Civilians caught in Cameroon's deadly unrest over language

Amnesty International says civilians are caught in a deadly escalation of violence in Cameroon between security forces and separatists seeking an English-speaking state.

A new report by the human rights group on Tuesday calls for an end to "unnecessary and excessive force" on both sides and for authorities to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Cameroon's unrest began in November 2016 when English-speaking teachers and lawyers in the northwest and southwest began calling for reforms and greater autonomy. Separatists frustrated by the dominance of the French-speaking parts of the Central African country have picked up the momentum, calling for an independent state.

The separatists have attacked schools and members of security forces, vowing to paralyze the country until their leader, who was arrested in December, is released.