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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Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone region violence surged around National Day; election tensions continued to mount. 

Separatist tensions and violence escalated in North West (NW) and South West (SW). Ambazonia rebels and security forces heavily clashed in lead-up to 20 May National Day celebration, killing at least sixteen. Notably, govt forces 5 May targeted separatist strongholds in Ndop town (NW), eliminating prominent commander and two fighters. Separatists 10 May ambushed and killed six gendarmes near Mamfe town (SW) and 14 May clashed with soldiers in Bambui town (NW), killing at least four including two civilians. Govt forces 16 May killed four rebels in Kumbo town (NW), while separatist fighters same day killed two soldiers in Akwaya town (SW). On day of celebrations, suspected separatists 20 May assassinated mayor of Belo town (NW); separatist-imposed “ghost town” strikes 17-20 May paralysed business and movement in NW and SW. Meanwhile, former spokesperson of Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) armed group, alias “Capo Daniel”, 4 May urged ceasefire and direct negotiations with Yaoundé; govt dismissed move while ADF denounced him as “traitor”.

Far North unrest continued. Boko Haram attacks persisted as Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) continued “Operation Lake Sanity II”, launched in April to reclaim territory. Fishermen 11-12 May clashed with JAS Bakura faction in three villages around Lake Chad, seizing guns and three motorbikes, casualties unknown. Jihadist militants 12 May carried out multiple attacks, including cattle rustling and abduction of at least two women in Djibrili village, Mayo-Tsanaga division. Meanwhile, govt forces 14 May announced rescue of 300 Boko Haram captives after week-long operation along northern border with Nigeria.

Tensions continued to mount in run-up to 2025 elections. Concerns over govt manipulation of election process grew as senior govt official 2 May cautioned electoral commission against inciting public voting drive amid calls from opposition politicians for mass registration to challenge President Biya; ruling party mayor 4 May halted registration process in a district of Yaoundé reportedly attended overwhelmingly by opposition supporters. Meanwhile, protests early May erupted in West region over alleged registration irregularities by ruling party, while pro-Biya demonstrators in South region 5 May blocked roads to hinder opposition activity.

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone separatists sought African Union (AU) support, enforced lockdowns and continued to clash with govt forces; jihadist attacks persisted in the Far North. 

Separatists pursued AU backing, clashed with govt forces. Anglophone separatist group Ambazonia Governing Council 3 April sent joint letter with Nigerian Biafra separatist group to AU Chairperson Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, urging body’s intervention in their independence causes, including leading dialogue and mediation initiatives and establishing fact-finding missions to investigate human rights violations. Separatist-enforced lockdowns continued to cause disruption in North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions as weekly “Monday ghost town” strikes halted public activities, including delaying school reopenings and threatening farming; in Nkambe city, Donga Mantung division (NW), separatist militia Ambazonia Defence Force 15 April burned dozen motorbikes as punishment for non-compliance with strikes. Separatists also clashedwith govt forces and detonated around dozen roadside bombs between March and April, mostly in NW, damaging military patrol vehicles and resulting in unspecified numbers of casualties. Govt forces 8 April killed two notorious separatist fighters in Bafut and Batibo areas (NW) and two others on 24 April near Kumba city (SW). Meanwhile, two prominent repentant separatist fighters mid-April criticised govt’s demobilisation program in viral video, denouncing unfulfilled promises.

Jihadist violence persisted in Far North. Boko Haram militants 6 April targeted Ngourkouma town, Logone-et-Chari division, but faced resistance from locals who seized weapons from assailants; militants 16 April issued ultimatum to residents, demanding return of seized weapons under threat of harm to their children, prompting hundreds from neighbouring fishing villages to flee to nearby Blangoua town over fear retribution would spread. Bakoura faction of Boko Haram 14-29 April carried out attacks on military positions in Magdeme, Mora, Kolofata and Zigue towns, raiding nearby villages for resources, and 29 April killed at least six civilians and two soldiers at Darak town. Meanwhile, soldiers and vigilantes 25 April freed around twenty women Boko Haram had kidnapped near Amchide town two days earlier. 

Preparations for 2025 presidential elections continued. Amid concerns over slow voter registration rate, ruling and opposition parties, alongside religious leaders, mobilised citizens to register.

Africa

Cameroon

Anglophone conflict persisted while jailed separatist leaders appealed for Nigerian help; political tensions bubbled ahead of 2025 elections.

Low-level violence persisted in Anglophone regions. Separatist groups continued to enforce weekly “Monday ghost town” strikes and engage in skirmishes with govt troops, resulting in casualties on both sides. Notably, separatist militia 15 March ambushed govt forces patrol in Wainama village, Bui division (North West region), causing unconfirmed number of casualties. Meanwhile, jailed Anglophone separatist leaders turned to Nigeria for help, as prominent figure Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine others 2 March petitioned Nigeria’s National Assembly to support their release; petitioners were extradited from Nigeria in Jan 2018 and following year Cameroonian military tribunal sentenced them to life imprisonment; in 2019 court in Nigerian capital Abuja ruled arrest and deportation illegal, although then-Nigerian President Buhari took no action. Petition highlighted links between Anglophone conflict and Nigeria, as Nigerian Biafra separatists 5-8 March claimed to have attacked Cameroonian soldiers in Bakassi Peninsula. 

Far North violence decreased slightly although sporadic incidents persisted. Soldiers 4 March successfully repelled Boko Haram attack in Kolofata commune, Mayo Sava department, and 11 March killed two suspected jihadists caught stealing food from farm in Nguetchewe town, Mayo Tsanaga department.

Political positioning continued ahead of 2025 presidential election. Ruling party tightened grip on political landscape while opposition factions contemplated united front for polls; but plans over potential coalition threatened after govt 12 March banned two emerging opposition groupings, Alliance Politique pour le Changement (APC) and Alliance pour une Transition Politique (APT), accusing them of clandestine activities and prohibiting them from further political actions. Trial of seventeen individuals, including former foreign intelligence chief Léopold Maxime Eko Eko and pro-govt business mogul Amougou Belinga, charged with Jan 2023 abduction, torture and murder of whistleblowing journalist Martinez Zogo began 25 March; case, which has so far been marked by administrative interference reflecting broader power struggles within govt, will likely be key political issue in lead-up to 2025 elections.

Africa

Cameroon

With peace talks stalled, Anglophone separatist militants hardened stance against civilians who violate their “ghost town” orders and UN humanitarian agencies.

Anglophone conflict continued to take heavy toll on civilians. Separatist groups 10-12 Feb violently enforced lockdowns in various towns of Anglophone North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions to prevent smooth running of National Youth Day activities on 11 Feb. Notably, bomb attack in Nkambe city, Donga Mantung division (NW), 11 Feb killed one school child and injured at least 40 people. Govt forces 15-17 Feb attacked separatists in and around Mamfe city, Manyu division (SW), killing four. Separatist factions from late Jan also hardened stance toward internationally-backed humanitarian and reconstruction efforts. Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC) unveiled plans to destroy World Bank-funded projects, while Interim Govt-Maryland group announced severing cooperation with several UN bodies, accusing them of thriving on status quo while making no effort to find political solution to conflict. Meanwhile, alliance between separatist groups in Ambazonia and Nigeria continued to raise tension: clashes between Nigerian Biafra separatists and Cameroonian soldiers reported 29 Jan and 4 Feb in Bakassi Peninsula.

Boko Haram conducted deadly attacks in Far North region. Suspected Boko Haram militants 5 Feb kidnapped fourteen herders of Fulani and Choa Arab ethnic groups in Limani town, Mayo-Sava division. Boko Haram militants 12-18 Feb attacked several neighbourhoods and villages in Kolofata, Limani (both Mayo-Sava) and Blangoua (Logone-et-Chari division) communes, stealing cattle, food, vehicles and kidnapping civilians. Govt forces 18 Feb repelled Boko Haram attacks on military bases in Limani and Amchide towns (both Mayo-Sava) on Nigerian border, with unknown number of casualties. Boko Haram roadside bomb explosion 27 Feb killed five elite forces soldiers in Gossi locality (Mayo-Tsanaga division).

AU endorsed Cameroonian candidate for UN General Assembly presidency. African Union 14 Feb endorsed former PM Philemon Yang as candidate for one-year presidency of 79th UN General Assembly; Yang’s UN posting could be used by Yaoundé to show govt rewards those who remain loyal and to closely monitor diplomatic moves ahead of 2025 elections.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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