CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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January 2024

Africa

Cameroon

Govt continued military campaign to subdue independence-seeking Anglophone militias, while jihadists kept up attacks in Far North region. 

Security situation in Anglophone regions remained dire. Govt aircraft 10 Jan crashed in Kikaikelaki town, near Kumbo city, Bui division (North West region); exchange of fire followed between Anglophone separatist combatants and govt forces, with unknown casualties; military said aircraft suffered mechanical failure, while separatists claimed shooting it down. For first time since Dec 2019, govt 20 Jan said army 9 Jan killed separatist militia Ambazonia Defence Forces ground commander in clashes near Batibo town, Momo division (North West). Meanwhile, govt’s renewed attempt to crush weekly general strike called by separatists, dubbed “Monday ghost town”, ratcheted up tensions. Notably, separatists reportedly trying to enforce ghost town 15 Jan attacked police station and fired shots for hours in Nkwen neighbourhood of North West regional capital Bamenda. Fako Black Tar separatist militia overnight 29-30 Jan raided parts of South West regional capital Buea and killed at least two civilians, claiming residents did not comply with ghost town order. Separatist faction Interim Government of Ambazonia 29 Jan announced ending cooperation with UN agencies, putting humanitarian operations at risk. Biafra separatist militants from Nigeria 12 Jan reportedly attacked Cameroonian govt forces in Abana town, Bakassi Peninsula (South West).

Jihadist militants kept up attacks on military, civilians in Far North region. Boko Haram 1 Jan killed four Christians and abducted ten others celebrating New Year in Bargaram village, Logone-et-Chari division; in video posted online, militants vowed to avenge Palestinian victims of war in Gaza. Army 7-8 Jan repelled jihadist attack on military post in Zamga town and cleared three landmines near Djibrili town, both Mayo-Tsanaga division, while Boko Haram 20 Jan killed at least five civilians in two villages of Mayo-Tsanaga. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen 10 Jan abducted three staff members of international humanitarian organisation Première urgence in Yémé village, Mayo-Sava division. 

President Biya announced fuel price increase in bid to cut spending. In his end-of-year address, Biya 31 Dec announced further reduction of fuel subsidy in 2024; move could further increase cost of living and fuel popular discontent.

December 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Violence continued in Anglophone and Far North regions; release order in high-profile judicial case caused confusion.

Violence persisted in Anglophone regions. In North West, separatist militia 12 Dec briefly held eight secondary school students hostage and kidnapped two school staff in Wum town, Menchum division; suspected separatists 20 Dec targeted military convoy with improvised explosive device in same area, killing five soldiers. Defence Minister Beti Assomo 31 Dec started visit to Bakassi Peninsula (South West) following weeks of violence and threats from Nigeria’s Biafra separatist militia, which in Oct 2023 signed cooperation agreement with Anglophone separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council. Separatist faction (self-proclaimed Interim Govt of Ambazonia) 11 Dec opened Washington D.C. office after hiring U.S. firm in Oct to lobby for referendum.

Jihadist and other violence continued in Far North region. Suspected Boko Haram combatants 18 Dec attacked security post in Mayo-Sava division; soldiers killed two combatants. Also in Mayo-Sava, residents of Tokombere town 19 Dec demonstrated to demand resignation of mayor, accusing him of land grab and corruption, with some rioters setting gendarmerie office on fire; security forces used live rounds to push back protesters, leaving at least eight dead and others injured.

Military judge dismissed amid tug-of-war over high-profile judicial case. State scandal triggered by kidnapping and murder in Jan 2023 of journalist Martinez Zogo, who had denounced corruption at top of state, continued to linger. Yaoundé military court 1 Dec allegedly ordered provisional release of former intelligence minister Eko Eko and wealthy businessman Amougou Belinga, who have been in detention since March for alleged involvement in Zogo’s murder. Decision was reversed later same day, however, and President Biya 13 Dec replaced military judge in charge of case.

Political manoeuvres started ahead of 2025 presidential election. Opposition party Mouvement pour la Renaissance du Cameroun 10 Dec re-elected Maurice Kamto, runner-up in 2018 presidential election, as chairman; Kamto was sole candidate as internal critics avoided event. Another opposition leader, Cabral Libii, 19 Dec accused govt of trying to prevent him from standing in 2025 after authorities banned his party’s elective congress initially scheduled for 15-17 Dec.

November 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone conflict took heavy toll on civilians, with over 30 killed in two major attacks; jihadist groups continued targeting civilians and govt forces’ positions in Far North.

Massacres highlighted civilians’ vulnerability amid Anglophone conflict. In South West region, unidentified gunmen overnight 6 Nov rampaged through Egbekaw neighbourhood of Mamfe town (Manyu division), setting houses ablaze and killing at least 25 civilians; day marked anniversary of President Biya’s rise to power (see below). In Francophone West region, near border with Anglophone North West, suspected armed separatists 21 Nov raided market in Bamenyam village (Bamboutos division), killing nine people, abducting at least ten and wounding two soldiers. UN condemned both attacks, urged govt to conduct investigations and hold perpetrators accountable. Meanwhile, fighting continued between Anglophone separatists and govt forces. In North West region, separatist combatants 8, 11 Nov clashed with army in regional capital Bamenda, leaving two soldiers dead; army 11 Nov raided separatist hideout in Nguri locality (Donga-Mantung division), killing six fighters including one commander; separatists 10 Nov attacked soldiers with rocket-propelled grenade in Belo town (Boyo division), killing three.

Jihadist groups kept up attacks on military, civilian targets in Far North region. Suspected Boko Haram (BH) combatants early to mid-Nov attacked several localities in Mayo-Sava, Mayo-Tsanaga and Logone-et-Chari divisions, with four civilians killed 12 Nov in Kolofata and Hile Alifa towns. Fighting between militants and govt forces continued. Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements 5 Nov attacked military post in Fotokol town (Logone-et-Chari), killing one soldier. BH-army clashes 9-13 Nov also left four dead in several areas of Mayo-Sava.

Ruling party celebrated President Biya’s 41st anniversary in office. Ruling party 6 Nov held rallies in several cities to celebrate Biya’s 41st anniversary in power, called on 90-year-old president to vie for eighth term in 2025 presidential election.

October 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone regions observed general strike on self-proclaimed independence anniversary, as separatists redoubled efforts to reduce internal wrangling and come closer to Nigerian separatists.

Anglophone conflict continued. Anglophone regions 1 Oct went silent on anniversaries of British Southern Cameroons’ 1961 reunification with Francophone Republic of Cameroon and 2017 unilateral declaration of independence by now-detained Anglophone leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. Most residents 30 Sept-2 Oct stayed indoors as businesses closed and transportation halted. Some administrators in South West regional capital Buea sanctioned businesses observing general strike. Low-level violence persisted: Ambazonia Defence Forces 4 Oct killed two men they accused of spying for govt forces in Batibo town (North West region), and govt forces 12 Oct killed six suspected separatist rebels in Akwaya subdivision (South West). Meanwhile, Anglophone separatist groups 5-8 Oct met in Canada to draw up plans to reduce internal wrangling and splintering of movement. Ayaba Cho Lucas’ Ambazonia Governing Council and Nigerian separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) factional leader Simon Ekpa 21 Oct signed cooperation agreement in Finland’s capital Helsinki, pledging mutual assistance in their respective separatist struggles. Following petition by 30 U.S. Congress members, U.S. President Biden 6 Oct extended Temporary Protected Status for Cameroonians for additional 18 months on account of thousands of people fleeing Anglophone conflict.

Jihadist and intercommunal violence persisted in Far North region. Authorities in Mayo-Sava division 3 Oct enforced night curfew in Mora and Kolofata towns in response to increasing jihadist violence. Boko Haram militants 4 Oct killed two vigilante members in Grea village, Mayo-Sava. Unidentified jihadist group same day kidnapped local chief and two staff members from multinational company in Bargaram locality, Logone-et-Chari division. Meanwhile, Kotoko farmers and Choa Arab herders 6 Oct clashed in Makary, Logone-et-Chari, with one killed and four injured.

Unknown assailants launched rare mass kidnappings in North region. Unidentified gunmen 21 and 23 Oct kidnapped at least 50 people near Touboro town in North region.

September 2023

Africa

Cameroon

President Biya conducted minor military reshuffle; separatists enforced lockdown as school year started in Anglophone regions.

President Biya made changes in armed forces. Amid series of coups in West Africa and neighbouring Gabon, Biya 30 Aug replaced some colonel rank officers holding technical positions, and 4 Sept signed decree creating specialised military school in distant Motcheboum town, East region, to train soldiers for peace missions.

Separatists launched several attacks amid lockdown in Anglophone regions. As new school year started, Anglophone separatists 4-18 Sept violently enforced lockdown in North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions; lockdown served as show of force and protest at unresolved conflict. Notably, armed separatists 2 Sept killed two head teachers in Belo town, Boyo division (NW); 5 Sept attacked military truck with explosive device in Lebialem division (SW), killing at least one civilian and wounding others; and 7 Sept stopped cars and shot at passengers to block access to Muea neighbourhood of SW regional capital Buea, leaving three civilians killed. Suspected separatist fighters 29 Sept also killed gendarme in Awing locality, Mezam division (NW).

Military stepped up monitoring operations in Far North after spate of jihadist attacks. After Mayo-Sava and Mayo-Tsanaga divisions in Aug experienced surge in violence, soldiers 9 Sept thwarted Boko Haram (BH) raids on Limani and Djakana villages (Mayo-Sava division), killing two militants. Army 21 Sept ambushed BH fighters in Galdala village (Mayo-Tsanaga), killing three. Islamic State West Africa Province militants 21 Sept reportedly killed one gendarme in Darak, Logone-et-Chari division.

In other important developments. Cameroon and Nigeria early Sept launched joint operation against Biafra separatist group Black Marine in Bakassi Peninsula (SW), reportedly dislodging militants from Abana town, Idabato subdivision, by 10 Sept.

August 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone conflict continued in North West and South West regions, while Far North region faced renewed jihadist attacks and violence over land disputes.

Army reported successful operations against Anglophone separatists. Govt forces 6 Aug ambushed Anglophone rebels in Bafut town (Mezam division, North West), killing two, and raided Anglophone separatist camp in Bopo village, Mbonge town (Meme division, South West), killing five rebels and seizing weapons. Separatists who late July mounted roadblocks across North West and South West regions with stated aim of curtailing govt’s extrajudicial killings, 16 Aug allowed road transport again. Unidentified armed group overnight 11-12 Aug reportedly raided Kekukesi-Akwaya locality in Manyu division (SW), killing four civilians.

Boko Haram stepped up attacks in Far North region after brief lull in July. Boko Haram combatants 2-3 Aug killed 12 civilians and kidnapped another 20 on Darak island of Lake Chad (Logone-et-Chari division); 8 Aug also attacked Bakarisse camp for internally displaced persons in Kerawa locality (Mayo-Sava division), killing three. Jihadist insurgents 15-29 Aug carried out nearly two dozen other attacks, killing at least three civilians in Mayo-Tsanaga and Mayo-Sava divisions. Soldiers 18 Aug killed at least four Islamic State West Africa Province militants near Hile-Alifa town (Logone-et-Chari), and 25 Aug killed another four jihadist militants near Mozogo town (Mayo-Tsanaga).

Land disputes evolved into intercommunal clashes in Far North region. Competition over ownership of rice field located near Kai-Kai town (Mayo-Danay division) 10 Aug led to violent clashes between villagers, leaving three casualties. Two weeks earlier, land dispute had turned into confrontation between Christians and Muslims in Warba village (Mayo-Sava division), with four killed and dozens injured.

July 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone conflict continued to take high civilian toll, as human rights organisation denounced widespread human rights violations.

Tit-for-tat attacks by army and separatists continued in Anglophone regions. Armed Anglophone separatists 1 and 4 July killed three soldiers in Bamenda city and Belo town, both North West (NW) region. In response, govt forces launched spate of attacks, killing two women in Mejang village (NW) 5 July, three separatist combatants in Mbonge town (South West) 12 July, and at least five young men in Bamenda’s Nacho neighbourhood 14 July. Unidentified gunmen wearing military uniforms 16 July shot ten civilians dead in same neighbourhood; military and NW governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique next day blamed “terrorists”, while prominent separatist armed group, Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), denied responsibility.

ADF hardened their stance, threatening to target anyone working with govt. ADF leader Ayaba Cho Lucas 12 July vowed to seize, sell or destroy properties of “collaborators and enablers of Cameroon government’s activities in the Anglophone regions”, notably ruling party members and traditional rulers who cooperate with Yaoundé. Separatists 29 July declared ghost town in Bamenda city to disrupt funeral of opposition leader Ni John Fru Ndi for his stance in favour of united Cameroon.

Rights group denounced widespread human rights violations in North West. NGO Amnesty International 4 July published extensive report documenting human rights violations – killings, kidnappings and gender-based violence – committed by security forces, associated militias and armed separatists in North West region since 2020. Report also accuses govt of instrumentalising Fulani Mbororo community militias against Anglophone rebels, exposing community to reprisals by separatists, and of systematic crackdown on people denouncing violations.

In other important developments. Far North region in July recorded lull in jihadist violence after security forces in June reinforced their positions; lull also coincided with resumption of clashes between Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province in neighbouring Nigeria (see Nigeria). Anglophone cocoa producers in July staged street protests in Mamfe city (SW) to protest Nigeria exports ban imposed in June by Yaoundé in bid to curb smuggling.

June 2023

Africa

Cameroon

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.

May 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone separatists escalated violence around Cameroon’s National Day, notably launching rare attack in Francophone region near economic capital Douala; ethnic conflict erupted in south, and Boko Haram stepped up attacks in Far North.

Separatist militias escalated attacks leaving heavy toll on military. Anglophone separatist rebels 1 May crossed border from Anglophone South West region (SW) into Francophone Littoral region, attacked military post at Matouke village, Moungo division, less than 40km from economic capital Douala, killing five soldiers and one civilian. In retaliation, govt forces same day reportedly killed six civilians and arrested 14 people in nearby Maumu village, Fako division (SW). Explosive device 16 May killed at least three soldiers in Mabonji locality, Meme division (SW). As Cameroon celebrated National Day – which commemorates date in 1972 when referendum abrogated two-state federation, ushering in unitary state – armed separatists 20 May abducted about 30 women in Kedjom-Keku (Big Babanki) village, Mezam division in North West region (NW), after they protested taxes levied by separatists; all women released 23 May. Govt forces 21 and 28 May fought off ambushes in Otu village, Manyu division (SW) and Bambalang village, Ngo-Ketunjia division (NW) respectively, killing at least four separatists. Explosive device 31 May reportedly killed five soldiers in Mbengwi town (NW).

Ethnic tensions turned violent in South region. Govt mid-May sounded alarm on unprecedented levels of hate speech, pledged tough sentences. Violent unrest around 24 May erupted in Sangmelima town, Dja-et-Lobo division in Francophone South region, between members of local Bulu community and members of Bamoun and Bamileke communities from Francophone West region, leaving unclear number of casualties; army intervened to quell tensions.

Boko Haram (BH) conducted several deadly attacks in Far North region. BH militants 4 May killed two civilians in twin raids on Goldavi locality, Mayo-Tsanaga division, and Wilda locality, Mayo-Sava division, also stealing cattle and provisions. BH 21 May attacked Mozogo village, Mayo-Tsanaga; security forces killed two militants and lost a local vigilante. Suspected BH militants 29 May killed two customs officers, one police officer and one civilian in Mora town, Mayo-Sava. One soldier and two BH militants killed same day in clash in Ziguague town, Logone-et-Chari division.

April 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Amid sustained fighting between army and separatists, local authorities in Anglophone regions warned of renewed herder-farmer tensions; jihadist violence increased in Far North region.

Anglophone separatists and govt forces continued to engage in clashes. In North-West region (NW), army 4 April ambushed and killed three armed separatists in Bafut commune (Mezam division); separatist militia 27 April detonated IEDs in Bamenda city, with unknown number of casualties. In South West region (SW), suspected separatist combatants 5 April killed two soldiers in Mamfe city (Manyu division); govt forces 18 April killed two separatist fighters and arrested eight civilians suspected of working with separatists during raid in Mamfe.

Tensions between Nigerian pastoralists and Cameroonian farmers rose again. In NW, armed men 1-2 April abducted about 25 people and destroyed properties in Ako town (Donga-Mantung division) near border with Nigeria’s Taraba state; local officials blamed attack on Fulani herders from Nigeria, who have crossed border into Cameroon and clashed with local farmers in the past. Local authorities in neighbouring SW region had in March warned of similar incursions in Akwaya town (Manyu division).

Jihadists stepped up attacks in Far North region. Boko Haram militants overnight 5-6 April clashed with army and vigilantes in Malika and Kerawa localities (both Mayo-Sava division), leaving two militants dead; 16 April attacked Zeleved military post (Mayo-Tsanaga division), killing at least one soldier and displacing hundreds of civilians; 18 April killed at least one civilian and set houses ablaze in Mozogo town (Mayo-Tsanaga) before being pushed back by military. IED planted by Boko Haram 24 April killed six soldiers in Tchébé-Tchébé village (Mayo-Tsanaga).

Senate elections cemented one-party rule, media freedom remained under threat. After ruling party in March won all 70 Senate seats open for election, Biya 31 March appointed another 30 senators, with only five from opposition parties, meaning ruling party now holds 95% of Senate seats. Meanwhile, Cameroon Journalists’ Trade Union 8 April accused Maroua city (Far North region) mayor of threatening to kill journalists investigating corruption in road construction projects.

March 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Canadian-facilitated initiative to settle Anglophone conflict remained stalled as clashes between govt forces and separatists continued; jihadist violence spiked in Far North.

Anglophone separatists continued to look for more united anti-govt front. Five prominent separatist movements 5 March announced All Ambazonia Conference to take place 6-10 July “to achieve a defining path for the liberation of homeland”; move is part of Anglophone separatists’ efforts to pursue new, more united anti-govt approach since President Biya pulled out of Canadian-facilitated peace initiative in Jan.

Violence continued in Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions. Armed separatists 1 March kidnapped two police officers near Lysoka village, Fako division (SW), releasing them two days later following mediation by local civil society. Gunfire reported 11-12 March in several towns as separatists imposed lockdown in Anglophone regions to disrupt 12 March indirect Senate elections and govt forces deployed to secure voting. Armed separatists 14 March attacked govt checkpoint in Muea neighbourhood of SW regional capital Buea, killing at least two officers; 15 March killed university lecturer at his home in NW regional capital Bamenda; 28 March shot down army helicopter in Ntumbaw village, Donga-Mantung division (NW), killing at least one soldier.

Jihadists stepped up violence against soldiers in Far North region. Army 13 March repelled Boko Haram (JAS faction) attack on Sanda Wadjiri village, Mayo-Sava division; 14 March killed three members of Boko Haram splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province, in Gassama locality, Logone-et-Chari division. Suspected JAS militants 18-19 March launched several attacks on civilians in Mayo-Tsanaga division, killing unconfirmed number. Landmine explosion 21 March killed at least one soldier and injured several others between Amchidé and Kolofata towns (Mayo-Sava).

In other important developments. After 12 March indirect Senate elections, Constitutional Council 23 March rejected all appeals and confirmed ruling party won all 70 seats in upper house; Biya to appoint 30 more senators in April, cementing his political control.

February 2023

Africa

Cameroon

Tensions between govt and Anglophone separatists remained high amid stalled peace initiative, and jihadist violence persisted in Far North.

Future of Canada-led facilitation of Anglophone crisis remained uncertain. After President Biya late Jan denied asking any country to organise peace talks with Anglophone separatists, and announced massive drive to recruit 9,500 soldiers, Ottawa launched diplomatic effort to change his stance. Meanwhile, separatist leaders, who are divided into distinct militia factions, late Jan-early Feb started discussing possibility of more united anti-govt front.

Both parties intensified military activities in North West (NW), South West (SW). After army 31 Jan killed separatist group Ambazonia Defence Forces commander “General Transporter” Ayuk Ndifon Defcam, group early Feb announced stepping up attacks and use of IEDs against military. Govt forces 7 Feb clashed with separatist combatants in Baba 1 village, Ngo-Ketunjia division (NW), with at least five killed on each side. Ahead of 11 Feb National Youth Day marking 1961 plebiscite in which British Southern Cameroons (current NW and SW) voted to join independent Republic of Cameroon, unidentified gunmen 10 Feb attacked Cameroon Development Corporation plantation workers near Tiko town, Fako division (SW), killing five and wounding at least 40. During annual Mount Cameroon Race of Hope in South West capital Buea, three roadside bombs 25 Feb exploded, wounding 19 people.

Jihadist attacks continued in Far North region. Boko Haram 2 Feb killed five people in Koza commune, Mayo-Tsanaga division; overnight 6-7 Feb killed eight fishermen near Blaram village, Logone-et-Chari division; 26 Feb killed one vigilante in Tumbun Ali island, also Logone-et-Chari. Meanwhile, clashes between fishermen and farmers 27 Feb left three people seriously wounded in Moulva locality, Mayo-Kani division.

In other important developments. After killing of investigative journalist Martinez Zogo in Jan caused national outcry, Biya 2 Feb ordered investigation and authorities in following days detained several intelligence officials as well as businessman Jean-Pierre Amougou-Belinga in relation to case, lending credence to theory that Zogo’s murder was state crime. Biya 13 Feb celebrated 90th birthday and over 40 years in power.

January 2023

Africa

Cameroon

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).

December 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

November 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

October 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

September 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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).

August 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

July 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

June 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

May 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

April 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

March 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

February 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

January 2022

Africa

Cameroon

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.

December 2021

Africa

Cameroon

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.

November 2021

Africa

Cameroon

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.

October 2021

Africa

Cameroon

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.

September 2021

Africa

Cameroon

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.

August 2021

Africa

Cameroon

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.

July 2021