Can separatists in West Africa strongarm their way to independence? | DW News

DW News published this video item, entitled “Can separatists in West Africa strongarm their way to independence? | DW News” – below is their description.

Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of a separatist group calling for an independent State of Biafra. His followers call themselves the ‘Indigenous People of Biafra’ and they’ve not given up their dream of their own homeland in southeastern Nigeria. The region has seen a surge in attacks, with some 130 police officers killed this year alone. In May, Nigeria’s security forces launched an operation to quell the violence which many fear may lead to a new war.

But the conflict between Biafran separatists and the Nigerian government is much older than this recent outbreak.

Meanwhile, reports from Cameroon indicate English speaking separatist militias have joined forces with their Nigerian counterparts. A development that has led to fears of an acceleration in violence. The Biafran secessionists and the Ambazonian Defence Force in southwestern Cameroon share a common border, and a joint purpose: to establish their own states. They say they are already sharing weapons.

One way to defuse the crisis in Nigeria would be good governance. Yet for some in the region it was actually the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a veteran of the Biafran war, that reawakened calls for independence. Now the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu has only heightened tensions.

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  • In This Story: Cameroon

    Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa and West Africa.

    Cameroon is home to over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 25 million people. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984.

    The official languages of Cameroon are French and English. Its religious population consists of 70.7% Christians and 24.4% Muslims. It is governed as a Unitary presidential republic and has good relations with the major powers of France, the United Kingdom and China.

    The largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri River, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua.

    The country is well known for its successful national football team.

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    Nigeria, an African country on the Gulf of Guinea, has many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. Protected areas such as Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park have waterfalls, dense rainforest, savanna and rare primate habitats. One of the most recognizable sites is Zuma Rock, a 725m-tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja that’s pictured on the national currency.

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