The security situation in Cameroon is mainly characterised by Boko Haram (BH) in Far North region and the anglophone crisis in the Southwest and Northwest regions. Areas along the border with CAR in East and Adamoua regions also face a precarious security situation, with high levels of banditry.?
Boko Haram (BH)
The BH insurgency spilled over into Far North region from neighbouring Borno state in Nigeria in 2014.??After Nigeria, Cameroon is the second most-affected country by the violence and insecurity linked to BH insurgency in Lake Chad basin. Logone-et-Chari and Mayo-Sava departments are the most affected by the crisis, accounting for 75% of all security incidents in Far North region between January 2017 and October 2018.?
An attack by BH militants in Far North region on 7 November demonstrates that Boko Haram can cross borders easily and remains a threat in the region, particularly against civilian populations. The militants killed a man they accused of spying for the Joint Task Force.?In the first nine months of 2018, 128 security incidents involving BH (violent attacks, suicide bombings, lootings, kidnappings) were recorded in Far North region. The number of security incidents involving BH has steadily increased throughout the year, with 31 incidents recorded in the first quarter, 42 in the second quarter and 53 in the third quarter. Civilians were affected in almost 65% of these attacks,.?
Longstanding grievances in the anglophone community in Northwest and Southwest regions due to marginalisation by the francophone-dominated government escalated into widespread protests and strikes in late 2016. The separatist movement has grown since the beginning of 2017, when independent movements formed the Southern Cameroon Ambazonia Consortium United Front (SCACUF) to seek international recognition of an independent, English-speaking Republic of Ambazonia.?Conflict escalated in the second quarter of 2018, with 239 reported fatalities in Northwest and Southwest regions compared to a total of 425 people and 142 civilians killed since October 2016, as of July 2018?Secessionists have increasingly targeted civilians and civil servants since the beginning of 2018, while their attacks were previously oriented towards Cameroonian security forces. Over 260 security incidents were recorded between January and September 2018.?
Clashes between secessionists and the army continue, triggering further displacement and disrupting the healthcare, education and livelihood systems, driving significant needs.?At least 30 people were killed in fighting between Cameroonian troops and secessionists on 13 November amid rising violence since President Paul Biya's re-election.?9 September, armed secessionists blocked access into and out of the northwestern English-speaking capital Bamenda. At least 20 buses carrying 1,000 people travelling to the French-speaking cities of Yaounde and Douala were stopped in Akum. Some buses were burned and others damaged.?In mid-September, more people started deserting the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, fearing an escalation of violence in the run-up to the presidential election. On 15 September, local authorities began to tighten control on the movement of goods and people at the border with the French-speaking regions.?
Biya was reelected to a seventh term on 22 October, with almost 72% of the votes. However, the participation rate in the two anglophone regions is likely to have been extremely low (perhaps as low as 5%) due the limited number of voting stations and as intensified fighting between the army and armed secessionists disrupted the voting process in dozens of towns in the anglophone regions.?In the aftermath of the election, the Cameroonian government launched a series of operations targeting secessionists in several districts of Northwest region, resulting in almost 70 deaths.?On 5 November, 82 people including 78 students were kidnapped from a school in the anglophone region of northwest Cameroon and later released. It remains unclear who carried out the kidnapping; the government has blamed secessionists, who have denied responsibility.?
A general anglophone conference bringing together the different stakeholders, mainly from the government and secessionists sides, is set to take place on 21-22 November at the initiative of four religious leaders from the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church and the central mosques of Bamenda and Buea.?