The News Scroll 05 October 2019  Last Updated at 2:37 am | Source: PTI

Cameroon president says dropping prosecution against ''some'' political rivals

Cameroon president says dropping prosecution against ''some'' political rivals
Yaounde, Oct 5 (AFP) Cameroon''s President Paul Biya has announced that he had ordered prosecutions to be dropped against "some" opposition leaders, including a number from the main Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) led by his jailed rival by Maurice Kamto.

"I have ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before Military Tribunals against some officials and militants of political parties in particular the (MRC)," he said on his official Twitter account in English, adding in French that it affected those "arrested and detained for acts committed in contesting the results of the recent presidential elections".

He did not specify whether the decision would affect Kamto, Cameroon''s main opposition leader who unsuccessfully claimed victory in last year''s poll.

Kamto went on trial with 88 others in a military court in September on insurrection, hostility to the motherland and rebellion charges -- crimes which could carry the death penalty.

Their next hearing was scheduled for October 8.

He was arrested in late January after months of peaceful opposition protests over the results of the October 2018 election won by Biya, who has been in power for 37 years.

The crackdown on Kamto and the opposition caused outrage among rights groups and many western governments.

Biya''s shock announcement comes on the closing day of crunch talks aimed at easing a separatist crisis in Cameroon''s anglophone regions.

Two areas in western Cameroon -- the Northwest Region and Southwest Region -- are home to most of the country''s anglophones, who account for about a fifth of a population that is overwhelmingly French-speaking.

Two years ago, decades of resentment at perceived discrimination boiled over into an armed campaign for independence that has met with a brutal crackdown.

The president on Thursday announced the release of "more than 330 people" detained in connection with the anglophone crisis. (AFP) RHL

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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