Cameroon separatists threaten to attack Africa Cup football teams, including Tunisia

Cameroon separatists threaten to attack Africa Cup football teams, including Tunisia
2 min read
20 December, 2021
Militants threatened attacks on teams playing in Cameroon southern separatist regions.
Tunisia's football team was threatened for playing in the Africa Cup of Nations [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty]

Cameroon's Anglophone separatists have warned they could target the four football teams - including Tunisia - playing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group F matches in the region.

Tunisia, Mauritania, Gambia, and Mali will play in the town of Limbe, southern Cameroon, in mid-January, close to where a separatist insurgency has been raging.

Earlier this month, Cameroon's Ambazonia separatist movement threatened to carry out attacks against Limbe and Buea - two towns that have stadiums hosting Africa Cup matches. 

"We call on the African Football Federation, international football federations and Total Energies to take their responsibilities and prevent the tournament from taking place," the diaspora-based opposition group "La Brigade Anti Sardinard" said in a warning letter apparently sent to the tournament's organisers.

The separatists said they will disrupt the games if the Cameroon government does not withdraw troops from two English-speaking western regions, which have been trying to separate from the rest of French-speaking Cameroon for five years through a bloody insurrection that has cost hundreds of lives.

The AFCON tournament will run from 9 January to 6 February and gather 24 African soccer teams, officials, and thousands of fans. Cameroon authorities have assured that the tournament will be safe and deployed additional troops to the separatist regions to prevent rebels from advancing during the games.

The New Arab has approached AFCON for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.