Cameroon has shut down internet in English-speaking regions of the country after it outlawed at least two Anglophone groups – Southern Cameroons National Council and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.
The groups had taken to the streets to protest against marginalization by the French-speaking led government.
English speakers have long complained of discrimination. They say that official documents are always in French and that the language barrier disqualifies them from most government jobs.
Some support breaking away to form their own state.
The Southwest and Northwest regions have been without internet for more than 10 days after the government ordered the country’s telecommunications providers to shut off internet connections to the regions.
That, in turn, has led to a new campaign using the hashtag “Bring Back Our Internet”.
The government says the internet blackout and arrests of political leaders are necessary to maintain peace.
Cameroon’s main language is French, but about one-fifth of the country’s 22 million people are English speakers. The English-speaking Cameroonians are concentrated in the country’s northwest and southwest regions, which were colonised by Britain.
Cameroonians have also been receiving texts from authorities warning them not to post ‘information they can’t prove’ on social media.
She shared a screenshot of the text message: