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Cameroon opposition party cancels protests after government ban

MARCO LONGARI / AFP | Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroonian opposition party Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) is greeted as he arrives on stage in Yaounde to address a campaign rally for the Presidential elections, on September 30, 2018.
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The main opposition Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon called off demonstrations planned in several cities on Saturday, a party leader said, following a government ban on protests.


"The MRC will not demonstrate today," said Emmanuel Simh, one of the vice presidents of the movement led by Maurice Kamto, the runner-up in last year's presidential election who was arrested this week.

Authorities on Thursday banned planned protests in the capital Yaounde after a series of unauthorized anti-government demonstrations and some 200 arrests.

Former government minister Kamto, who claims to have been cheated out of the presidency, was arrested in the economic capital Douala on Monday.

His lawyers have said he is under investigation for alleged insurrection

Four planned marches, scheduled for Friday and Saturday and the following week, were prohibited for public order reasons.

Opposition marches took place in several towns last weekend, against the re-election of Cameroon's veteran leader Paul Biya.

Biya, 85, who has held power for 36 years, won a seventh consecutive term last October. Kamto came second in the election with 14 percent.


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