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Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has withdrawn from Cameroon’s North-West region after months of suspension by the authorities.

The charity said it could not keep staying in an area where it was “not allowed to provide care to people”.

“Unfortunately, we cannot keep our staff on standby any longer, so we have no choice but to withdraw our teams,”

said Emmanuel Lampaert, the organisation’s Central Africa coordinator.

The region is one of the two English-speaking regions that have for four years been plagued by a bloody conflict between armed secessionist groups and government security forces.

About 3,000 people have died and nearly a million others have fled their homes in the North-West and South-West regions since the conflict began.

The Cameroonian government in December ordered MSF to suspend its activities in the North-West, accusing the charity of being too close to non-state armed groups in the area.

MSF, which has been one of the few NGOs offering free medical services in the region, says the people

“are paying a very heavy price for this situation”.

It said it would maintain a small liaison office in the regional capital and would resume its medical activities if the authorities were to lift the suspension.

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