President Paul Biya was declared the winner of the presidential elections in Cameroon, two weeks after a vote tainted by violence, boycotts and unrest, extending his 36-year reign over the Central African nation.
Paul Biya won 71% of the vote. The ruling party and the council have defended the electoral process, but many in Cameroon and in the international community consider the voting to be neither free nor fair.
Critics accuse Mr Biya, who will begin his seventh term as president, of leaving the facade of multi-party democracy to hide his authoritarian regime while repressing opposition leaders who might question his authority.
Paul Biya maintains his iron grip on the Central African country despite a growing secessionist movement, which has worsened security in the country.
He has been accused by rights groups of presiding over a brutal regime characterized by human rights abuses, particularly against residents of the English-speaking provinces of Cameroon.
Paul Biya’s government has been accused of using its army to crack down on armed separatists. Secessionist fighters are also accused of kidnapping and killing soldiers and civilians.
In a report released last month, Amnesty International said it recorded 260 security-related incidents, including kidnappings of civilians and violence between Cameroonian soldiers and armed English-speaking separatists this year.
The human rights organization said 400 civilians had been killed since January amid growing attacks between armed separatist groups and security forces in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
Biya, in the past, has condemned all “acts of violence, regardless of their sources and perpetrators”.
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