The Anglophone Crisis (French: Crise anglophone), also known as the Ambazonia War, or the Cameroonian Civil War, is an ongoing armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons regions of Cameroon. It is a part of the long-standing Anglophone problem. After the end of the 2016–17 Cameroonian protests, Ambazonian separatists in the English-speaking parts of Northwest Region and Southwest Region (known as Southern Cameroons) started a guerilla campaign against Cameroonian security forces. The later said that independence has occurred. In November 2017, the government of Cameroon declared war on the separatists. It sent its army into the regions.
|Part of the Anglophone problem|
(clockwise from top left)
Cameroonian troops enter an English-speaking town; Cameroonian military on a bridge, on their way to Wum, in the English-speaking area; burned-out vehicles following clashes in Buea; Cameroonian troops under fire from Ambazonian fighters; Cameroonian gendarmes arrive in the city of Buea; Cameroonian military from the Rapid Intervention Battalion deployed to protect schools and people in Bamenda.
|Commanders and leaders|
René Claude Meka
Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe|
Samuel Ikome Sako
Ayaba Cho Lucas
Cameroon Armed Forces|
Ambazonia Defence Forces|
Southern Cameroons Defence Forces
Fako Mountain Lions
The conflict started as a small insurgency. It spread to most parts of the area within a year. By the summer of 2019, the government controlled the major cities and parts of the countryside. The Ambazonian nationalists controlled parts of the countryside. They were also seen often in the major cities. A year later, clearly-defined frontlines had formed. Cameroon would raid separatist-controlled towns and villages, but it would not try to recapture them. Its main concern was securing the major urban areas. The Cameroonian government is supported by Nigeria. Some Ambazonian groups are supported by Biafran separatists.
Thousands of people have been killed in the war. More than half a million people have had to leave their homes. In 2019, talk took place bewteen Cameroon and the separatists for the first time. special status was given to the Anglophone regions. Despite this the war continued to intensify in late 2019. The 2020 Cameroonian parliamentary election cause more problems. The separatists became more assertive while Cameroon sent more forces. The COVID-19 pandemic saw one group declare a ceasefire to fight the spread of the virus. other groups and the Cameroonian government ignored this and kept fighting.
There has been very few tries at negotiating. Switzerland tried in 2019 but they failed. Separatist leaders who were returned to Cameroon from Nigeria in 2018 were sent to prison for life. There was growing international pressure for an end to the conflict. In July 2020 Cameroon began talking with these imprisoned leaders. The talks were held between Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and other imprisoned leaders and representatives of the Cameroonian government.
The situation is still taking place.
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- Picking a Fight: The Rise of Armed Separatists in Cameroon, ACLED. Accessed 17 November 2018.
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- I Traveled Deep Into Conflict to Bury My Grandfather. I Returned Slightly Charmed, Fodors Travel, 23 September 2020. Accessed 24 September 2020.
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