MSF asks Cameroon to allow it to resume work in hotspot

Medical charity MSF on Tuesday asked Cameroon to let it resume work in the country’s insurgency-riven English-speaking west, saying tens of thousands were deprived of medical care.

MSF (Doctors Without Borders) was banned from working in the Northwest region on 8 December on the grounds that it was “colluding” with armed local groups.

A bitter independence struggle by English-speaking rebels has been raging in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions since 2017.

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Members of the anglophone minority in the French-speaking country have long complained of being marginalised.

In the past four years, more than 3 500 people have been killed and over 700 000 have fled their homes to escape the conflict.

“Given the scale of the health needs of the population, MSF urges the Cameroonian government to immediately lift this suspension,” the group said in a statement.

It added that “tens of thousands of people were without access to free and vital health care”.

MSF runs the sole free ambulance service in the region, supports several health centres and trains medical staff.

It said its workers regularly faced threats from government and non-state agents.

Contacted by AFP, Cameroon’s communications ministry did not react to the MSF appeal.

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