President of Cameroon speaks publicly about the root causes of the three-year Anglophone separatist rebellion

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Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has for the first time spoken publicly about the root causes of the three-year Anglophone separatist rebellion.

President Biya acknowledged at a peace summit in France there were key differences between French- and English-speaking people because of their contrasting experiences under colonial rule.

The 86-year-old president appears to be saying that lumping them all together under the highly centralized state has not worked.

Mr Biya has previously used the military to crush the rebellion.

But correspondents say that with the Cameroon government now speaking publicly about giving the English-speaking regions a special status, it suggests a potential new approach to the crisis.

The conflict has devastated the Anglophone regions – it has killed thousands, displaced more than a million people and hundreds of schools have been burnt down.