambazonia Coalition for Talks, then jointly agreed to negotiated settlement and pursuit of independence. Amid 13 Feb Biya’s 89th anniversary, speculations arose about succession plans including first lady Chantal Biya’s growing power. Meanwhile, jihadist insurgency continued in north east with attacks on military position; notably, Boko Haram fighters 9-14 Feb killed four civilians in Mayo Tsanaga department.
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