September 13, 2019
The security situation in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon continue to deteriorate. Over 2,000 people have been killed and more than 200 villages have been partially or completely burned due to the armed conflicts between separatist groups and the Cameroonian military. More than 530,000 people have been internally displaced and about 50,000 people are now refugees. The economic impact of the conflict has not only been devastating the Anglophone regions but the entire country.
The Educational sector has also been greatly affected with over 700,000 children not attending school in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. Prior to October 2016, more than 6,000 schools were operational within these regions but as of December 2018, less than 100 schools were operational and over 40 schools were burned down.
With another school year beginning there are calls for children to return to school, but this is dangerous if the fighting continues. In order for children to get the education they deserve, the fighting should stop.
The State Department and Congress have issued statements urging that inclusive dialogue be engaged as a way out of the current crisis and that humanitarian aid workers be allowed unhindered access to the North West and South West regions
Please contact your Senators and urge them to pass S.RES.292 calling on the Government of Cameroon and armed separatist groups to respect the human rights of all Cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to pursue an inclusive dialogue to resolve the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Also contact your Representatives and thank them for passing a resolution for peaceful dialogue and unhindered access to humanitarian aid workers. Ask Congress to continue to monitor the situation and support a rapid resolution of the conflict in Cameroon.
Cameroon has been in turmoil since 2016 as a result of what is called the Anglophone Crisis following complaints by English speaking Cameroonians of their marginalization within the Republic of Cameroon. In 1919, after the defeat of Germany in World War I, the League of Nations divided the German colony of Cameroon between France and England. Eventually 80% of Cameroon was managed by France as a United Nations (UN) trust territory and 20% was managed by England. In 1960, the French section, received independence while the part administered by England continued to be a UN trust territory. Then in 1961, the United Nations gave Anglophone Cameroon two options for independence: joining either the independent French Cameroon or the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Anglophone Cameroon voted to join French Cameroon, but forgot that colonization by France and England caused Cameroonians to acquire two different cultures. The joining of two cultures nonetheless came about, however the cohabitation has been poorly managed by the government and the Anglophone minority have long felt marginalized.