Cameroon 2019 Conflict Diagnostic
The nation of Cameroon was formed via a merger of two distinct colonial territories, one administered by the British and the other by the French. The two territories initially joined together in 1961 as a federation called the Federal Republic of Cameroon, but in 1972 the federation was abolished in favour of a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon, now known simply as the Republic of Cameroon.i President Paul Biya took power in 1982 after the resignation of his predecessor, and the now 85-year-old Biya has ruled ever since. Currently, Anglophones only represent 20% of Cameroon’s population, and over time the nation has developed into a predominantly Francophone oriented state, leaving Anglophones feeling alienated. Discontent has flared over issues like a lack of job opportunities and discrimination against Anglophones, perceived central government meddling with English schools and courts in Anglophone regions, and harsh crackdowns against Anglophone protestors.ii In 2017, these tensions turned violent as Anglophone rebel militias emerged, declared independence from the central Cameroonian government, and began launching attacks on soldiers and strategic targets.