The celebrated human rights defender said the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have the right to peacefully celebrate October 1 as Independence Day without interference from government soldiers.

“We have a right to celebrate 1 October in a peaceful manner. So, I call on the government to allow people to come out peacefully to celebrate the Independence of Southern Cameroons. Celebrating the day does not mean that we have an independent state, but it is also important for us to celebrate.”

He also called on Anglophone Cameroonians to be peaceful today as they celebrate.

“I also call on the people of Southern Cameroon who will be coming out also to celebrate the day in a peaceful way that there will be no violence, there will be no attacks, there will be no killings of our people and there will be no destructions of property,” he said in an interview with MMI.

October 1 has for the past three years been celebrated in the North West and South West as Independence Day, though it is usually met with a crackdown from soldiers.

Tomorrow will mark 59 years since English-speaking Western Cameroon reunified with French-speaking East Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon in 1961.

But for the past three years, Anglophone Cameroonians have often used October 1 to protest grievances including marginalisation, with primarily secessionist demonstrations usually held across towns in the Regions.