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Cameroon opposition party cancels protests

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 14, 2018 Head of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) Maurice Kamto, 64, poses in Yaounde. – Cameroon opposition party says on January 28, 2019 that leader Maurice Kamto was arrested. (Photo by Reinnier KAZE / AFP)

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 unauthorised 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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CameroonMaurice Kamto
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