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Cameroon – update June 2022

From Atrocities Watch Monitor N° 5, June 2022
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Violence increased in Cameroon in May, with an increase in both incidents and fatalities as compared to both April and the monthly average from the prior year.[1]

In late April and early May, violent events concentrated in the Extreme-North and North-West provinces. In the Extreme-North province, militants believed to be affiliated with either ISWAP or Boko Haram looted and destroyed property in Mayo-Sava. In the North-West province, military forces conducted several raids against Ambazonia separatist militants, resulting in several fatalities.[2]

On 11 May, Human Rights Watch released a report highlighting abuse against LGBTI persons in Cameroon, noting an uptick in incidents of such violence in 2021.[3]

On 15 May, armed men abducted two health workers from Kendem in South-West province.[4] This action is likely to only further hamper efforts to address an ongoing cholera outbreak in the country. On 26 May, a BCC correspondent was abducted in Bamenda in the North-West.[5]

Separatists ordered a lock down in English speaking regions to oppose the celebration of Cameroon’s national holiday, May 20 which commemorates the union of the French and English speaking regions of the country.[6] Senator Mundi, alongside other hostages, who had been held captive by separatists for a month, was freed at the end of May.[7]

Context:

In 2016, a series of peaceful protests by lawyers and teachers who, to protect the Anglophone educational and legal systems, requested the creation of a two-state federation were rapidly suppressed by the government. In response, armed separatist groups then formed to fight for an independent nation called Ambazonia, proclaimed an independent republic in October 2017. Authorities in Yaoundé responded, killing, and arresting those who they believed sympathised with the secessionists. This drove the formation of Anglophone militias. By the end of 2017, the crisis had degenerated into armed conflict.

 

[1] ACLED Dashboard, May 2022, https://acleddata.com/dashboard/#/dashboard

[2] ACLED, “Regional Overview 23 April – 6 May 2022,” 12 May 2022, https://acleddata.com/2022/05/12/regional-overview-africa-23-april-6-may-2022/

[3] Human Rights Watch, “Cameroon: Rising Violence Against LGBTI People,” 11 May 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/05/11/cameroon-rising-violence-against-lgbti-people

[4] OCHA, West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (17-23 May 2022), 26 May 2022, https://reliefweb.int/report/cameroon/west-and-central-africa-weekly-regional-humanitarian-snapshot-17-23-may-2022

[5] Hum Angle, “BBC Journalist Abducted In Restive Cameroon Anglophone Region,” 27 May 2022, https://humanglemedia.com/bbc-journalist-abducted-in-restive-cameroon-anglophone-region/

[6] VOA, “Violence, Lockdown, Running Battles Paralyze Cameroon National Day in Western Regions,” 20 May 2022, https://www.voanews.com/a/violence-lockdown-running-battles-paralyze-cameroon-national-day-in-western-regions/6582116.html

[7] VOA, “Cameroon’s Military Frees Senator, Other Separatist Hostages,” 31 May 2022, https://www.voanews.com/a/cameroon-s-military-frees-senator-other-separatist-hostages-/6596695.html

 

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