African Union election observers to Cameroon have said they are satisfied with the manner in which the country’s presidential election unfolded.
Kwesi Ahoomey-Zunu, head of African Union observation mission for Cameroon’s election told reporters that Cameroon’s Presidential polls went generally well despite hitches from the country’s North West and South West regions. ”
“I do not have an exact evaluation of how things unfolded but by information I obtained, we can say the situation was not too good (in the anglophone regions). In spite of that I think my appraisal is positive,” Kwesi said.
Polls closed at 1700 GMT and the final results must legally be announced within 15 days.
As voting got under way Sunday, security forces shot dead three suspected separatists who had allegedly fired at passersby from a motorcycle in Bamenda, the main city in the northwest region, a local official said.
In Buea, capital of the southwest, three separatists of the so-called Ambazonia Republic separatist movement were gunned down on Friday and a priest was executed by soldiers on Thursday, according to witnesses.
Gunfire was heard in the town throughout the day and a car belonging to the state-run Cameroon Tribune newspaper came under fire.
The army confirmed that voting could not be held in at least one district of the southwest, Lysoka village.
“This area is dangerous. It’s calm but it can erupt at any moment,” a police officer told AFP at the scene.
A heavily-armed convoy had attempted to deliver ballot boxes, signs and voting papers to the village but commanders decided it was too risky and withdrew.
Separatists hold a “significant” amount of territory, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think-tank, and had threatened to disrupt the vote.
Sunday’s vote, in which 6.5 million voters were eligible to cast ballots, followed a last-minute opposition unity bid to dislodge Biya, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers.