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CAMEROON: Village exodus after offensive against secessionists

Hundreds of people have fled villages in western Cameroon amid a military crackdown on a secessionist movement which wants independence for the country’s two English-speaking regions.

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People have been arriving in the towns of Bamenda and Kumfa, with others crossing the border into Nigeria where they have relatives.

They have told BBC correspondents that they are fleeing a military offensive.

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The army has not given details of its operations around Mamfe in the Manyu area, but the government had warned it would clamp down on the secessionist Ambazonia Defense Forces.

The group has boasted of killing 10 soldiers and police.

Most people in Cameroon speak French, but since last year the English-speaking minority has been demanding more rights.

The resulting violent clampdown by security forces and hundreds of arrests have only served to generate support among English speakers for breaking away from Cameroon.

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