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August 2023



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



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



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



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



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.

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