SEC CHRIS EXCLUSIVELY WITH DR CHRISTOPH HOFFMANN, GERMAN MP
1 month ago
The Anglophone Crisis (French: Crise anglophone), also known as the Ambazonia War, or the Cameroonian Civil War, is a conflict in the Southern Cameroons region of Cameroon, part of the long-standing Anglophone problem. In September 2017, separatists in the Anglophone territories of Northwest Region and Southwest Region (collectively known as Southern Cameroons) declared the independence of Ambazonia and began fighting against the Government of Cameroon. Starting as a low-scale insurgency, the conflict spread to most parts of the Anglophone regions within a year. By the summer of 2019, the government controlled the major cities and parts of the countryside, while the separatists held parts of the countryside and regularly appeared in the major cities. A year later, clearly-defined frontlines had emerged, sometimes with a tacit mutual understanding between the belligerents on who controls which areas; while Cameroon would raid separatist-controlled towns and villages, it would not seek to outright recapture them, focusing instead on securing the major urban areas.
The war has killed approximately 3,000 people and forced more than half a million people to flee their homes. Although 2019 saw the first known instance of dialogue between Cameroon and the separatists, as well as a state-organized national dialogue and the granting of a special status to the Anglophone regions, the war continued to intensify in late 2019. The 2020 Cameroonian parliamentary election brought further escalation, as the separatists became more assertive while Cameroon deployed additional forces. While the COVID-19 pandemic saw one armed group declare a unilateral ceasefire to combat the spread of the virus, other groups and the Cameroonian government ignored calls to follow suit and kept on fighting.
Limited attempts have been made at negotiating. Talks mediated by Switzerland in 2019 ultimately failed, and internal divisions among the separatists since the 2019 Ambazonian leadership crisis has complicated the situation. The same year, separatist leaders who were extradited from Nigeria in 2018 were handed life sentences by a military tribunal. However, facing mounting international pressure for a global ceasefire, in July 2020 Cameroon began negotiating with these imprisoned leaders. The talks were held between Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and other imprisoned leaders and representatives of the Cameroonian government. The talks outlined a series of conditions for the Cameroonian government to accept that Ayuk Tabe said would create an “enabling environment” for substantial negotiations to occur.
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