Cameroon, instability and the Anglophone crisis

 A crowded market of Yaounde, Cameroon A crowded market of Yaounde, Cameroon Photo by Jasantiso on iStock

06 June 2021

Violence is rising in Cameroon between Anglophone separatists and Francophone government.

More than 200,000 refugees came into the country from the neighbouring Central African Republic, while the Boko Haram insurgency terrorized the northern region of the country.  Furthermore, ethno-political tension has risen between Bulus and Beti ethnic groups to which President Paul Biya and his main opponent Maurice Kamato belong respectively. 

The most severe of all those crises, however, is the violence taking place in the Anglophone region of the country. The conflict started back in 2016 when English-speaking teachers and lawyers organized national boycotts of schools against the increasingly French-oriented teaching in education institutions by the Francophone government. National security forces responded with a brutal crackdown on protesters, thus prompting the formation of several separatist groups. Now, these separatist groups are calling for total independence of Northwest and Southwest regions from the rest of the country and are calling it Ambazonia. This led to frequent, violent, clashes between Cameroon’s military and separatist groups, along with widespread kidnappings, tortures, and massacres, by both the military and rebel forces.

More recently, several peace-building groups, mostly consisting of women of villages, have tried to mediate between the government and separatists to decrease the conflict. Many times, those groups effectively managed to keep away rebel soldiers (called “Amba boys” or more simply “the boys”) from fighting and committing crimes.

 

Sources: 

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2021/6/1/peace-activists-in-cameroon-try-to-end-a-brutal-war

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/1/violence-in-cameroon-anglophone-crisis-takes-high-civilian-toll

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cameroon-separatists/rights-group-accuses-cameroonian-soldiers-of-mass-rape-idUSKBN2AQ282

 

Autore: Pasquale Candela; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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