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Cameroon opposition declares victory in election, as Anglophone region boycotts polls

Professor Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement's (CRM), claimed victory in Sunday’s presidential election despite the constitutional council not yet proclaiming the official results and a massive boycott from conflict-ridden Anglophone regions.

Supporters of Kamto took to the streets of the capital Yaoundé to celebrate his victory on Monday, despite the lack of official declaration of the results. This ends reign of Africa’s oldest leader President Paul Biya who took office in 1982. Had he won this election he would have retained power till 2025. 

The presidential election was marred by brutal violence in the Anglophone region of the country as separatists waged war against the largely Francophone government.

Al Jazeera reports that “gunfighting between the military and separatists began on Saturday in at least six towns and villages including Nkambe, Mamfe and Kumbo”. According to the ICG violence in the Anglophone regions has killed “at least 420 civilians, 175 members of the security forces and an unknown number of separatists”. The UN further reports, "tens of thousands have been displaced by that conflict, and 246,000 people have fled their homes in the southwest and 25,000 have left the country altogether for Nigeria”.  

Hans de Marie Heungoup, an analyst for the ICG reported that “turnout in the English regions has been particularly low with virtually all the returns we have seen suggesting less than five percent”.

Further instances of violence were reported in the English-speaking northwest town of Bameda where the military killed two armed men, according to Governor Deben Tchoffo of the Northwest region, who said "we shall not allow terrorists to disrupt the election".

See more from Al Jazeera here, Reuters here and AFP here.