Cameroon: 84 soldiers, police killed in months of clashes with English-language separatists

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YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Cameroon’s prime minister says 84 soldiers and police have been killed during months of fighting with separatists who seek an English-language state.

Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Wednesday announced a new $220 million emergency humanitarian assistance plan for hundreds of thousands of civilians that the government says live in precarious conditions because of separatist attacks.

Yang says civilians, mostly in rural areas, have paid the highest price of the “ugly war imposed by the terrorists.” He appeals for national solidarity.

English speakers have called for reforms and greater autonomy, alleging their marginalization by French speakers. The English-speaking community accounts for about one-fifth of Cameroon’s 25 million people.

Amnesty International this month called for an end to “unnecessary and excessive force” on both sides.