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Article

3 Feb 2017

Author:
Kieron Monks, CNN

Cameroon goes offline after Anglophone revolt

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A crippling Internet shutdown is entering a third week in the English-speaking region of Cameroon. The government suspended services for Southwest and Northwest province after a series of protests that resulted in violence and the arrest of community leaders. The shutdown has proved particularly damaging in the city of Buea, the capital of Southwest that has been lauded as Cameroon's "Silicon Mountain," where dozens of successful start-ups have been launched. "(The ban) has affected us very badly," says Otto Akama, community manager of Activspaces, a tech hub and incubator that serves many of the city's young entrepreneurs. "We have empty offices all over the city. All tech companies are down. Most banks are down and ATM machines are not working so people don't have access to cash."...Residents of Cameroon's two English-speaking provinces have longstanding grievances against the largely-francophone central government, complaining of economic marginalization and the imposition of French legal and education systems upon them. "We have problems with water, roads and healthcare not being delivered," says Edna Njilin, secretary general of the opposition Cameroon People's Party. "We don't want our teachers delivering lessons in French."

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