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

CrisisWatch Cameroon

Unchanged Situation

Instability remained widespread in North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions as Anglophone crisis continued, attracting increasing domestic and international attention. 

Govt and Ambazonia rebels continued to clash. Separatists 5 June ambushed and killed municipal councilor in Zhoa commune, Menchum division (NW). Combined militias under Ambazonia Peoples Liberation Council 8 June ambushed army patrol between Muyuka and Kumba towns, with unspecified casualties. Clashes between govt forces and separatists 14-18 June in Ekondo-Titi, Mundemba and Isangele areas in Ndian division (SW) caused unknown casualties. Gunmen 17 June attacked checkpoint at entrance to Buea city (SW) killing at least one civilian. Conflict took increasing toll on taxi drivers; separatists banned taxis in Bamenda city (NW), burning down at least seven vehicles during standoff partly in response to govt’s 31 May suspension of night-time circulation of motorcycles to limit gunmen’s movements. Some drivers and bike riders in Bamenda 21 June protested against separatist violence. Meanwhile, amid confusion over one separatist faction’s call for all yellow taxis in Anglophone areas to switch to blue and white colours of Ambazonia flag, bitter wrangling erupted, with many faction leaders condemning policy and violence against taxis.

International actors sounded alarm over Cameroon’s conflicts. NGO Norwegian Refugee Council 4 June ranked Cameroon’s displacement crisis second most neglected worldwide, highlighting prolonged Anglophone conflict and jihadist insurgency in Far North (see below). At UN Security Council briefing 10 June, Russia and Japan expressed concern at violence in NW and SW, France called on parties to Anglophone crisis to pursue dialogue while South Korea called for Cameroonian-led conflict resolution initiative in Anglophone regions.  

Jihadist violence persisted in Far North. Multinational Joint Task Force continued Operation Lake Sanity to reclaim territory. In Mayo-Sava division, insurgents 6 June killed one soldier near Mora town, while troops 15 June killed two Boko Haram combatants in Amchide town. In Mayo-Tsanaga division, militants 12 June clashed with national army in Koza town, leaving one dead on each side, and soldiers 13-14 June arrested 12 Boko Haram fighters in Moskota town. Islamic State West Africa Province fighters 17 June abducted local head of fishermen’s association in Chahack area, Logone-et-Chari division

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In The News

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

Arrey Elvis Ntui

Consulting Senior Analyst, Cameroon

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Arrey Elvis Ntui

Consulting Senior Analyst, Cameroon
Arrey Elvis Ntui

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