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The untold conflicts in cameroon

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There is a raging conflict in Cameroon that the world seems to have forgotten about between the French speaking and English . The Central African nation, also known as “Africa in miniature” due to its diversity, has seen long-running tensions, pitting the French-speaking and English-speaking parts of the country against each other. On October 1, 2017, activists in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon made a symbolic declaration of independence, and announced the creation of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
Since then, curfews, mass arrests, and roadblocks have become the standard operating procedure of the security forces, as they battle the Ambazonia Defence Forces, the outfit leading the armed resistance. The humanitarian crisis continues to escalate as refugees flee across the border into Nigeria, abandoning their homes and farms, which are often set on fire by security forces. Reports of military excesses manifested through summary executions and extra-judicial killings have also surfaced, mainly through videos shared on social media.
Cameroon is still grappling with a tangled colonial past that involved three European powers — Germany, France and Britain — and in recent years, it has become a vital partner of the United States in the battle against Islamist extremism in Africa. Lawyers, teachers, and civil society groups an organized demonstration in 2016, protesting what they claimed was the marginalization of the English-speaking regions. Security forces responded heavy-handedly, shooting protesters and arresting activists, further fueling secessionist calls in the region, and what gradually became a violent rebellion.
Longstanding anger at the government has erupted into one of the nation’s biggest uprisings in decades. Separatists are waging a violent battle to break away and form their own country, called Ambazonia. The estimated 2,000 fighters are armed mostly with homemade guns and take orders from activists living overseas.
Known locally as “Amba boys,” the separatists are up against an American- and Israeli-trained elite military force that has been widely accused of human rights abuses. The government crackdown has been ruthless, with residents and local officials providing frequent accounts of troops burning homes and buildings in more than 100 villages, indiscriminately shooting or detaining civilians, and sometimes executing innocent young men as they search for separatists who scurry away into the dense forest after attacks.
Tens of thousands of people have fled English-speaking areas to get away from the violence and about 450 civilians have died, a figure that doesn’t include security forces and separatists who have been killed in battle.
Communities like Ekona, a small town near a dormant rubber plantation, have been completely abandoned. Burned homes, crushed tin shacks that housed businesses and a blackened beer truck attest to the fierce battles .
Ekona had been a flash point of fighting. A military captain blamed separatists for the damage, accusing them of lashing out at residents who didn’t respect their calls to create a “ghost town,” by abandoning the streets and staying home. But local news reports offered a much different explanation: a gun battle between separatists and security forces in June that sent residents escaping into the forest.
English-speaking areas make up a fifth of the population, and with their palm oil, rubber and banana plantations they are a significant contributor to Cameroon’s economy. Most of those operations are now closed because of the violence.
Residents of Anglophone areas began protesting two years ago, saying they were tired of teachers and judges who did not speak English well but were being appointed to their schools and courts nonetheless. After the government’s security forces opened fire on people at rallies, separatists armed themselves.
An estimated 10,000 of Buea’s 200,000 residents remain in the city, a normally quaint mountainside area where the violence has been unrelenting. Separatists in some areas, including the English-speaking city of Bamenda, have blocked roads by felling trees and destroying bridges in an attempt to thwart soldiers from what is expected to be a major offensive. But the actions have also trapped civilians who are desperate to flee.
Let all the parties put an end to all forms of violence and stop killing one another! We are all brothers and sisters; let us retrace the path of dialogue, reconciliation, justice, and peace. #EndCameroonConflicts #Peacebuilding #Reconciliation #HumanityandInclusion
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