Waves of violence shatter Cameroon: thousands are displaced

English speakers protest against discrimination on the streets of Cameroon English speakers protest against discrimination on the streets of Cameroon Charles Charlo/ Facebook (via Storyful)

Ongoing clashes cause death of civilians despite peace talks between the government and the Ambazonia Interim Government (IG)

Recent attacks in the anglophone regions of Cameroon prove the fragile political situation in the country, where peace talks between the two opposing parties were to define new measures to advocate human rights and avoid further abuses of civilians. The so-called “Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon entails a fight for independence by the separatists against the government of Cameroon in the anglophone territories of North-West region and South-West region. Arbitrary killings endanger the lives of civilians who in thousands see themselves forced to flee to find a safe environment together with those who were displaced since the beginning of the conflict in 2016.

Recently, Cameroonian armed forces have attacked a health facility in the North-West region and arbitrarily arrested seven health workers in the South-West of Cameroon, while armed separatists have killed at least six civilians, including a humanitarian aid worker and a teacher. Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 285 civilians have been killed in about 190 incidents since January 2020 in the North-West and South-West regions. Fear of attacks and clashes have consequently displaced thousands of people during the past two months. Health and aid workers several times have tragically been the target of armed security forces who together with armed separatists have both attacked hospitals and medical staff on multiple occasions. Moreover, separatists killed a community health worker of the international aid organisation Doctors without borders.

“The talks between the government and separatist leaders should include ensuring respect for human rights and accountability for abuses,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “All parties to the talks should publicly commit to immediately end abuses against civilians and ensure that victims of abuses have access to effective remedies.”


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Author: Theresa Bender-Säbelkampf

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