International arrest warrants for leaders of the Cameroonian Anglophone separatist party have been issued by authorities in Cameroon.
Fifteen warrants have been issued for leaders of the South Cameroon National Council (SCNC), Cameroon Online, a French Cameroonian online news site reports.
English speakers in the country have long complained of being discriminated against in the largely French-speaking central African country.
The group, which makes up about one-fifth of the population, say they are often excluded from top jobs in the civil service and that most government documents are only published in French in spite of English being an official language of the country.
Things came to a head in October 2016, after the government appointed French-speaking judges in an English-speaking region.
Protests ensued, and since then, a number of activists have been detained without trial and an English-language TV channel has been banned, reportedly for being an “opposition” channel. Protests have even extended to the closure of schools, condemning the employment of French-speaking teachers.
Dozens of protesters were killed during clashes with security forces in October, following government’s decision to ban pro-independence rallies in September.
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, president of the Anglophone consortium, is reportedly one of the fifteen that have arrest warrants against them.
Tabe is currently on a visit to the state of Minnesota in the United States. He now faces arrest and extradition.