Political stability is heading south in the West African country of Cameroon.

A crisis sparked by peaceful protests against allegedly marginalization of the English-speaking region of the country is degenerating into open war.

It has led to mass exodus as thousands of English-speaking Cameroonians who are heading to Nigeria as refugees.

But the stakes are even higher after English-speaking militants seeking independence killed four gendarmes (French-speaking policemen) on Monday.

Several separatists were killed by security forces in ensuing clashes, the government spokesman said.

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The separatists have launched a series of deadly raids on government police and soldiers in recent weeks, leading authorities to escalate a crackdown that has killed dozens of civilians.

Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s government spokesman, said the separatists have killed four gendarmes earlier on Monday in the town of Kembong in Southwest region’s Manyu Division.

“The assailants, ensnared by the measures put in place by our defence and security forces, are now reduced to sporadic attacks carried out by hidden faces and using perfidy,” Tchiroma said.

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