Tensions between English-speaking Cameroonians and the West-central African nation’s French-speaking government stretch back to the end of colonial rule, nearly 60 years ago. In the past years, there were violent clashes and several protesters have been killed, reportedly by government security forces.
Now, the state-run Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), is calling for thousands of plantation workers who fled the country's separatist conflict to return to work. About half the company's 20,000 workers left more than four years ago over unpaid wages and the brutal attacks. Although the company said it was safe to return last week, workers are skeptical and say it should first rebuild homes destroyed or damaged in the conflict.
The CDC said it wants thousands of workers back at banana, palm oil, and rubber plantations in the restive Southwest region. Managers of the state-run giant on Monday visited towns and villages in the region to meet with workers who fled unrest in 2018 and ask them to return.