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Cameroon: More than 15,000 have fled the NW/SW Regions – OCHA

Confrontations between the Cameroonian military and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in the Northwest and Southwest Regions are compounding an already dire humanitarian situation and has forced thousands of people from their homes in June 2020, according to human rights monitors.

According to U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least over 15,780 individuals, from 2,625 households have been displaced in the North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions in June due to an ongoing violence.

According to the agency, warring parties in the conflict have failed to heed to repeated global calls for a ceasefire as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 causing the inhabitants of the English Speaking Restive Regions of Cameroon to continue to suffer severe humanitarian consequences, caused by the socio-political crisis in both regions ongoing since 2016. 

The UN says increased tension and confrontations were observed in June as NSAGs enforced lockdowns in response to a government mission to the NW/SW to sensitize communities on the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development (PPRD). Additional lockdowns were also declared in some divisions and subdivisions such as Ngoketunjia in the NW and Mamfe Central in the SW as part of ongoing tensions in these localities.

Equally the Humanitarian agency reveals that civilians continue to be caught in a crossfire while summary execution of civilians by both the military and NSAGs is on the rise. 

Gina Informs observed a surge in kidnappings and other atrocities in the Northwest and Southwest regions between June and July; with some villagers blaming non-state armed groups for the atrocities. The military in return has been raiding some villages in search of separatist fighters. 

On July 9, 2020, a community health worker whose work was supported and supervised by a renowned humanitarian organization, was kidnapped in the South West region and killed by members of a non-state armed group.

After the attack, the office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) threatened to interrupt their activities if misinformation about their work continues.

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