Pre-electoral violence deepens Cameroon crisis
Cameroon's two western regions saw a dramatic surge in political violence ahead of parliamentary and municipal elections held Feb. 9. Amnesty International has accused the army of dozens of killings, the burning of villages, and the displacement of thousands of people in operations over the past weeks against the separatist movement in Northwest and Southwest regions. (See map) The anglophone militants demanding independence from the rest of francophone Cameroon vowed to disrupt the polls and also stepped up their attacks. They ordered the closure of schools and markets in the western regions, and told people to stay indoors between Feb. 7-12. The crisis has shuttered more than 40% of the health centers in the two regions, and more than 600,000 children are out of school. At least 3,000 civilians have died since the conflict began in 2016, and 730,000 people have been displaced.
From The New Humanitarian, Feb. 7.