Cameroon is beset with two major violent conflicts but also faces rising ethno-political tensions on- and offline. The bigger conflict, between the government and separatists from the English-speaking minority, started in 2017 and has killed over 6,000 people. It has displaced 765,000 people, of whom over 70,000 are refugees in Nigeria. According to the UN, 2.2 million of the Anglophone regions’ four million people need humanitarian support while about 600,000 children have been deprived of effective schooling because of the conflict. The country also faces a reinvigorated jihadist insurgency with deadly attacks in the Lake Chad area. The war with Boko Haram, centred in the Far North, has killed over 3,000 Cameroonians, displaced about 250,000 and triggered the rise of vigilante self-defence groups. Nascent ethnic clashes along the border with Chad have displaced thousands too. Elsewhere, and particularly following the October 2018 presidential election, ethnic discourse is heightening political tensions on- and offline. Through field research and advocacy with the government as well as with national and international stakeholders, Crisis Group works to de-escalate conflict and promote a peaceful resolution in the Anglophone regions and the Far North as well as to stop ethno-political tensions from sliding into violence.

CrisisWatch Cameroon

Unchanged Situation

Anglophone separatist movement appeared increasingly divided as conflict with govt forces showed no sign of abating; authorities took steps to stem uptick in jihadist violence in Far North.

Violence continued in Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions. Anglophone separatist militants 6-7 June ambushed army patrol in Ekondo Titi town, Ndian division (SW) and detonated explosive device on military reinforcement team, leaving two soldiers and one assailant dead; 8 June shot and killed gendarmerie commander in Bamenda city, Mezam division (NW); 16 June killed police officer in Bamenda city (NW); and 25 June killed soldier near Kumba city, Meme division (SW). Soldiers 15-17 June raided Big Babanki village, Mezam, to dislodge suspected separatists, reportedly killing about dozen people including civilians; 24 June reportedly raided Ekona village, Fako division (SW), leaving five people dead.

Splits widened within Anglophone separatist movement. After resigning in April as Deputy Defence Chief of separatist armed group Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), prominent separatist figure Capo Daniel mid-June challenged ADF head Ayaba Cho, accusing him of power-mongering, corruption, and failure to provide adequate political leadership.

Govt redoubled efforts to stem jihadist violence amid uptick in attacks in Far North. After Boko Haram in May intensified attacks, military in Far North region 31 May requested further support from Chad and Nigeria to enhance border protection, and additional military resources from Yaoundé; governor of Far North region same day urged local chiefs and community leaders to reactivate militias to assist govt forces in fighting militants, and army 2 June announced construction of two additional army bases in Far North. Attacks continued, however. In Mayo-Sava division, suspected Boko Haram militants 2 June killed vigilante group leader in Amchidé town, 5 June killed one soldier in Kerawa town, and 11 June killed one civilian and abducted two children in Kassa village. In Mayo-Tsanaga division, army overnight 3-4 June repelled Boko Haram attack on Goldavi military post, killing four militants. Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province militants 17 June reportedly kidnapped six women in Bargaram village, Logone-et-Chari division, for failing to pay taxes levied by group.

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In The News

23 Feb 2022
The authorities [in Cameroon] should persecute those who are responsible for crimes and include women in the peace process. VOA

Arrey Elvis Ntui

Consulting Senior Analyst, Cameroon

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Arrey Elvis Ntui

Consulting Senior Analyst, Cameroon
Arrey Elvis Ntui

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