The Cameroonian government says it has banned Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation (SCBC TV) from the airwaves, but hasn’t been able to stop transmission.
That’s because the channel is broadcast from South Africa, and Cameroonian officials haven’t been able to persuade South African authorities to take it off air.
Cameroon wants the SCBC TV banned because it is operated by activists who say it “gives authentic and unbiased news and information about the Anglophone struggle for independence”.
In recent months there have been increased tensions in the English-speaking regions of the country following protests and strikes against marginalisation by the majority Francophone government. Some say they want to breakaway and form a separate country.
SCBC TV airs programmes about the history and culture of the Anglophone region, interviews with exiled lawyers and documentaries about human rights abuses in Cameroon.
Cable television providers have been warned to remove the channel from their roster or face sanctions.
But the ban, announced by Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma, has had the unintended effect of providing free publicity for SCBC TV and triggering a rush among many to install or download the channel, which can also be streamed on mobile devices.