27, December 2017
The worsening conflict between Cameroon’s Francophone dominated government and English-speaking Cameroonians now known as the Federal Republic of Ambazonia have displaced about 40 000 people. About 20 000 people are internally displaced while over 40 000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria. Up to 65 percent of children in the affected area are displaced and face difficulties to attend school.
Tensions between the Francophone dominated security forces and Anglophone communities in the Southern Cameroons have intensified since November resulting in casualties among the civilian population and security forces.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered 7 204 arrivals in remote areas of Nigeria’s Cross River State. The refugee agency indicated that thousands more are awaiting registration.
Some 70 per cent of the registered asylum seekers, mostly women and children, come from Akwaya. It is among areas worst affected by deadly protests against alleged marginalization by the government dominated by French-speaking Cameroonians.
“As the unrest in Cameroon continues and more asylum seekers arrive, UNHCR is concerned that the local population’s capacity will soon be stretched to its limits,” said a UNHCR spokesperson. UNHCR and partners have developed a contingency plan for an estimated 40 000 new arrivals from Cameroon.
The minority English-speaking community in Cameroon is disgruntled by the reunification process that brought the English and the French-speaking parts of the country together in 1961. They complain about marginalisation and under-representation in the country’s Francophone-dominated administration of President Paul Biya. The Central African country is seen as fragile with the 2018 elections and the Boko Haram insurgency infiltrating from neighbouring Nigeria posing other problems.
CCN with files from CAJNews