Cameroon started the year 2020 with a number of conflicts with the most prominent being the Anglophone crisis and the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North.
36 days into the new year, the International Crisis Group has revealed some figures pertaining to deaths recorded as a result of these conflicts.
With Sunday’s election in sight, the Crisis Group says Ambazonian fighters stepped up their attacks “often targeting electoral staff and materials while military intensified deadly raids and deployed 700 additional gendarmes”. The North West region the group reveals, saw most intense violence.
It went on to cite several clashes including between the military and Ambazonian fighters as well as between Ambazonian fighters and the local population. “Villagers angered by separatists’ abuses early January chased them from their camps in Ngoketunjia” it stated.
With violence and kidnappings from the Ambazonian fighters and raids and killings from government, scores of persons were killed the International Crisis Group explains.
“Security forces 12-20 January killed at least sixteen in several villages and burned down hundreds of houses” it states, adding that “Clashes between two separatist groups in Meluf (Kumbo – North West region) on 18 January left at least six dead”.
It goes on to provide a list of other instances of atrocities, some of which include; the killing of a separatist commander on January 26 by security forces, the death of four in army raids in Mbiame (North West region) on 28-29 January and the death of a soldier in an ambush in Muyuka in the South West region.
In the Far North, almost daily Boko Haram “attacks on villages and military outposts between 3-28 Jan left 26 villagers and eleven militants dead” the International Crisis Group reveals.
With the resurgence of the Boko Haram on Cameroon soil, many fear it will be harder to beat the group this time bearing in mind the huge deployment of soldiers to combat Ambazonian fighters in the restive North West and South West regions.