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Canadian peace initiative to settle Anglophone conflict suffered setback as Yaoundé denied giving any country facilitation mandate, while fighting continued between govt forces and separatists in Anglophone regions.
Yaoundé denied seeking Canadian facilitation in Anglophone conflict. Following series of discreet pre-talks between Yaoundé and separatist groups held in Canada in Nov-Dec 2022, Canadian FM Mélanie Joly 20 Jan announced Ottawa had accepted mandate to facilitate talks between Yaoundé and six Anglophone separatist groups. Anglophone separatists 21 Jan said they were committed to negotiated process mandated by Canada, and civil society and religious leaders as well as women’s groups from Anglophone regions in following days welcomed announcement. Govt 23 Jan however denied asking any country to organise peace talks with separatists. Canadian foreign ministry immediately said it was in touch with conflict parties and “previous statement stands”.
Tensions remained high in Anglophone regions. In New Year address, President Biya referred to Anglophone separatists as “terrorist groups” and said troops had crushed many of them. Military 2 Jan said they had deployed troops to Oku, Kumbo and Jakiri areas in North West region (NW) after armed groups in preceding days sealed markets, chased people and vehicles from streets and abducted scores of civilians. Armed separatists 13-15 Jan launched new offensive against govt forces, attacking armoured military convoys in Mbengwi area in Momo division (NW), Banga Bakundu locality in Meme division (South West region, SW), and military post in Mamfe city in Manyu division (SW), reportedly killing at least one soldier in each attack. Suspected separatists 18 Jan killed electoral body official in Bamenda city (NW) one day after separatist leaders rejected Senate elections scheduled for 12 March. Govt forces 25 Jan attacked separatist positions in Ngo-Ketunjia and Mezam divisions (NW), with unknown casualties.
Jihadist attacks continued in Far North, particularly in Mayo-Tsanaga division. Suspected Boko Haram (JAS) or Islamic State West Africa Province militants 1 Jan attacked Zeneme military outpost, injuring soldier; 3 Jan ambushed Multinational Joint Task Force in Djeneme area of Mozogo commune, injuring two; 11 Jan reportedly killed at least one civilian in Dingliding area; and 22 Jan killed two civilians and one soldier in Nguetchéwé locality (all Mayo-Tsanaga).
Separatist conflict continued to plague Anglophone regions, while President Biya travelled to U.S. amid govt efforts to bring separatists living abroad to justice.
Violence continued in Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions. Govt forces 9 Dec killed high-profile separatist commander known as Gen. Lion in Mankon village, Mezam division (NW). In response, Ambazonia Defence Forces separatist fighters 11 Dec announced week-long lockdown of highway leading to Mankon. Anglophone separatists 15-16 Dec carried out string of attacks against govt forces notably in Kumbo town, Bui division (NW); Ndop town, Ngo-Ketunjia division (NW); and near Mamfe town, Manyu division (SW), leaving unknown casualties. In apparent retaliation, army 17-18 Dec reportedly burnt dozens of civilian homes, forcing unknown number to flee, in Bai-Panya village, Meme division (SW), and Yer-Dzekwa village, Bui division (NW). Meanwhile, Fulani militia 7 Dec killed four civilians in Menchum division (NW) over accusations of burning down cattle pasture used by Fulani herders.
Govt sought closer cooperation with U.S. against separatist sponsors. Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo 5 Dec announced creation of committee to identify and prosecute Anglophone separatist sponsors living abroad, particularly in U.S.; move comes after U.S. authorities late Nov indicted three people suspected of raising funds for Anglophone separatist fighters through extortion. Biya 13-15 Dec attended U.S.-Africa summit in Washington DC in likely attempt to show he remains at forefront of govt affairs despite his age. During summit, Anglophone groups demonstrated in Washington DC against Biya’s presence, blaming U.S. administration for inviting him. Meanwhile, jailed separatist leader Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe 5 Dec reiterated readiness for talks with govt under international mediation, set conditions including release of political prisoners, demilitarisation of Anglophone regions and amnesty for exiled separatists; govt reportedly rejected move.
Sporadic jihadist attacks continued in Far North region. Suspected Boko Haram militants overnight 23-24 Dec reportedly killed three women in Kolofata commune (Mayo-Sava division); 29 Dec ambushed army patrol in Ldaoussaf town (Mayo-Tsanaga division), killing one soldier and wounding another.
President Biya celebrated 40 years in power as Anglophone conflict continued in west and jihadist violence persisted in Far North.
Biya marked 40 years as president, pursued plans to have his son succeed him. For Biya’s 40th anniversary in power, ruling party around 6 Nov held official celebrations and ceremonies across country. Traditional authorities, ruling party officials and residents in North region – a ruling party stronghold – same day received Biya’s son Franck in great pomp with all airs of president-in-waiting. Meanwhile, members of diaspora political opposition group Brigade Anti-Sardinards violently disrupted reception marking Biya’s 40-year rule in French capital Paris, with some guests reportedly wounded.
Armed Anglophone separatists and military continued to engage in fighting. Govt forces 3 Nov reportedly killed separatist commander in Ediki village, Meme division, South West region (SW), and 7 Nov clashed with separatists near North West region (NW)’s capital Bamenda (Mezam division), leaving three dead. Separatists 14 Nov ambushed military convoy in Tubah town near Bamenda (NW), reportedly killing three soldiers; attack on another convoy between Kumba and Mamfe cities (SW) next day killed at least one soldier. Conflict continued to take toll on civilians. Notably, unidentified gunmen 3 Nov kidnapped nine health workers from govt-run hospital in Batibo town, Momo division (NW); authorities blamed separatists, who denied responsibility. Govt forces 24 Nov allegedly killed two civilians in Awing town, Mezam division (NW). UN working group on arbitrary detention around 14 Nov called for “immediate and unconditional” release of separatist leader Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine co-prisoners, said their arrest in Nigeria in 2018 was “arbitrary.”
Far North region saw sporadic jihadist violence. Suspected Boko Haram (JAS) or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants continued to target civilians, killing one 14 Nov near Tourou town (Mayo-Tsanaga division) and another 20 Nov near Kolofata town (Mayo-Sava division). Unidentified armed group around 14 Nov clashed with military forces near Bonderi town (Mayo-Sava), killing at least one soldier. Suspected jihadist combatants 15 Nov ambushed military patrol near Amchide town (Mayo-Sava), and throughout month repeatedly looted town.
New Canada-sponsored dialogue initiative between govt and Anglophone separatists kicked off as violence persisted in Anglophone regions.
Tensions remained high in Anglophone regions. Anglophone separatists held armed marches in North West and South West regions on 1 Oct anniversary of self-proclaimed Federal Republic of Ambazonia. In North West, govt forces 1-2 Oct carried out punitive actions following pro-independence demonstrations in Boyo division, reportedly burning homes and arresting dozens of civilians. Separatists 4 Oct launched explosive device attack on military patrol vehicle in Boyo, with unspecified casualties; 16 Oct killed two gendarmes in Ndu town, Donga-Mantung division. Soldiers 19 Oct clashed with separatists in Bali and Batibo areas (Mezam and Momo divisions respectively) to clear road blocks; at least one civilian killed. Ambazonia militia group 26 Oct ambushed govt convoy on Alabukam-Mbengwi road (Mezam and Momo respectively), leaving unknown casualties.
New dialogue initiative started as civil society called for peace. On third anniversary of 2019 govt-sponsored peace talks, thousands – women in majority – 30 Sept-4 Oct took part in daily marches in capital Yaoundé to call for peace in Anglophone regions. After Swiss-led mediation in Sept ended at Biya’s request, govt officials and representatives of several Anglophone separatist groups 10-14 Oct met in Canada as part of new initiative to negotiate peace process. Meanwhile, former separatist rebels 3 Oct protested difficult living conditions in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) centre in South West regional capital Buea, alleged embezzlement of funds dedicated to DDR process.
Sporadic jihadist violence persisted in Far North. Defence Minister Joseph Beti early Oct met with regional authorities in Far North regional capital Maroua, hailed successful military operations against Boko Haram (BH) and said it is safe for 40,000 villagers displaced by violence to return home. Attacks however persisted. Notably, BH militants 15 and 17 Oct killed two civilians in Mora town, Mayo-Sava division; 22 Oct took control of army’s advanced post in Djibrilli locality, Mayo-Tsanaga division near Nigerian border.
As govt and Anglophone separatists prepared for show of force, anniversary of self-proclaimed Ambazonia Republic on 1 Oct could pave way for escalation of conflict.Authorities and Anglophone separatists stepped up military preparations. Media reports early Sept revealed President Biya late Aug ordered deployment of special forces against Anglophone separatists in North West and South West regions. Swiss mediator Günther Bächler around 14 Sept announced end, at Biya’s request, of Swiss-led dialogue initiative launched in 2019 between Yaoundé and Anglophone groups. One separatist faction in following days threatened attacks in Francophone regions, called on Anglophones to leave these areas to avert potential reprisals. Meanwhile, violence between govt forces and separatists continued. Notably in North West, govt forces 8 Sept killed at least three rebels in Awing town (Mezam division), and 10-11 Sept killed six others in Bui division. Separatists 8 Sept killed four soldiers in Bamenda city, and 25 Sept attacked gendarmerie in Awing, reportedly killing three soldiers. Rebels also 25 Sept abducted five hospital staff in Kumbo city, after govt forces 22 Sept arrested three medical staff accused of treating separatists. Military 28 Sept acknowledged soldiers 19 Sept used indiscriminate force on civilians in Andek area (Momo division), leaving two women dead.Anglophone separatists imposed lockdown targeting schools. Some separatist groups 6-16 Sept imposed lockdown in North West and South West in bid to delay start of school year until at least 1 Oct anniversary of self-proclaimed Ambazonia Republic. Separatists resorted to violence to enforce lockdown. In North West, separatists 8 Sept kidnapped dozens of students in Bamenda city and Fundong town. In South West, separatists 6 Sept opened fire on bus near Ekona town on Kumba-Buea axis, killing six; next day fired shots on outskirts of Buea city, interrupting traffic. Suspected separatists 16 Sept also targeted Christian community, setting fire to church and kidnapping at least eight people including five priests near Mamfe town (South West).Far North saw lull in jihadist violence amid heavy rainfall and flooding. Military in Sept repelled rare jihadist attacks on their positions; militants 24 Sept however killed policeman near Kolofata town (Mayo-Sava division).
Govt forces and Anglophone rebels continued to clash amid resurgence of roadside bombs; jihadists continued attacks in Far North. In North West (NW) region, Anglophone separatist group 9 Aug reportedly lost four men in failed attack in Oku subdivision, and killed two gendarmes in Ndop subdivision; 10 Aug killed gendarmerie commander of Kumbo town (Bui division). Separatists 27 Aug killed two soldiers and one civilian near Nkwambe town (Donga-Mantung division), next day attacked govt forces in areas of Bafut (Mezam division), Dzekwa (Bui division) and South West region’s Eyumojock (Manyu division) using roadside bomb and a rocket-propelled grenade; three soldiers reportedly killed. Some separatist groups in Aug issued orders aiming to move reopening of schools from 5 Sept to 4 Oct in Anglophone regions to observe pro-independence protest anniversaries and mount pressure on govt for talks. Defence ministry 29 Aug said security will be stepped up ahead of school resumption to avoid disruptions. Ethnic tensions in Aug remained high in Wum town, Menchum division (NW) following late-July violent confrontations between Fulani and Aghem ethnic groups. Meanwhile, fresh attack confirmed separatists’ strategy of moving war into Francophone regions: suspected separatists 13 Aug crossed from Bui division into Noun division in West region, killing three including one civilian. Authorities 11 Aug arrested prominent advocate of Anglophone regions’ autonomy, Abdul Karim Ali, on undisclosed charges in Bamenda city (NW). NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) same day accused govt forces of summarily killing at least ten people and carrying out series of other human rights abuses in Anglophone regions between 24 April and 12 June; military next day dismissed allegations, claiming to protect country with “honour and loyalty”. Jihadist insurgency continued in Far North region. In Mayo-Sava division, Boko Haram (BH) insurgents 6 Aug killed one soldier and one civilian in Gogolom village, same day killed three more civilians in Kolofata commune. In Mayo-Tsanaga division, BH 9 Aug killed one soldier in Zeleved village, and 13-14 Aug killed two civilians in Tourou locality. Authorities 14 Aug arrested one gendarme at undisclosed location in Far North over accusations of supplying BH with weapons and ammunition.
Conflict continued between separatists and govt in Anglophone regions, bomb blasts hit capital Yaoundé for first time since August 2020, and Boko Haram attacked civilians in Far North. Deadly conflict between separatists and govt forces persisted in Anglophone regions. In North West region, separatists 8 July killed one gendarmerie commander at checkpoint in Mbiame town, Bui division; locals in Bafut town, Mezam division, 16 July found two bodies believed to be those of separatist fighters arrested 22 June by govt forces. In South West region, govt soldiers 15 July displayed corpse of notorious separatist leader “Field Marshall” Lekeaka Olivier Fongunueh to locals in Kumba city; armed separatists 26 July killed special forces Rapid Intervention Battalion commander, Major Eyenga Essama, during clashes in Kumba; Essama is most senior army officer to be killed in battle since start of Anglophone conflict five years ago. Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo 19 July condemned abuses by military against Anglophone civilians, ordered soldiers to cease violations. National Assembly Speaker Cavaye Yéguié Djibril 6 July called for increased military presence in Anglophone regions to counter rebels, saying latter in past month abducted hundreds of officials and killed at least 20 govt workers. Meanwhile in North West region, unidentified gunmen 24 July kidnapped and killed three ethnic Fulanis in Wum town, Menchum division; reprisal from angry mob of Fulanis next day injured ten members of Aghem ethnic group. Artisanal bomb explosions 2 and 12 July wounded three people at Mokolo market in Yaoundé; authors unknown. Boko Haram attacks on civilians persisted in Far North region. Insurgents 2 July killed one guard in raid on health centre in Makary town, Logone-et-Chari division; 6 and 15 July killed five people in two villages of Mayo-Sava division; overnight 15-16 July killed at least four civilians in Moutchikar village, Mayo-Tsanaga division. French President Macron 26 July met President Biya during visit to Cameroon, said decentralisation and further dialogue can solve Anglophone conflict; raised Ukraine-Russia conflict and its related food crisis, while Biya evaded question from journalist on his succession.
Amid ongoing violence in Anglophone areas, separatist launched attacks in Francophone regions; meanwhile, jihadists conducted deadly assaults on civilians in Far North. Violence continued in Anglophone areas. Notably, govt forces 1 June killed nine civilians including four men, four women and 18-month old child in Missong village, Zhoa town, North West (NW); govt 7 June said four suspected soldiers arrested. Separatists 8 June reportedly clashed with soldiers in Mamfe city, South West (SW), leaving unknown casualties, while unknown gunmen same day burnt down Mamfe General Hospital; separatists 11 June killed a gendarme and wounded at least another in Nkwen locality, Bamenda region (NW); 13 June killed two special forces soldiers during intense fighting in Kom locality, Boyo division (NW). Govt forces reported killing five separatist fighters on 26 June in Yelum locality, Bui division, NW. Separatists spread offensives to Francophone areas, including 8 June launched attack on special forces gendarmerie post in Njitapon locality, Kouoptamo town, leaving five soldiers dead and two injured; 10 June launched another attack in Penda Mboko village, Mbanga town, Littoral region, killing one gendarme. Meanwhile, gunmen 25-26 June killed around 30 people in land dispute between two ethnic groups in Akwaya town, SW. In Far North region, Boko Haram (BH) insurgents continued their attacks on civilians. Notably, jihadists 3 June took control of Hidoua and Hitawa villages, Torou locality; three days later, army expelled rebels. In Gakara village, Kerawa locality, BH 5 June killed two people, then same day killed two others in Grea village, Kolofata locality. In Ndrok village, Torou locality, BH insurgents 13 June launched another attack, killing three. Bomb 14 June exploded in Fotokol town, killing one child. Also in far north, BH 15 June killed five civilians and burnt 30 homes in Darak town; 25 June killed two soldiers at Boudouwa village, Mora town. Authorities 3 June held joint security commission meeting with Central African Republic (CAR) officials in Ngaoundere city, Adamawa region (near CAR border), pledged to jointly fight CAR rebels infiltrating Cameroonian refugee camps.
Anglophone separatists stepped up attacks on govt forces ahead of National Day, President Biya’s health sparked concerns, and Boko Haram violence continued in far north. Anglophone armed groups increased violent attacks in lead-up to 20 May National Day – which they see as key anniversary marking start of conflict when constitutional referendum abrogated West Cameroon (Anglophone) and East Cameroon (Francophone) federal states in 1972. Notably, separatists 4 May announced dusk-till-dawn travel bans on roads with surprise blockades in Meme and Manyu divisions (South West, SW); 9 May killed two Cameroonian soldiers in Jakiri town (North West, NW); 9 May killed two gendarmes through mine explosive in Alou town, Lebialem division (SW), and at least three soldiers through IED in Belo town (NW); 11 May killed two gendarmes and one soldier in Fonfuka town (NW); 20 May clashed with soldiers leaving unknown number of casualties in Ngoketunjia department division (NW); 22 May clashed with soldiers in Otou locality (SW) near Nigerian border, which left two soldiers wounded and at least four separatists dead. In Idenau locality (SW), alleged separatists 17 May also kidnapped 19 CDC plantation workers; army next day reportedly freed workers. Armed separatists 29 May clashed with civilians killing at least ten and wounding about a dozen others in Obonyi II village, Akwaya town (SW) near border with Nigeria. Army 30 May freed Senator Regina Mundi from armed separatist camp in Batibo (NW); both sides gave contradictory accounts of her release. President Paul Biya 19 May returned to capital Yaoundé after five-day private trip to Switzerland. Biya 20 May presided over National Day parade; likely concerned that public images of frail president could stir public opinion, national TV cut some scenes from broadcast. Hundreds of indigenous people 24 May protested against govt-ordered demolitions to make way for major hotel project in Douala city’s Dikolo neighbourhood. In Far North region, Boko Haram violence continued. Notably, insurgents 11 May left three civilians seriously injured in Moskata locality; 21 May killed civilian in Amchide locality near Nigerian border; 31 May killed at least three soldiers and four civilians in Hitaoua locality.
Army killed several suspected separatists in anglophone region amid major cholera outbreak in area’s south east; meanwhile, security forces launched operation in east to free hostages. Separatist attacks continued against civilians in Northwest (NW) and Southwest (SW) anglophone regions. Notably, separatists 7 April kidnapped dozen protesters in Mbalangi, near Kumba (SW) town and Oku (NW) subdivision; 12 April ambushed and killed five penitentiary officers in Nkum town, Bui division (NW). Authorities 8 April also stated armed men torched dozen homes and killed six people in Mbonhong village, Ndu district (NW) targeting Mbororo ethnic group, who they blamed for earlier attacks in community; in response, soldiers 26 April killed six attackers. Military raid against separatists in Bali town (NW) 21 April left three civilians dead. In Mbalangi, near Kumba (SW) and Jakiri (NW) towns, angry mobs 5 April killed three separatists accused of rape and other violence. Soldiers 25 April killed eight men in Guzang, Batibo town, who they accused of being separatists. Cholera outbreak, which started in Oct 2021, continued to take heavy toll on anglophone region’s south west, with about 50 per cent of all 4,627 cholera cases across country recorded there as of 5 April; Meme and Ndian divisions (SW) and Littoral were most affected areas due to worsening pre-existing water crisis and enduring armed conflict. After years of campaigning by Anglophones and dozens of civil society groups, U.S. administration 15 April granted Temporary Protected Status to Cameroonian migrants, allowing 18-month stay until individual status is determined. Meanwhile, in east, military 18 April sent hundreds of troops to border Mbere division near Central African Republic, where rebels had abducted at least 35 people; operation left two dead and five hostages freed. In Northeast, Boko Haram jihadists 2 April killed two civilians in Doulong Touro village, Mayo Tsanaga division; 29 April reportedly abducted at least 14 people in Bargaram locality, Logone-et-Chari department. Regional Multinational Joint Task Force 1 May reported killing at least 20 suspected jihadists during operation in Nigeria and Cameroon 27-29 April. Cameroon 12 April signed military deal with Russia, renewing cooperation.
Violence in Anglophone region continued, Ambazonian interim government elected new leader, and low-level jihadist attacks persisted in north east. Violent attacks continued in Anglophone areas. Notably, separatists 1 March killed nurse in regional capital Bamenda, North West region (NW); Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) 2 March launched mine explosion in Ekondo Titi town, Ndian division, South West region (SW), killing two officials and five others. In Menchum division (NW), pro-govt militias 9 March killed two in Esu locality and wounded two in Weh village; in response, villagers burned mosque and authorities subsequently deployed special forces to control riots in area. Separatists 29 March killed three Fulani herdsmen around Ndu locality (NW), prompting other herdsmen, alleged to be pro-govt militia members, to attack civilian homes, reportedly killing five. Soldiers 9 March raided Din village in Noni subdivision, Bui Division (NW), reportedly killing two. Residents accused soldiers of killing three in Bamenda on 20 March; soldiers also reportedly killed three in Bambui township near Bamenda 31 March. Médecins Sans Frontières 29 March confirmed leaving SW region, citing govt harassment. Teachers’ strike which started mid-Feb prompted strong local reactions. Notably, students 7 March protested in Douala and Ebowola cities; President Biya 9 March acknowledged teachers’ grievances and announced measures to speed up salary payment. Secondary school teachers 25 March called off strike as govt started resolving grievances. Meanwhile, Anglophone political movement saw leadership changes: Interim Government of Ambazonia separatist group 5 March elected Iya Marianta Njomia as new leader. Separatists also intensified efforts to coordinate objectives; delegates of six groups 11-13 March met in Germany to discuss refugees, internal displacement and human rights violations. Elsewhere, opposition political parties MRC and UDC, led by Maurice Kamto and Tomaino Ndam Njoya respectively, provided relief support to dozens of Bamouns chased from Memv’ele dam site, South region, in early March following tensions with Ntoumou ethnic group. In Far North region, Boko Haram 10,12 March attacked Rapid Intervention Battalion camp in Amchide and Limani towns, leaving no casualties. Jihadists 8 March killed Cameroonian soldier serving with Multinational Joint Task Force in Wulgo locality, Borno state, Nigeria.
Separatists launched attacks in Anglophone regions during country’s Youth Day, concerns rose over Biya’s succession plans, and jihadist kept up attacks in Far North. In Anglophone regions, violence ran high, notably when separatists 10-11 Feb sought to disrupt Youth Day, national day marking 1961 plebiscite for independence in British Southern Cameroons. Armed militiamen 10 Feb set fire to girl’s secondary school dormitory in Okoyong, Mamfe, South West (SW), announcing ghost town and threatening defaulters to prevent celebrations next day. International diplomats 14 Feb jointly condemned attack and Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC) same day called for attacks on schools to stop. In most Anglophone towns, few people demonstrated on Youth Day in fear of reprisals while marches took place in Francophone regions; President Paul Biya 11 Feb delivered speech without reference to situation in Anglophone areas. Armed separatists conducted attacks throughout month; notably, separatists 1 Feb carried out attacks in North West (NW) in Bui’s division capital Kumbo killing at least three; 7 Feb killed govt soldier in Kumba city. Unidentified armed men 8 Feb also set fire to primary school in SW’s capital Buea. Desertions among security forces increased; notably, police 5 and 16 Feb announced total of twelve officials failed to report in different parts of NW. Govt forces 16 Feb killed lead separatist commander “General” Ebube in Alabukam village (NW). Separatist Interim Govt of Ambazonia faction based in Maryland, U.S., saw rift during month with leader Samuel Sako dismissed but refusing to leave. Several other groups held meetings towards unity: AGovC’s Ayabo Cho (armed wing: Ambazonia Defence Forces) and African Peoples Liberation Front’s Ebenezer Akwanga (armed wing: Southern Cameroon Defence Forces, SOCADEF) 11-12 Feb met in Ireland, discussed common approach to fighting and negotiation; AGovC 26 Feb met representatives of 11 other groups from Ambazonia Coalition for Talks, then jointly agreed to negotiated settlement and pursuit of independence. Amid 13 Feb Biya’s 89th anniversary, speculations arose about succession plans including first lady Chantal Biya’s growing power. Meanwhile, jihadist insurgency continued in north east with attacks on military position; notably, Boko Haram fighters 9-14 Feb killed four civilians in Mayo Tsanaga department.
Violence in Anglophone regions continued amid Africa Cup of Nations tournament; jihadists attacked govt positions in Far North. Clashes between army and security militias continued, albeit at lower levels, in Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions. Despite Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament during month, notably in Anglophone towns of Limbe and Buea, separatists continued attacks, including 5 Jan launched IED in Limbe, wounding three civilians. Dozen armed men 12 Jan also attacked neighbourhoods in Buea town: IED at police checkpoint near stadium hosting AFCON’s training wounded three policemen, crossfire during army retaliation subsequently killed three civilians. Separatists 8 Jan detonated IED and attacked patrol in Bafut town (NW), wounding five soldiers. In regional capital Bamenda (NW), unidentified gunman 11 Jan shot dead Senator Henry Kemende, opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) leader and Anglophone minority advocate in parliament. Also in Bamenda, separatist same day shot dead two people in failed kidnapping attempts. In SW, separatists 19 Jan killed at least one soldier in Muyuka town; 14 Jan abducted eight workers in Tiko town. Separatists 25 Jan crossed over into francophone West region, attacking soldiers in Galim town, Bamboutos division, killing at least one. In Far North, ethnic clashes 10 Jan flared up in Kousseri town, Logone-et-Chari division, after army in Dec arrested member of Choa community, which reportedly provoked riots that left at least two soldiers and one civilian killed. Jihadi militants continued to carry out attacks, notably 12 Jan on army’s position, killing one in Talakachi town, Mayo-Moskota division. Militants same day killed two civilians near Nigeria border in Mozogo town, Mayo Tsanaga division. Cameroon army 10 Jan killed two Boko Haram fighters in Mayo Moskota; 28 Jan killed four Boko Haram fighters who had attacked military post near Tourou locality, Mayo Tsanaga.
Violence continued to run high in Anglophone areas; upcoming Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in January could escalate tensions or offer opportunity for ceasefire. Unrest persisted in Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions prompting govt mid-month to reportedly order 100 to 150 new armoured vehicles from European manufacturer. Insurgent Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) 5 Dec attacked gendarme post in Alakuma junction and military post in Mbengwi road near Bamenda city (NW) leaving at least ten dead, including losses on both sides; soldiers next day allegedly dragged two wounded separatists from nearby hospital and executed them. ADF combatants 8 Dec attacked army convoy with IED, killing at least five soldiers in Mbengwi road. In apparent retaliation, soldiers later set fire to about 20 houses in town, allegedly burning alive six civilians and shooting dead five others. Separatist fighters 7 Dec kidnapped president of North West House of Chiefs in Bambalang village (NW) demanding release of relatives of separatist leader “General no Pity”. Presumed separatists 13 Dec also threw grenade at trade fair in Beau city (SW), raising concerns that they will seek to disrupt African Cup of Nations football tournament due to start 9 Jan, with games scheduled in Buea and Limbe cities (also SW). Patrice Motsepe, head of Africa Football Confederation, 21 Dec met with President Biya, said tournament would go ahead despite concerns. Anglophone militia 21 Dec attacked police checkpoint in Kumba city (SW), killing at least one policeman and wounding about five others. Meanwhile, in Bamenda, soldiers 22 Dec killed two children in their home; Bamenda residents 27 Dec found remains of four civilians the army had reportedly arrested on 10 Dec in Chomba village near Bamenda. Clashes continued in Far North between Arab Choa herders and local farmers over grazing rights and access to water, leaving 44 people dead and 112 villages burnt, including parts of Kousseri town 5-9 Dec. Jihadists 9 Dec killed two civilians in Kouyape village and 16 Dec ten more in Assigachia village and Mora town, Mayo-Sava division. Meanwhile authorities 14 Dec returned over 900 repentant jihadist insurgents to Nigeria from Mora town.
Amid ongoing violence in Anglophone regions, unlawful killing of a young girl at hands of security forces for second month in a row sparked renewed protest against govt abuses. Anglophone conflict continued to take high civilian toll amid tit-for-tat attacks between security forces and separatists in North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions. Police officer 12 Nov killed eight-year-old school girl in Bamenda city (NW) as he shot at car escaping checkpoint; incident, which followed Oct killing of five-year-old girl by gendarme in Buea city (SW), sparked immediate protests in Bamenda; security forces reportedly opened fire killing three. Separatists 13 Nov killed five policemen in Santa commune (NW), and four soldiers in Mbengwi town, Momo division (NW), reportedly as retaliation for girl’s killing. Meanwhile, govt forces 15 Nov killed two separatist fighters in Bamenda. IED 10 Nov exploded in lecture hall at University of Buea while Canadian high commissioner was on campus, injuring ten students; authorities immediately blamed separatists, who denied claim and accused govt of false flag operation to discredit them. Soldiers 14 Nov forcibly entered hospital in Kumbo city, NW, harassing personnel in search of separatists; Catholic Church and foreign embassies next day condemned attacks on civilians by all sides and called for new dialogue to address root causes of conflict, while UK MP David Alton described hospital invasion as “war crime”. Suspected separatists 24 Nov exploded IED and gunned down four students and one teacher at secondary school in Ekondo-Titi commune, Ndian division (SW). Anglophone civil society and separatist representatives late Oct-early Nov met in Toronto city, Canada, in major initiative aimed at narrowing differences and preparing for eventual dialogue with govt; agreed to collaborate, respect human rights and safeguard access to education and humanitarian aid. In Far North, jihadist insurgents 6 Nov killed two civilians in attack on Kolofata town, Mayo-Sava division, and 10 and 14 Nov killed another four in Tourou village near Mokolo town, Mayo-Tsanaga division. One hundred eighteen presumed former jihadist militants 6-9 Nov surrendered to authorities in Kolofata.
Violence in Anglophone regions continued unabated, with riot erupting after killing of five-year old girl in South West; jihadist violence persisted in Far North. In South West (SW), after govt soldier 14 Oct opened fire on private car at checkpoint in Buea town, killing five-year-old girl, reportedly after driver refused extortion attempt, riot erupted; thousands immediately gathered to protest military abuses, lynched soldier; incident intensified community tensions between Anglophones and Francophones across country and on social media in subsequent days. Also in SW, insurgents continued to resort to IEDs, including 20 Oct at Ikiliwindi, near Kumba city. Earlier in month, Anglophone separatists 1 Oct enforced “lockdown” (general strike and curfew) and held parades in North West (NW) and SW regions to mark self-proclaimed “Independence Day”. Violence continued in NW. Notably, clashes 1 Oct left two separatist fighters and two govt soldiers killed in Nkambe town; separatist-planted IED same day destroyed army truck in Oku town, leaving unknown number of casualties. Unidentified assailant 5 Oct fired shots in Matazem village near border with French-speaking West region in vicinity of visiting PM Ngute, sparking panic, leaving no casualties. Also in NW, separatist fighters 6 Oct killed bike rider in Bui division for breaching lockdown imposed during PM Dion Ngute’s visit to region late Sept-early Oct; 21 and 24 Oct attacked govt forces using IEDs and assault rifles with unspecified number of deaths in Ngie and at Belo and Oku towns respectively. Meanwhile, govt forces same day burnt houses in Luh village, and 7 Oct in Kumbo town displacing civilians; 13 Oct killed four separatist fighters and burnt more houses in Bui division. Pro-govt Fulani militia 17-19 Oct burnt several houses in Wum, NW, killing seven civilians. Governors of regions bordering Lake Chad 3-4 Oct met in capital Yaoundé to discuss countering jihadist insurgency. Jihadist violence continued in Far North with govt forces killing over 15 insurgents 1 Oct and insurgents killing seven civilians 7 Oct in Achighachia, Mayo Tsanaga Division.
Separatists continued to deal heavy blow to govt forces in Anglophone areas, and violence will likely intensify around 1 Oct self-declared Independence Day. In North West region, Anglophone separatists throughout month launched several explosive attacks, inflicting heavy death toll on govt forces. Notably, after separatists 11 Sept killed two soldiers in Gughe village, Donga-Mantung division, IED attack on incoming reinforcement next day killed seven more in Kikaikelaki village (Kumbo commune), Bui division. Separatists 16 Sept launched combined IED and rocket-propelled grenade attack on army convoy at Bamessing village (Ndop commune), Ngoketunjia division, killing 15 elite army unit soldiers. Meanwhile, govt forces 3 Sept killed three suspected separatists at checkpoint in Kom village, Donga-Mantung division, and 12 Sept killed another four in regional capital Bamenda. Ahead of 1 Oct declared Ambazonia Independence Day, faction of Ambazonia Interim Govt 12 Sept announced three-week lockdown in North West and South West regions until 2 Oct; separatist militias deployed on several roads to enforce lockdown, prompting skirmishes with army which notably killed civilian near Mbalangi village, Meme division (South West region) 14 Sept. Most schools in Anglophone regions 6 Sept reopened; some incidents reported in following days, including abductions of teachers and students by suspected separatists in Bui division. Military court in South West region’s capital Buea 8 Sept sentenced four individuals to death for alleged involvement in Oct 2020 Kumba school massacre which killed seven children. Hundreds 21 Sept marched notably in Francophone towns to call for ceasefire between govt and separatists. In West region, intercommunal violence between Anglophones and Bamileke ethnic group 8 Sept left four dead and about 20 injured in Tonga town, Nde division. In Far North region, Boko Haram continued attacks, notably killing at least ten civilians in several raids in Mayo-Tsanaga division 15-16 Sept. Islamic State in West Africa Province claimed 25 Sept attack on Sagme village, Logone-et-Chari division, which wounded three soldiers. Approximately 100 Boko Haram militants, including women and children, 5-12 Sept defected to authorities in Kolofata town, Mayo-Sava division; another 50 reportedly followed suit 27 Sept.
Violence continued between govt forces and separatists in Anglophone regions; in Far North, clashes over resources turned deadly and jihadists attacked govt positions. In North West (NW) region, amid food shortages due to separatist roadblocks, govt forces 17 Aug cleared roadblock in Mezam division, leaving three people killed. NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, whose NW activities govt suspended in Dec 2020 on accusations of alleged pro-separatist bias, 3 Aug withdrew all staff from region. Violent attacks throughout month continued. Notably, separatists 4 Aug detonated IED in Kumbo town, killing two soldiers; 7 Aug killed three civilians in NW regional capital Bamenda; another attack in Bamenda 22 Aug left NGO International Red Cross employee dead; separatists 23, 27 Aug killed two soldiers at Ntumbaw village and Oku area. Pro-govt vigilante group and govt forces 18-19 Aug meanwhile killed six separatists in Wum and Bafut towns. In South West region, separatists 16 Aug kidnapped 16 construction workers for not observing “ghost town Monday”; militia 20 Aug clashed with police in Buea town, leaving three dead; separatists 28-30 Aug killed several soldiers in Ndian division. Following announcement of alliance between Anglophone separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council and Nigerian separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra in April, Yaoundé and Abuja 26 Aug announced joint efforts against separatists in both countries. Meanwhile, in Far North’s Logone-et-Chari division, clashes between ethnic Musgum fishermen and Choa Arab herders 10 Aug left at least 32 dead and displaced 11,000 into neighbouring Chad. Also in Logone-et-Chari, Islamic State in West Africa Province 8 Aug killed three soldiers at military base in Sagme village; 15 Aug killed one soldier at army post in Makary town. Over 250 Boko Haram members throughout month surrendered to authorities in Far North’s Mayo-Sava division.
Violent clashes continued in Anglophone regions between govt forces and separatists fighting for independent Southern Cameroon state; jihadists attacked govt positions in Far North. In North West region, separatists 1 and 7 July used IEDs to ambush army patrols in Mezam and Boyo divisions respectively; 7 July attacked Njavnuy checkpoint, Bui division, killing one policeman; 18 July killed five policemen after detonating IED in Mezam division; 24 July ambushed army patrol in double IED explosion in Mezam, death toll unknown. Govt forces 6 July killed two separatists in regional capital Bamenda, and 16 July clashed with separatists in Ngo-Ketunjia division, reportedly killing at least 15. In South West region, separatists 7 July kidnapped two policemen in Kumba city, Meme division; armed forces 18 July said they had killed separatist leader “General Rambo” in Kumba. In neighbouring Francophone West region, suspected separatists 14 July killed two soldiers in Babadjou town. Govt forces 24 July killed two women in Pinyin, Bamenda town. Nigerian President Buhari 13 July pledged support for Cameroonian institutions, said Cameroon’s stability was in Nigeria’s interest; move comes after Anglophone and Biafran separatist groups in April announced alliance. During visit of President Biya to Geneva city, Switzerland, where he was reportedly receiving medical treatment, over 100 protesters 17 July attempted to break police barricade at his hotel; incident raised tensions in Cameroon where govt supporters accused opposition leader Maurice Kamto’s ethnic group of harassing Biya. In Far North, jihadists stepped up attacks against govt forces. In Mayo-Sava division, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) 4, 12 and 14 July attacked military posts in Kolofata area. Govt forces 9 July killed two ISWAP militants in Fotokol town, Logone-et-Chari division, and two Boko Haram (BH) combatants in regional capital Maroua. BH militants 24 July attacked Sagme village, Logone-et-Chari division at border with Nigeria, killing eight soldiers, while armed forces reportedly killed 20 militants. Jihadist militants 26 July killed five soldiers and one civilian in raid on military outpost in Zigue village, Logone-et-Chari division; in response, armed forces killed 17 assailants. At least 60 BH militants 18 and 25 July surrendered in Kolofata town.
Separatists stepped up violent attacks in Anglophone regions, leaving dozens of soldiers killed; meanwhile, Far North region benefited from respite after death of Boko Haram leader. In North West region, Anglophone separatist 3 June launched IED attacks on military vehicles in Nkum and Kumbo towns in Bui division; 17 June attacked govt position in Guzang town, reportedly killing four soldiers; 19 June killed four state forces in Ngoketunjia division; 22 June launched IED attack on military vehicle in Balikumbat town, killing two. Meanwhile, armed forces 5 June killed seven civilians, apparently suspected of being separatists in Balikumbat town; 8 June allegedly killed two separatists and four civilians in North West capital Bamenda, and arrested separatist Gen Cobra in Mbatu village; 11 June killed woman allegedly linked with separatists in Nwa town. Military 15 June said 32-day military operation in Bui and Donga Mantung divisions killed three separatist leaders and several fighters. In South West region, after 5 June attack at Mabonji Gendarmerie Brigade, Meme Division which killed unconfirmed number of govt forces, separatists 13-19 June killed over a dozen military in series of attacks. Notably, separatists 14 June ambushed military vehicle in Eyumojock, killing at least four soldiers, same day attacked police station in Muea, Buea, injuring two policemen. In Ndian division, separatists 15 June abducted six civil servants; 18 June killed one. Separatists 18 June killed two state forces in Nguti town; 19 June killed one soldier during clash in Fako division. Separatists 26 June attacked govt building in Kumba city; 27 June launched IED against military convoy in Lebialem division; casualties unknown. In effort to support resolution of Anglophone crisis, U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 7 June announced visa restrictions on individuals “responsible for undermining its peaceful resolution”. In Far North, amid lull in attacks, Boko Haram (BH) 15 June confirmed death of BH faction (JAS) leader Abubakar Shekau during May clash with rival Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP); new leader Bakura Modu “Sahalaba” called on loyalists to resist, signalling further clashes with ISWAP likely.
Violent attacks between govt forces and separatists continued in Anglophone regions; jihadist violence persisted in Far North. In Njikwa town, North West region (NW), armed forces 6 May burnt homes reportedly killing at least one civilian; 9 May killed separatist in Nwa subdivision; 16 May killed 14 suspected separatists in Bambalang and Tadu villages. In apparent revenge killing for IED which reportedly killed two soldiers 15 May, armed forces 18 May burnt over 50 civilian homes near Kumbo, leaving two dead. Separatists 2 May kidnapped four council workers in Kumbo and 25 May attacked Lassin security post killing five soldiers. In South West region, armed forces 11 May killed separatist commander ‘Njayoh’ in Mbonge town; 14 May killed eight suspected separatists near Buea and in Konye. Separatists 1 May executed two soldiers in Bodam village, Akwaya; 15 May attacked police station in Muea, reportedly firing rocket-propelled grenade; casualties unknown. Separatist carried out other attacks in regions, including with IEDs on 26 May with unclear casualty figures. Govt 10 May held emergency security meeting over increasing use of IEDs by separatists. Defence Minister Beti Assomo said insurgents resorting to IEDs due to dwindling numbers and firepower. Assomo said at least 24 troops and civilians killed by IEDs within first week of May. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 4 May raised Anglophone conflict with French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian at G7 Ministerial Summit in London. In Far North, Boko Haram (BH) continued to launch attacks. BH 9 May killed one civilian in Talla-Massali village, Mayo-Tsanaga division; 15 May killed two civilians in Sanda Wadjiri village, Mayo Sava division; 17 May killed one civilian in Kerawa village in Kolofata town, Mayo-Sava department. BH mid-May released gruesome execution video threatening armed forces in French, first time BH used the language in public threats. Meanwhile, armed forces 4 May killed at least six BH in Soueram village, Logone-et-Chari division, and 16 May killed four BH in Goldavi village, Mayo-Mosokota division. Unconfirmed reports surfaced suggesting BH leader Abubakar Shekau 19 May had blown himself up or was seriously wounded in attempt to kill himself to avoid capture in clash between BH and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in north-eastern Nigeria.
Sporadic fighting continued between govt forces and separatist militias in Anglophone regions, while jihadists continued attacks in Far North. Anglophone separatists staged several improvised explosive devices (IED) attacks in west, notably injuring three elite army unit officials on Kumbo-Ndop axis in North West region (NW) 10 April, and killing unspecified number of soldiers in Ikiliwindi village in South West region (SW) 17 April, Bafut and Kumbo towns (both NW) 24-25 April. Govt forces killed separatist commanders, including General “Blink” in Bambelle village (SW) 11 April and General “Idi Amin Dada” in Guneku village (NW) 16 April; govt forces 19 April arrested General “Cobra” and four other separatists in NW capital Bamenda. Anglophone conflict continued to take high toll on civilians. Notably, separatists 4 April kidnapped 12 civilians in Ikiliwindi village (SW), and govt forces 18 April killed five individuals believed to be civilians in Mile 90 area along Bamenda-Bali road (NW). In francophone West region, Anglophone separatists 29 April reportedly entered Galim village and killed four soldiers. Leaders of Anglophone separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council and Nigerian separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra 9 April announced alliance. U.S.-based civil society organisations 6 April called on U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken to name special envoy for Anglophone regions. UN Sec-Gen Guterres 12 April said sexual violence has been used “as a cruel tactic of war” in Anglophone regions, citing alleged rape of 24 women during military operation in Feb 2020. Meanwhile, Boko Haram (BH) launched attacks in Far North region. Notably, soldiers 16 April repelled BH attack on army camp in Soueram village, Logone-et-Chari division near Lake Chad, killing at least four. In Mayo-Sava division, BH 3 April killed two civilians in Godjimdele village and 13 April killed three others near Kolofata town. 55 ex-BH members – 11 women, 12 men and 32 children – 8 April joined Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration centre in regional capital Maroua.
Violence between govt forces and separatists continued unabated in Anglophone regions and jihadists stepped up attacks in Far North. In North West region, separatists 10 March killed two soldiers in regional capital Bamenda, and clashes between armed forces and separatists 7 March killed four civilians along Bamenda-Babadjou road in Akum town. Meanwhile pro-govt groups launched attacks on civilians; notably, Fulani gunmen 10 March killed community leader in North West’s Ndu town. In South West region, separatist commander Goddy Elangwe 2 March surrendered to authorities in Kumba city, and armed forces 8 March captured separatist commander General Nokia in Konye area. Armed forces 18 March killed at least six separatists, including commander in Foé Bakundu village, Meme division. Separatists 22 March ambushed govt forces in Eyumojock subdivision, Manyu division, allegedly killing three. After NGO Human Rights Watch 26 Feb accused state forces of raping at least 20 women during attack in Ebam village, Manyu division, in South West in March 2020, defence ministry 2 March acknowledged attack but rejected rape allegations. In interview with weekly newspaper Jeune Afrique, imprisoned leader of faction of Ambazonia Interim Govt, Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, 12 March restated conditions for talks, including govt troops returning to barracks, amnesty for separatists and internationally mediated dialogue in neutral venue. In South West region’s capital Buea, former separatists enrolled in Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration program 19 March protested poor conditions and slow reintegration. In Far North region, despite ongoing joint operations by Multinational Joint Task Force, Boko Haram (BH) stepped up attacks. Notably, BH 10 and 14 March killed three civilians in Mora town; 11 March killed another one in Blassaley village. BH 20 March killed two soldiers in Soueram village and one civilian in Nguetchewe village, overnight 21-22 March killed three in Bla-Gossi Tourou village and 27 March attacked Dabanga village killing at least three civilians and one soldier; in retaliation, govt forces same day killed at least six BH, seizing ammunition and vehicles. Military 30 March said it had deployed additional troops to northern border with Nigeria after BH recently intensified attacks.
Violent attacks between govt forces and separatists continued in Anglophone regions, leaving dozens dead; jihadist attacks decreased in Far North. In North West region, govt forces 1 Feb killed two separatists including senior commander near regional capital Bamenda; 6 Feb killed four separatists and captured four others in Ntankah village, also freed four hostages. Security forces 11 Feb beat brother of suspected separatist combatant to near death in Ndu town and circulated video of ordeal on social media, sparking outcry; in response, authorities 15 Feb arrested eight security forces. Armed separatists 15 Feb killed elite army unit (BIR) captain in Kumbo town and 18 Feb killed seven soldiers in IED attacks in Babessi town. In South West region, separatists 2-4 Feb blocked Buea-Kumba highway to stop people from attending semi-final of football championship in Limbe city, killing three security forces at Mbalangi village 3 Feb. Suspected armed separatists 4 Feb fired shots at NGO Médecins Sans Frontières ambulance near Muyuka town, wounding healthcare worker. Armed forces overnight 7-8 Feb killed seven separatists including two prominent leaders during raid in Mbalangi town near Kumba city. Separatists 13 Feb killed three traditional chiefs and kidnapped 30 villagers in Essoh-Attah village. NGO Human Rights Watch 26 Feb said govt forces had killed one civilian and raped at least 20 women during raid on Ebam village in March 2020. In regional capitals Buea and Bamenda, former separatists who have been enrolled in Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration Program 1 and 15 Feb protested against living conditions and failed reintegration promises; in live TV program, former separatist fighter 6 Feb voiced his regret in dropping his weapons and abandoning fight for independent Southern Cameroon state. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin visited Cameroon 28 Jan-3 Feb and lobbied for peace in Anglophone conflict. Meanwhile, Fulani gunmen 22-23 Feb killed five civilians in Nwa town (North West) near border with Nigeria. In Far North region, amid lull in Boko Haram (BH) attacks, sporadic clashes between armed forces and BH 10-15 Feb left at least 11 jihadists dead.
Violence between govt forces and Anglophone separatists intensified in west leaving high civilian toll; jihadists kept up deadly attacks in Far North. In North West region, armed forces 1 Jan killed two suspected separatists in Wum town, in apparent revenge killing for previous day attack which wounded soldier in same area. Separatists 6 and 8 Jan killed eight security forces and three civilians near North West’s Njikwa town and on Matazem checkpoint between North West and francophone West region; in response, armed forces 9-11 Jan launched raid on Bachua village in West region, reportedly detaining dozens of civilians suspected of supporting separatists. Armed forces 8 Jan killed separatist militia leader Captain Small Pikin in Ndop town. In regional capital Bamenda, unidentified gunmen 13 and 17 Jan killed two civilians, and soldiers 23 Jan killed four teenagers. In South West region, armed forces 10 Jan raided Mautu village and killed nine civilians in what residents described as “execution-style killings”; UN and France in following days condemned killings and called for investigation. Suspected separatists 14-15 Jan reportedly killed at least five soldiers in Muyuka town and Likomba locality. In attempt to disrupt Africa Cup of Nations football championship taking place 16 Jan-7 Feb in several Cameroonian cities including South West’s Limbe, separatists 14 Jan also set construction equipment ablaze outside training stadium in Limbe and imposed regional lockdown. Prior to tournament, soldiers 12-16 Jan conducted mass arrest of civilians in Limbe, regional capital Buea, and Muyuka and Tiko towns. U.S. 1 Jan passed bipartisan resolution calling for ceasefire in Anglophone regions, sanctions on those responsible for atrocities, and for Washington to raise Anglophone conflict at UN. In Far North, Boko Haram (BH) launched almost daily attacks on civilians, notably in Mayo-Tsanaga division. Suspected BH assailants 1-2 Jan killed civilian in Ouzal village; 4 Jan killed three members of self-defence militia in Nguetchewe locality; overnight 7-8 Jan killed at least 14 civilians in Mozogo town; 25 Jan killed two civilians in Waza town, Logone-et-Chari division.
Separatists disrupted regional elections in Anglophone regions, while jihadists continued to target civilians in Far North. President Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) won nine of ten regional councils in 6 Dec elections; CPDM’s ally National Union for Democracy won remaining council; main opposition parties, Maurice Kamto’s Cameroon Renaissance Movement and John Fru Ndi’s Social Democratic Front, boycotted vote. Security forces 8 Dec lifted months-long blockade of Kamto’s home in capital Yaoundé. Ahead of vote, Anglophone separatists 4 Dec imposed three-day ghost town in North West and South West regions. On voting day, suspected separatists 6 Dec killed municipal councillor in Alabukam village and wounded two men near Akum village, both North West. Also in North West, suspected separatists 12 Dec kidnapped Kedjom Ketinguh village chief, released him three days later after ransom payment; armed forces 13 Dec reportedly killed community leader in Mukuru village, Wum commune, and 26 Dec reportedly killed two patients in Tubah District Hospital. In South West region, soldiers 12 Dec reportedly killed two civilians in Eyumojock subdivision, and 21 Dec raided two villages in Mbonge commune, killing six. Suspected separatists 13 Dec kidnapped three village chiefs in regional capital Buea, later killed one and released two. Army and separatists 22 Dec exchanged fire in Tombel town, leaving civilian dead. UN Special Envoy for Central Africa Louceny Fall 9 Dec briefed UN Security Council on Anglophone conflict; U.S. called Cameroon greatest concern in region with 6.2mn in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.3mn more than in early 2020. Boko Haram (BH) attacks continued in Far North. In Mayo-Sava division, BH overnight 9-10 Dec attacked Gakara village, injuring two soldiers; night of 15-16 Dec killed two civilians in Gouzoudou locality. In Mayo-Tsanaga division, BH 2 Dec killed three civilians in Mayo-Moskota town; 28 Dec killed civilian and injured several others in Ouzal village. In Logone-et-Chari division, BH overnight 23-24 Dec killed 12 civilians in Darak and Blangoua towns. In Adamawa region in centre, Central African Republic-based armed group Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R) 26 Dec reportedly kidnapped three Cameroonian gendarmes.
Anglophone separatists continued to target schools in North West and South West regions, while jihadist violence persisted in Far North. In North West, Anglophone separatists kidnapped dozens, including six teachers and ten students in Bui division’s capital Kumbo 3 Nov, and six students in Boyo division’s capital Fundong next day; most victims were quickly released. Separatists 5 Nov kidnapped prominent Cardinal Tumi and traditional chief of Nso people, alongside 11 others in Bui division, next day released Tumi and 10 Nov released Nso chief. Soldiers 8 Nov killed two civilians in Akum locality near regional capital Bamenda, and two others in Ndu town, Donga-Mantung division. In continued clashes with army, suspected separatists 11 and 18 Nov reportedly killed four soldiers in Bamenda and Mbiame town, Bui division. In South West, suspected separatists 4 Nov assaulted students and teachers in Limbe city, Fako division, later burnt school classroom, and 8 Nov killed traditional chief in regional capital Buea. Separatists 14 Nov killed two soldiers near Mamfe city, Manyu division, and 26 Nov killed three others in Ekondo-Titi commune, Ndian division. Soldiers 25 Nov reportedly killed at least two civilians in Akwaya commune, Manyu division. In Far North region, Boko Haram (BH) 10-25 Nov killed at least 14 civilians and kidnapped several others across region. Army overnight 18-19 Nov clashed with suspected jihadists in Mora town, killing two. Meanwhile, opposition leader Maurice Kamto remained under de facto house arrest in capital Yaoundé after calling for protest against President Biya in Sept. Authorities night of 3-4 Nov detained nine members of Kamto’s Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), including his spokesperson, for “rebellion” among other charges. Electoral commission started distribution of voter cards to members of electoral college ahead of 6 Dec regional elections, which MRC and other opposition party Social Democratic Front are boycotting.
Attack killed schoolchildren in Anglophone region and jihadists stepped up offensive in Far North; opposition leader remained under house arrest. Govt 1 Oct deployed additional troops in Anglophone North West and South West regions to prevent separatists’ celebrations of their declared Independence Day; some shooting reported in Bui, Momo and Boyo divisions (North West), death toll unknown. In South West, army 12 Oct killed prominent separatist leader known as General Ayeke in Wabane area, Lebialem division, and released 11 hostages from Ayeke’s camp. After some schools early Oct reopened in both regions despite separatists’ boycott, unidentified armed individuals 24 Oct attacked school in Kumba city, killing at least six children; govt immediately denounced “terrorist act of intolerable cruelty and barbarity”, while separatists denied responsibility, blaming Cameroonian govt. UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet 27 Oct condemned attack, called for “inclusive dialogue to carve out a durable resolution” to Anglophone crisis. Army 26 Oct reportedly killed separatist General Mendo Ze during military raid in Fako division. In attempt to unify separatist armed groups, imprisoned separatist leader Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe 15 Oct called on factional leaders to collaborate. In Far North, jihadist groups launched almost daily attacks on civilians and vigilante groups, leading govt to close over 60 schools in region in early Oct. Jihadists overnight 15-16 Oct killed three civilians and kidnapped five others in Oudal village, Mayo-Tsanaga division; 15-28 Oct killed two civilians and abducted nine others in Mayo-Sava division. Meanwhile, opposition leader Maurice Kamto’s lawyers 5 Oct submitted plea for authorities to lift his de facto house arrest, which court in Yaoundé rejected same day; Kamto’s Cameroon Renaissance Movement party remained under investigation for attempts to “destabilise state institutions and mount insurrection” following anti-govt protest last month. Geneva-based UN human rights experts 12 Oct called for Kamto’s immediate release and that of 200 others arrested in Sept; govt 14 Oct decried experts’ call as “partial and biased”.
Security forces early Sept confronted Anglophone separatists in North West region’s capital and jihadist attacks persisted in Far North. After Anglophone separatists 1 Sept killed policeman in North West’s capital Bamenda, security forces in following days banned circulation of motorbikes and raided city, killing prominent separatist leader known as General Mad Dog 6 Sept; as part of “Bamenda Clean” operation launched 8 sept, military carried out house searches, indiscriminate arrests and shootings, killing three civilians 12 Sept and four people including two suspected separatists 22 Sept. Soldiers 15 and 20 Sept killed four civilians in Bafut town, Mezam division. In South West region, Anglophone separatists 14 Sept killed two soldiers and one civilian in Bekora village, Ndian division. Soldiers 22-23 Sept killed six civilians in Tiko town and Lysoka locality, both Fako division. In alleged attempt to counter Anglophone aspirations to autonomy, President Biya 7 Sept scheduled country’s first-ever regional elections for 6 Dec; regional councils to be indirectly elected by local councils currently dominated by ruling party. Opposition leader Maurice Kamto 8 Sept said elections cannot take place “before the resolution of the crisis in the Anglophone region and the consensual reform of the electoral code”. Opposition supporters 22 Sept took to streets across country to demand Biya’s resignation, police used tear gas to disperse protesters in economic capital Douala and arrested at least 31 people in capital Yaoundé. In Far North, Boko Haram (BH) continued to target civilians and security forces. Notably, BH suicide bombing 1 Sept left seven civilians dead in Kouyapé village, Mayo-Sava division; BH overnight 5-6 Sept killed two soldiers at Toufou army post, Mayo-Tsanaga division; 11 Sept killed six civilians including village chief in suicide bombing in Zeleved village, Mayo-Tsanaga; 9-28 Sept killed at least eight civilians in several villages in Mayo-Sava; overnight 28-29 Sept killed two soldiers in Zeleved village. Military court 21 Sept sentenced four soldiers to ten years in prison and another to two years for killing women and children in Far North in 2015; video of killings had sparked international condemnation in 2018.
Violence continued unabated in Anglophone South West and North West regions, while jihadists inflicted heavy toll on civilians in Far North. Amid persistent conflict between separatists and military in North West, unidentified assailants 7 Aug killed local aid worker in Batibo town. Separatists same day beheaded woman they accused of collaborating with military in regional capital Bamenda and 10 Aug killed member of vigilante group in Bamunka village. Security forces 13 Aug killed suspected separatist and unidentified individual in Kumbo area. In South West, suspected Anglophone separatists 11 Aug beheaded woman they accused of collaborating with military in Muyuka locality; amid wide circulation of beheading video on social media, NGO Human Rights Watch 14 Aug called on UN Security Council to impose targeted sanctions on separatists. In following days, soldiers reportedly retaliated by killing about seven individuals and arresting about 200 in Muyuka area. Unidentified gunmen 27 Aug reportedly abducted 15 in Ekok town. Authorities mid-Aug acknowledged about 130 former separatist combatants recently escaped from Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation centres in Bamenda and South West capital Buea due to poor living conditions and unmet promises. Anglophone detainee in pre-trial detention since 2017 died 5 Aug in capital Yaoundé, sparking outcry from human rights activists and separatist leaders, with NGO Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa same day calling on govt “not to subject inmates to any form of inhumane and degrading treatment”. In Far North, jihadist attacks inflicted heavy toll on civilians. Suspected Boko Haram (BH) combatants night of 1-2 Aug attacked Nguetchéwé IDP camp, Mayo-Tsanaga division, killing at least 17 and forcing 1,500 to flee. UN High Commissioner for Refugees 4 Aug warned of “significant increase in violent incidents” in Far North. BH attacks continued 5-23 Aug, reportedly killing at least nine civilians. Army 9-10 Aug repelled BH attacks on three IDP camps in Mayo-Sava division, killing one militant. After security forces 11 Aug left their position in Kordo village, also Mayo-Sava, following opening of new military base in nearby Grea village 6 Aug, up to 6,000 civilians fearing rise in insecurity fled Kordo in following days.
Violence persisted in Anglophone North West and South West regions despite talks between govt and separatists, while security forces continued to confront jihadists in Far North. Incarcerated Anglophone separatist leader Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine other separatists 2 July met with govt officials in capital Yaoundé to discuss conditions for cessation of hostilities; in statement 6 July, however, govt said reports of talks “were not consistent with reality”, exposing rifts within govt over strategy in Anglophone conflict. Meanwhile, violence continued unabated in Anglophone regions, particularly North West. Separatists and security forces 4-5 July clashed in Bui department reportedly leaving 17 separatists and one soldier dead. Separatists 10 July killed two police officers near regional capital Bamenda, Mezam department. Security forces 12 July reportedly killed two civilians during military operation against separatists in Esu village, Menchum department; 18-19 July reportedly killed at least sixteen separatists including prominent leader General Okoro and six civilians during operation in Awing and Pinyin localities, Mezam department. Separatists 24-25 July killed six civilians during attack on Balikumbat town, Ngo-Ketunjia department. In South West, separatists continued to target humanitarian workers and other civilians: Doctors without Borders staff member killed near city of Kumba, Meme department 10 July; up to 60 civilians kidnapped 13 July in Mmouck Leteh village, Lebialem department, and reportedly released few days later. NGO Human Rights Watch 27 July said at least 285 civilians killed in North West and South West regions since Jan 2020. In Yaoundé, unidentified individuals 2 July detonated handmade bomb leaving at least 20 wounded; security officials accused Anglophone separatists, while govt increased security presence in capital, in particular in Anglophone neighbourhoods. In Far North, clashes between locals and jihadists overnight 8-9 July left one militant dead and three civilians injured in Doulo village, Mayo-Sava department. Security forces 15 and 25 July reportedly killed at least eight suspected jihadists in encounters in Tchebe-Tchebe and Gouzda-Vreket villages, Mayo-Tsanaga department. Following border tensions in recent months, Cameroonian defence minister and Equatorial Guinean counterpart 21 July met in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo to sign agreement on cross-border security cooperation.
Violence continued in Anglophone North West and South West regions, while jihadists launched further attacks in Far North despite counter-insurgency operations. In North West, tit-for-tat attacks between security forces and suspected Anglophone separatists continued. Notably, govt forces 3 June killed four separatists in Ndop town; suspected separatists 5 and 7 June killed gendarmerie commander and local official in Njikwa and Mbengwi towns; govt forces killed 11 suspected separatists in Mbokam town 12 June and 24 others in Bali, Widikum and Jakiri towns 11-15 June and raided Ngarum village 16-17 June, reportedly killing five civilians; separatists and soldiers 29 June clashed in Ndu area, seven killed including civilians. In South West, separatists and govt forces accused each other of 10 June killing of five civilians in Eshobi village; army 19 June reportedly killed separatist leader “General Obi” in Ashum village, Mamfe area. UN 4 June condemned “significant increase” in attacks on humanitarian and health workers in Anglophone regions over last two months. After military 5 June admitted Anglophone journalist Samuel Wazizi, who went missing after his arrest by police in South West’s capital Buea in mid-2019, died in custody, ten local and international NGOs 9 June called for independent investigation. Violence persisted in Far North. Jihadists 2 June killed civilian in Djibrilli village, Mayo-Tsanaga department. Security forces next day killed jihadist and arrested another in Kolofata town, Mayo-Sava department; 5 June repelled jihadist attack on Sagme village, Logone-et-Chari department, killing four; and 12 June reportedly launched missiles at Boko Haram (BH) splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province combatants in Nigerian border town of Dambore, death toll unknown. Authorities 23 June said suspected BH abducted at least 16 villagers previous day near Kolofata town. International Organization for Migration 1 July reported 400 civilians forced to flee Cheripouri locality, Kolofata area 24-28 June following attacks by armed groups. Following non-fatal skirmishes between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea armies around border town of Kye-Ossi in May and June, defence ministers from both countries 29-30 June met in capital Yaoundé to discuss border tensions.
Violence persisted in Anglophone North West and South West regions and jihadists continued to launch attacks against civilians and security forces in Far North despite ongoing security operations. Military 4 May said troops killed 22 Anglophone separatists including leading separatist fighter “General Aladji” in week-long military operation in North West, notably around Bafut town; locals said thirteen civilians died during raids. Separatists launched several attacks 10 May, killing soldier in village of Akwaya and new mayor of Mamfe city (both South West), and Fulani civilian near Ntumbaw village (North West), reportedly in retaliation for killing of two civilians by suspected Fulani bandits in area same day. Army 13 May reportedly clashed with separatists in Ekombe village, South West and Ndu town, North West; number of casualties unknown. Suspected separatists 25 May killed shopkeeper they accused of spying for govt forces in North West region’s capital Bamenda. Govt soldiers 28 May reportedly killed civilian in Mbiame town (North West) and four others in South West region’s capital Buea. Jihadist violence continued in Far North. In Mayo-Sava department, suspected jihadists 11 May killed three civilians in Makoulahe area; days later, local mob killed individual reportedly involved in attacks and handed over two other suspects to authorities. In Mayo-Tsanaga department, suspected jihadists 14 May killed two civilians in Majague locality. In Logone-et-Chari department, Boko Haram splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) 26 May attacked Soueram military base near Nigerian border, two soldiers and five militants killed. Meanwhile, security forces 8 May killed suspected jihadist in Gakara village, and 20 May killed three suspected jihadists in operation along Kolofata-Yegoua road, both Mayo-Sava department. Govt’s response to COVID-19 crisis continued to spark tensions. Health workers in capital Yaoundé central hospital 3 May held one-day strike over lack of protective equipment. Authorities 11 May arrested six volunteers of opposition leader Maurice Kamto’s fundraising initiative, banned by govt in April, for distributing masks and hand sanitiser in Yaoundé.
Violence continued in Anglophone regions and Boko Haram (BH) launched deadly attacks in Far North. After govt 3 April announced reconstruction plan for Anglophone North West and South West regions, separatists immediately rejected project and reportedly attacked public buildings, infrastructure workers and govt forces; military said subsequent fighting in both regions left thirteen separatists killed by mid-April. In North West region, govt forces 3, 14-15, and 26 April reportedly killed seven civilians suspected of supporting separatists; clashes between military and separatists 9-12 April left six dead including two civilians in Bui area. In South West, govt forces 22 April reportedly killed three separatists and three civilians in Muanbong village. Report by independent investigation commission 22 April confirmed govt forces responsibility in killing of 23 civilians in north-western Ngarbuh village mid-Feb. Constitutional Council 7 April announced ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement had won all thirteen seats in 22 March parliamentary election rerun in eleven constituencies in Anglophone regions. In Far North, attacks by BH militants continued, killing at least sixteen civilians and two soldiers 5-11 April in Mayo Sava, Mayo-Tsanaga, and Logone-Et-Chari departments. Notably, suspected BH double suicide attack 5 April killed ten civilians in Amchide locality. Military 20 April killed three BH militants and captured three others in Amchide locality; 24 April killed militant in Sandawadjiri village. Tensions increased between govt and main opposition party Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) amid COVID-19 crisis. After govt late March created national solidarity fund to finance response to COVID-19, MRC leader Maurice Kamto 3 April launched own fundraising initiative; govt 7 April declared initiative illegal, but MRC reportedly pursued fundraising. Following disappearance of President Biya from public sight since 11 March, Kamto 15 April called on National Assembly speaker to seize Constitutional Court and declare power vacancy; Biya next day made public appearance in capital Yaoundé. Biya 15 April announced prisoner release to limit spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
In Anglophone South West and North West regions, hostilities continued between military and Anglophone separatists with both sides reportedly also attacking civilians, while Boko Haram (BH) continued to target civilians in Far North. In early March, several clashes in Anglophone regions between govt forces and separatists reportedly left at least seventeen separatists, four soldiers and several civilians dead. Army stepped up operations in week leading up to 22 March re-run of legislative elections in eleven constituencies, claiming to have killed 24 separatists across both regions. Polling marred by low turnout and violence in North West region capital Bamenda, that reportedly left two dead. Local witnesses continued to accuse troops of killing civilians, which govt denied. Ambush by suspected separatists in Bui area, North West, 28 March killed twelve including soldier and local officials. Separatists also made incursion into predominantly francophone West region 7 March, killing eight including four security personnel in Galim town. To allow testing for COVID-19, one separatist group Southern Cameroon Defence Forces 26 March announced two-week ceasefire starting 29 March. Supporters of main opposition party Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) captured armed gendarmerie officer in plain clothes during MRC rally in Garoua city, North region 13 March; party 16 March accused him of trying to assassinate party leader Maurice Kamto. In Far North region, BH continued to target civilians. Notably, insurgents 2 March killed two civilians in Kouyape area, 3 March kidnapped and beheaded local leader in Yamgazawa village, and 22 March killed four in Tourou village.
In Anglophone regions, military launched raids on communities suspected of hosting separatists, which left more than 50 civilians dead; ruling party overwhelmingly won 9 Feb legislative and local elections marred by low turnout and fraud allegations, while Boko Haram (BH) attacks persisted in Far North. Ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) 9 Feb won 316 out of 360 municipal councils and 139 out of 167 declared seats in National Assembly; Constitutional Council 28 Feb ordered legislative elections rerun in eleven constituencies in Anglophone regions (west) as opposition accused CPDM of stuffing ballots. Thousands fled Anglophone regions as separatists imposed lockdown 7-12 Feb (restriction on movement, closure of schools and businesses) to prevent voting, fired warning shots and clashed with soldiers. In North West region, clashes between soldiers and separatists 3-5 Feb left five dead in Bamali village and in regional capital Bamenda. Soldiers backed by ethnic Fulani militia 14 Feb reportedly killed 23 civilians in Ngarbuh village; govt said “unfortunate accident” was caused by explosion during clashes with separatists while UN, EU and U.S. called for independent investigation. Security forces reportedly killed at least six civilians in Kuk village, Babessi town and Bamenda city 17-19 Feb, twenty civilians in Fungom village 20 Feb, and several people including seven suspected separatists in Babanki village 29 Feb. In South West, separatists 3 Feb opened fire on vehicle killing one civilian in Ekombe village, 20 Feb killed truck driver in Muyuka town. Military 3 Feb reportedly killed three civilians in Ikata village, 6 Feb killed six suspected separatists in Bakebe village, 20 Feb reportedly killed at least three civilians in Bakundu village. French President Macron 22 Feb said he would put “maximum pressure” on President Biya to end violence in Anglophone regions; govt 24 Feb denounced France for interfering in its internal affairs. In Far North, BH attacks 1-25 Feb left at least two dozen civilians, three militants and one soldier dead.