The Latest: Cameroon’s president says he will run again
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — The Latest on Cameroon (all times local):
Cameroon’s president, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, says he will run again in October’s election.
The 85-year-old President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982. He oversees an increasingly restive Central African nation that faces an Anglophone separatist movement and the threat from Boko Haram extremists crossing the border from Nigeria.
In his announcement on Twitter he tells his countrymen that “I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls.”
Biya has faced criticism for his frequent trips overseas. In March, observers pointed out that a Cabinet meeting he held was the first in over two years.
Cameroon got rid of term limits in 2008.
Cameroon’s military says 10 armed Anglophone separatists have been killed after staging an attack against the country’s defense minister during a visit to a town in the restive southwest.
Spokesman Col. Didier Badjeck says Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo was leading a military delegation to motivate soldiers in the town of Kumba late Thursday when separatists hiding in nearby bushes started shooting at the convoy. The military fired back. Several delegation members were injured but the minister was unharmed.
More than 100 attackers who fled are being pursued.
The armed separatists in Cameroon’s southwest and northwest are fighting for the creation of an English-speaking state they call Ambazonia. They had warned the defense minister against visiting their regions.
Security is a growing concern as largely French-speaking Cameroon faces October elections.