Cameroon’s president, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, says he will run again in October’s election.
The 85-year-old President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, has announced that he will be a candidate in the 7 October presidential election that would, if he wins, extend his 35-year-rule.
Biya tweeted in French and in English on Friday: “I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls. I will stand as your candidate in the upcoming presidential election.”
Cameroon abolished presidential term limits in 2008, which allowed the octogenarian to run for re-election in 2011.
The country is currently going through a period of strife sparked by calls for a separate state by residents of the English-speaking regions, who say they are discriminated against by the Francophone majority.
Biya’s government has responded with force, sparking deadly clashes with secessionist militias in the Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.
Despite pressure from the UN and the AU to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, President Biya has said he was not open to any negotiations on the constitutional reform of the country’s structure.
Cameroon is also battling the threat from Boko Haram extremists crossing the border from Nigeria.