Military Wiki
Anglophone Crisis
Part of the Anglophone Problem
Map of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia (claimed).png
     Undisputed Cameroonian territory
     Claimed by Ambazonia and Cameroon
DateSeptember 9, 2017[1] – present
(4 years, 1 month, 1 week and 3 days)
LocationNorthwest Region and Southwest Region (Southern Cameroons), Cameroon
(With occasional spillover into Littoral Region and West Region)[2]
Status Ongoing
 Cameroon  Ambazonia
Commanders and leaders
Paul Biya
(President of Cameroon)
Joseph Beti Assomo
(Minister of Defence)
Maj. Gen. Nkoa Atenga
(FAC Chief of Staff)
Leaders in exile
Samuel Ikome Sako
(President, 2018–present)[3]
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe (POW)
(President, 2017–18)[4]
Ayaba Cho Lucas
(AGC Chief)[5]
Benedict Kuah
(ADF Chief)[1]
Ebenezer Akwanga
(SOCADEF Chief)[6]
Military leaders
Ivo Mbah
(ADF General)[7]
Lekeaka Oliver
(Red Dragons General)[8]
Andrew Ngoe
(SOCADEF General)[9]
Units involved

Cameroonian Armed Forces (FAC)

Militias[note 1]

Total: Approximately 10 militias[11]
12,500 troops, 9,000 militia (total size of army)[12] 1,500 (According to the ADF)[13]
1,000+ (Independent estimate)[14]
Casualties and losses
~200 killed (as of January 2019; according to the Cameroonian Army)[15] Hundreds killed (as of October 2018)[11]
420+ killed (as of October 2018)[11]

The Anglophone Crisis (French language: Crise anglophone), also known as the Ambazonia War,[16] is a conflict in the Southern Cameroons region of Cameroon, part of the long-standing Anglophone problem.[17] 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.[18]


Monument raised on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Victoria at Ambas Bay, from which the name "Ambazonia" derives.

The name "Ambazonia" is taken from Ambas Bay and Ambozes, the local name of the mouth of the Wouri River.[19] This is where the English language was permanently established for the first time in Southern Cameroons, when missionary Alfred Saker founded a settlement of freed slaves by Ambas Bay in 1858, which was later renamed Victoria (present-day Limbe).[20] In 1884, the area became the British Ambas Bay Protectorate, with Victoria as its capital. In 1887, Britain ceded the area to the German territory of Kamerun. Germany had some trouble establishing control over the hinterlands of Victoria, and fought the Bafut Wars against local fondoms until 1907.[21]

Following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, Kamerun was divided between a French and a British League of Nations Mandate. The French mandate was known as Cameroun, and comprised most of the former German territory. The British mandate was an elongated strip of land along the border of Colonial Nigeria, consisting of Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons, including the historical Ambas Bay Protectorate.

The British administered the territories through indirect rule, allowing native authorities to administer the population according to their own traditions. These authorities were also responsible for collecting taxes on behalf of the British, who had devoted themselves to exploiting the economic and mining resources of the territory. South Cameroons students, including E. M. L. Endeley, created the Cameroons Youth League (CYL) on 27 March 1940, to oppose what they saw as the exploitation of their country.

When the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946, most of the mandate territories were reclassified as UN trust territories, henceforth administered through the UN Trusteeship Council. The object of trusteeship was to prepare the lands for eventual independence. The United Nations approved the Trusteeship Agreements for British Cameroons to be governed by Britain on 6 December 1946.

At a conference in London from 30 July to 22 August 1953, the Southern Cameroons delegation asked for a separate region of its own. The British agreed, and Southern Cameroons became an autonomous region with its capital still at Buea. Elections were held in 1954 and the parliament met on 1 October 1954, with E. M. L. Endeley as Premier.[22] As Cameroon and Nigeria prepared for independence, South Cameroons nationalists debated whether their best interests lay with union with Cameroon, union with Nigeria or total independence.

The United Nations organised a plebiscite in the region on 11 February 1961 which put two alternatives to the people: union with Nigeria or union with Cameroon. The third option, independence, was opposed by the British representative to the UN Trusteeship Council, Sir Andrew Cohen, and as a result was not put. In the plebiscite, 60% of voters in the Northern Cameroons voted for union with Nigeria, while 70% of voters in the Southern Cameroons opted for union with Cameroon. Endeley was defeated in elections on 1 February 1959 by John Ngu Foncha.[23]

File:Former Prime Ministers of Southern Cameroons.png

Prime Ministers of Southern Cameroons from 1954 to the abolishment of the position in 1972.

Southern Cameroons became part of Cameroon on 1 October 1961. However, the English-speaking peoples of the Southern Cameroons did not believe that they were fairly treated by the French-speaking government of the country. Following a French Cameroon unilateral referendum on 20 May 1972, a new constitution was adopted in Cameroon which replaced the federal state with a unitary state, and also gave more power to then-president Ahmadou Ahidjo.[24] Southern Cameroons lost its autonomous status and became the Northwest Region and the Southwest Region of the Republic of Cameroon.

Pro-independence groups claim that UN Resolution 1608 21 April 1961, which required the UK, the Government of the Southern Cameroons and Republic of Cameroun to engage in talks with a view to agreeing measures for union of the two countries, was not implemented, and that the Government of the United Kingdom was negligent in terminating its trusteeship without ensuring that proper arrangements were made. They say that the adoption of a federal constitution by Cameroun on 1 September 1961 constituted annexation of South Cameroons.

In a memorandum dated 20 March 1985, Anglophone lawyer and President of the Cameroon Bar Association Fon Gorji Dinka wrote that the Biya government was unconstitutional and announced the former Southern Cameroons should become independent as the Republic of Ambazonia. Dinka was incarcerated the following January without trial.[25] Three years later, he escaped to Nigeria.[26]

In 1993, representatives of Anglophone groups convened the first All Anglophone Conference (AAC1) in Buea. The conference issued the "Buea Declaration", which called for constitutional amendments to restore the 1961 federation. This was followed by the second All Anglophone Conference (AAC2) in Bamenda in 1994. This conference issued the "Bamenda Declaration", which stated that if the federal state was not restored within a reasonable time, Southern Cameroons would declare its independence. The AAC was renamed the Southern Cameroons Peoples Conference (SCPC), and later the Southern Cameroons Peoples Organisation (SCAPO), with the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) as the executive governing body. Younger activists formed the Southern Cameroons Youth League (SCYL) in Buea on 28 May 1995. The SCNC sent a delegation, led by John Foncha, to the United Nations, which was received on 1 June 1995 and presented a petition against the 'annexation' of the Southern Cameroons by French Cameroon. This was followed by a signature referendum the same year, which the organisers claim produced a 99% vote in favour of independence with 315,000 people voting.[27]

In 2006, Nigeria ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, ending a decade-long territorial dispute. Local militias resenting Cameroonian authorities tied their cause to the Ambazonian independence movement, and in November 2007, the "Liberators of the Southern Cameroon People", a previously unknown group, killed 21 Cameroonian soldiers in Bakassi. Most militias in Bakassi laid down their arms in September 2009, and the local conflict was never connected to the wider separatist cause.[28]


Start of hostilities[]

On September 9, 2017, the Ambazonia Defense Council (ADC) deployed the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) in Southern Cameroons. ADC Chief Benedict Kuah formally declared war on the Government of Cameroon and the launching of combat operations to achieve the independence of the Federation of Ambazonia.[1] The ADC declared,

"The state of war that has been declared on the state of Ambazonia by the illegitimate and brutal colonial Government of La Republique du Cameroun is hereby engaged in self-defense and for the liberation of the Federation of Ambazonia from systematic human rights abuses and illegal annexation without a union treaty."[1]



In the fall of 2017, several separatist militias emerged, while the ADF stood out as the most prominent one. The ADF began its guerilla campaign in Manyu and Mezam, and throughout 2017 it clashed with the army 13 times.[11] By the end of the year, separatist militias were active in five divisions.[29]


  • On September 9, the ADF carried out a guerilla attack against military base in Besongabang, Manyu Division. The ADF commander in charge claimed his soldiers managed to return to base unreduced. Three Cameroonian soldiers were killed in the attack.[30]
  • On September 11, a bomb targeting security forces was detonated in the city of Bamenda.[31] ADF claimed responsibility for the attack.[30]
  • On September 21, an improvised bomb wounded three police officers in Bamenda. Separatists were blamed for the attack, which the governor described as an act of terrorism.[32]
  • On September 22, Cameroonian troops opened fire against Anglophone protestors. According to eyewitnesses, five people were shot dead and many more were injured.[33]


  • On October 1, Ambazonia unilaterally declared its independence, and the Cameroonian Army moved into the region in force to fight the separatists.[34] At least eight people died in clashes between police and demonstrators in Buea and Bamenda. The separatists strategically choose this date for mass demonstrations, as it is the anniversary for the unification of Cameroon and Southern Cameroons.[35]
  • On October 9, the Cameroonian military claimed to have stopped "hundreds of Nigerian fighters" from entering Southern Cameroons to join the struggle.[36]


  • On November 8, separatists killed two or three Cameroonian gendarmes in Bamenda.[37]
  • On November 9, Cameroon issued international arrest warrants for 15 separatist leaders, including President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe.[38] Two Cameroonian soldiers were killed by separatists in two attacks the following night.[39]
  • On November 29, two soldiers and two policemen[40] were killed near the town Mamfe.[41]
  • Throughout November, eight soldiers, at least 14 civilians and five fugitives were confirmed killed due to the conflict.[41] Four soldiers and two policemen were killed in the last week of the month.[42]


  • On December 1, ahead of a planned Cameroonian offensive, authorities in the Manyu Department ordered people from 16 villages to evacuate, saying that anyone defying those orders will be treated as separatists.[43]
  • On December 4, the Cameroonian government officially declared war on "these terrorists who seek secession", referring to the ADF.[40]
  • On December 7, Cameroonian forces retook the villages of Bafia and Muyenge.[44]
  • On December 9, an attack on a military post near Mamfe left six separatists and one Cameroonian police officer dead. The Cameroonian government claimed that 200 guerillas took part in the attack, using guns, spears and machetes.[45]
  • On December 14, an elite army unit started an operation to retake villages that were controlled by the separatists.[46]
  • On December 15, days of heavy fighting in Mamfe came to an end. Both sides claimed victory, with the Cameroonian Army claiming to have retaken Mamfe from the ADF, while the ADF claimed it had never occupied Mamfe to begin with.[47] The Cameroonian Army also repelled a separatist attack on Dadi, a village near Mamfe.[48]
  • On December 18, four gendarmes were killed by separatists in Kembong.[49]
  • On December 20, Nigerian sources claimed Cameroonian soldiers crossed the border into Nigeria in pursuit of separatist fighters. While the governments of both Nigeria and Cameroon denied that any such incidents had taken place, Cameroonian military officials had previously accused Nigeria of sheltering separatists.[49]
  • Between December 18–23, Cameroonian troops destroyed dozens of houses and killed, beat and arrested several civilians in Kembong and Babong, Manyu Department, in retaliation for the killing of security forces.[46]


Throughout 2018, the conflict spread to new parts of Southern Cameroons and intensified in terms of violence. By October, the ADF alone had clashed with the army 83 times.[11] Separatist militias were now active in 12 divisions, and carried out more lethal attacks than the previous year.[29] According to an International Crisis Group analyst, as of October no side was winning, with the army being unable to defeat the separatists, while the separatists were not militarily strong enough to expel the army.[11]


  • On January 5, members of the Ambazonia Interim Government were detained in Nigeria by unknown parties. Voice of America reported that Julius Ayuk Tabe and six others were taken into custody at a hotel in Abuja.[50] Later reports claimed that the separatist leaders had been extradited to Cameroon. These reports were later claimed to be false, as Nigeria released some leaders in February.[51] However, in April the Cameroonian government revealed that the separatist leaders were indeed extradited on January 26.[52] Among the total of 47 individuals, most had submitted claims for political asylum.[53] In Kombone, Meme Division, separatists attacked government soldiers.[54]
  • On January 25, separatists attacked a Cameroonian border crossing from the Nigerian side of Cross River.[55] In Ekok, Manyu Division, the ADF destroyed a customs office and a gendarme post. Two government soldiers were injured in the attack.[56]
  • On January 29, the Tigers of Ambazonia took several senior administrators hostage in Bangem.[57]
  • On January 31, Nigeria claimed that 80 Cameroonian gendarmes had crossed into Nigeria to pursue separatist fighters, after separatists had escaped across the border.[58]


  • On February 1, separatists killed three Cameroonian gendarmes in towns in the North West Region.[59]
  • On February 4, it was announced that Dr. Samuel Ikome Sako would become the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, succeeding Tabe.[3]
  • On February 11, three Cameroonian soldiers were killed and four wounded in the town of Kembong, hours after President Biya described the situation in Southern Cameroons as "stable".[60]
  • On February 12, a local chief in Mundemba was shot and killed by separatists. The separatists claimed he had assisted the army in rounding up separatists.[61]
  • On February 14, separatists announced via social media announced they had captured a Cameroonian officer. The Cameroonian military confirmed a top official had gone missing.[62]
  • On February 19, a student gendarme was killed in Nguti, along the Kumba-Mamfe road.[63]
  • On February 20, two separatist fighters were killed by Cameroonian soldiers in Mundemba.[64]
  • On February 21, a teacher was killed by suspected separatists in Tombel, Southwest Region.[65]
  • On February 24, separatists abducted the government's regional representative for social affairs in the Northwest Region, the second such abduction in two weeks. The ADF announced its willingness to exchange the kidnapped officials for imprisoned separatist activists.[66]


  • On March 3, the Battle of Batibo took place. It was largest clash yet between security forces and separatists. According to reports, separatists attacked Cameroonian soldiers who were celebrating having recently recaptured most villages in the Batibo Subdivision.[67] While the number of casualties remained unclear, information that circulated on social media claimed that 70 security forces and hundreds of separatists were killed in the battle. Over 4,000 locals fled after the confrontation.[68]
  • On March 11, Ambazonian forces released a video of an abducted government official.[69]
  • On March 13, heavy fighting took place in the village of Nguti, forcing civilians to hide in the forests.[18]
  • On March 19, security forces rescued a professor who had been captured two days prior by men claiming to be the ADF.[70]
  • On March 20, Cameroonian troops freed two Cameroonian and one Tunisian hostages in Meme Department. The hostages had been taken five days prior, and another Tunisian hostage had already been killed by his captors.[70]
  • On March 30, a soldier was killed in Konye, Meme Department, and another soldier was killed in Daadi.[71]


  • On April 4, Cameroon freed seven Swiss, six Cameroonian and five Italian hostages in the Anglophone area. While Cameroon claimed "seccessionist terrorists" were behind the hostage taking, the ADF denied any responsibility, claiming that "ADF does not take hostages. ADF arrest enablers and collaborators and does not arrest foreign nationals".[72]
  • On April 7, two soldiers were killed and several others were wounded at the Aziz security post, Southwest Region.[73]
  • On April 11, according to the newspaper The Voice, Cameroonian soldiers killed 18 civilians and destroyed their property, in retaliation of the killing of a commissioner. The Cameroonian Army denied the incident.[74] In another incident, separatists attacked a military convoy in Ekondo-Titi, Ndian Department, wounding three soldiers. According to the Cameroonian military, the separatists were eventually neutralized, and the convoy reached its destination.[75]
  • On April 12, a Cameroonian soldier was shot dead while clearing a road block mounted by separatists.[76]
  • On April 13, gunfights took place near the villages Ediki and Bombe Bakundu, Moungo Division, causing hundreds of civilians to flee to Mbanga.[77]
  • On April 18, three Cameroonian soldiers were killed in an attack in Eyumodjock.[78]
  • On April 20, two Cameroonian soldiers were killed and another four were injured by a landmine in the town of Eyumedjock, near the border with Nigeria.[79]
  • On April 23, in a possible attempt to assassinate the governor of the Southwest Region, separatists fired at his convoy. No casualties were reported.[73]
  • On April 25, following a battle, separatists forced the Cameroonian Army to retreat from the town of Belo.[80]
  • On April 28, two Cameroonian gendarmes were killed in the Northwest Region. According to local reports, some gendarmes were also taken prisoner.[81]


  • On May 2, three Cameroonian soldiers were killed in an attack on a military base in the town of Mbonge, Southwest Region.[82]
  • On May 6, there was heavy fighting in Muyuka.[83]
  • On May 8, unidentified men attacked the Government High School in Bafut, Mezam Department.[84]
  • On May 10, separatists attacked a police station in Muyuka and freed at least four detainees. No casualties were reported.[85]
  • On May 16, a policeman was killed by separatists in Oshe, Momo Division.[86]
  • On May 20, in an effort to boycott celebrations of Cameroon's National Day, Ambazonian forces struck in several villages throughout Southern Cameroons, including Konye, Batibo and Ekona. Four police officers and three militants were killed in fighting at Batibo.[87] The mayor of the town of Bangem was kidnapped for distributing uniforms to people to march in National Day ceremonies.[88]
  • On May 24, 30 people were killed when Cameroonian forces stormed a hotel in the town of Pinyin.[89]
  • At an unspecified point in May, the Cameroonian Army retook Belo from the separatists. Fighting continued around the town, while nearly all the villagers fled.[5]


  • On June 5, separatists abducted a policeman. Two days later, they released a video of him saying he had been treated well, while claiming that government forces had committed atrocities.[90]
  • On June 11, a Cameroonian soldier was killed in an ambush in the town of Furu-Awa in the Menchum Department.[91]
  • On June 15, separatists blocked the Buea-Kumba Highway. The road remained blocked for four days.[92]
  • On June 16, a police officer was killed while on patrol in Fundong, Boyo Division.[93] The same day, Ambazonian started a blockade of the Kumba-Buea highway at Ekona, a town located approximately 10 kilometers from Buea. A military assault on the separatists in Ekona failed to lift the blockade.[94] While casualties related to the battle of Ekona remain unconfirmed, the Cameroonian government later declared that more than 40 soldiers and policemen died in the later half of June (however, this figure includes all of Southern Cameroons, not just Ekona).[95]
  • On June 21, separatists attacked a police patrol team in Mbengwi, Momo Department.[96]
  • On June 22, a policemen and two civilians were killed in armed clashes in Bamenda.[97]
  • On June 29, separatists mounted roadblocks in the Mile 16 neighborhood in Buea, Southwest Region. The Cameroonian Army responded forcefully, and civilians fled into the bush to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. This happened after several smaller skirmishes in Mile 16 between separatists and the army.[98] In Mbengwi, Momo Department, separatists killed one soldiers and wounded another five in an ambush on an army vehicle. The Cameroonian Army claimed that six separatists were killed when reinforcements arrived to evacuate the wounded soldiers.[99]


  • On July 1, separatists invaded the Muea neighborhood of Buea. The separatists battled intervening government troops, set up roadblocks and unsuccessfully tried to burn down a police station.[100] In Mbengwi, a Cameroonian soldier was killed in an ambush.[99] In Penda Mboko Littoral Region, Southwest Region, separatists stormed a gendarmerie post, catching the few gendarmes present off-guard. After hours of shootouts, the attackers overwhelmed the defenders, burned down the post and escaped before Cameroonian reinforcements could arrive.[101]
  • On July 7, a gendarme officer was killed along the Bamenda-Ndop road.[102]
  • On July 9, separatists invaded several parts of Buea, including the neighborhoods of Bonduma, Malingo and Molyko, and clashed with the army and the police.[103] Another battle took place in Kumba. In total, more than 10 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers died in the clashes.[104]
  • On July 11, a student at Bamenda University was shot dead by the Cameroonian military.[105]
  • On July 12, separatists carried out an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo, who was visiting the Anglophone region with a delegation. In the evening, his convoy was ambushed by separatists using guns and poisoned spears. The Cameroonian Army claimed to have killed 10 separatists in the ensuing 30-minute battle. Four soldiers and a journalist were injured, but the Defense Minister escaped unharmed.[106] The separatists had previously warned Assomo from visiting Ambazonia.[107]
  • On July 13, separatists invaded the Mile 4 neighborhood of Limbe, Southwest Region. The clashes continued for two days, until the Cameroonian Army managed to repel the separatists.[108]
  • On July 17, separatists invaded Bamenda to enforce a "ghost town", and a Cameroonian counterattack left a separatist and a Cameroonian soldier dead.[109]
  • On July 18, a policeman was killed and decapitated by separatists in Wum, Northwest Region.[110]
  • On July 25, a major battle in Lebialem ended with both sides claiming victory. The military claimed to have overrun a separatist stronghold, killed 147 Red Dragon fighters and captured another 45. The Red Dragons militia claimed to have killed 129 soldiers and captured another eight, as well as capturing two Toyota Hilux; as proof, separatists published pictures of one of the captured vehicles on social media. With no neutral observants present during the battle, it was impossible to determine which (if any) of the versions was closer to the truth.[111]
  • On July 28, separatists carried out the Ndop prison break, freeing 163 inmates and burning down the prison.[112]
  • On July 30, clashes between security forces and alleged separatists took place in the Bonduma gate neighborhood of Buea. Security forces killed four civilians after allegedly mistaking them for being separatists. Clashes were also reported in Tiko, Fako Division.[113]
  • On July 31, separatist fighters attacked a checkpoint in Wum, injuring three security officers, seizing weapons and setting fire to a gendarmerie vehicle.[114]


  • On August 4, a police officer was killed in his home in Mutengene, close to Tiko, Southwest Region.[115]
  • On August 5, four gendarmes were killed in Eso, a village near Wum, Northwest Region.[116]
  • On August 12, separatists attacked a military control point in Wainamah, killing three soldiers as well as two civilians. The separatists assumed control of the control point and held it until government reinforcements arrived. Following the battle, soldiers destroyed one house.[117]
  • On August 15, Cameroonian troops raided a separatist camp at Tabli, Lebialem Department, killing five and injuring three separatists, as well as freeing one hostage.[118] Later the same day, separatists attacked soldiers leading a convoy of trucks out of Muea neighborhood of Buea.[119]
  • On August 16, separatists attacked a convoy transporting a member of parliament in Babungo, Ngo-Ketunjia Department. At least four soldiers were killed, and several others in the convoy were injured. A civilian who got caught in the crossfire also got killed.[119] In Kwa-Kwa Bakundu, Meme Division, separatists battled security forces for 30 minutes before retreating into the bushes.[120]
  • On August 18, separatists blocked the Buea-Kumba Highway by the villages of Mabonji and Ediki.[92] The military stormed the area the same morning, pushing the separatists back.[121]
  • On August 22, there was an arson attack against a road construction company in Bamenda.[122]
  • On August 24, separatists attacked a gendarme brigade in Zhoa in Wum, Northwest Region, killing two gendarmes and wounding the brigade commander. According to initial reports, separatists had blocked the road in advance, and reinforcements from the larger Wum brigade thus failed to arrive in time.[123] A spokesperson of the Cameroonian Army later claimed that 12 separatists had been killed and several others had been wounded, and said that the army had launched an operation to root out separatists in the area.[124]
  • On August 27, as a response to the separatist attack from there, the Cameroonian Army burned down Zhoa.[125]
  • On August 28, separatists killed a retired gendarme officer in Batibo, after accusing him of lending his car to soldiers.[126]
  • On August 29, separatists kidnapped the Fon of Oku, allegedly for assisting the Cameroonian Army against the separatists.[127]


  • On September 1, it was reported that the Tole neighborhood of Buea had been completely deserted following clashes between separatists and security forces. At least two civilians were killed in the course of the fighting, and the palace of the traditional ruler was burned down.[128] There were also several armed clashes throughout Bali, Northwest Region. In one of the clashes, the residence of the Secretary of State for Penitentiary Administration was burnt down, while in another clash separatists attacked gendarmes in Ntafong, a neighborhood of Bali.[129]
  • Between September 1 and 2, at least five people were Ndop, reportedly for campaigning for the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement ahead of the Presidential elections. Two sons of a former Divisional Officer of Ndop were also kidnapped, a principal and six students were abducted by unknown armed men, and a head teacher was attacked.[130]
  • On September 2, four separatists were killed and one captured in Muyuka during a Cameroonian offensive in the area. Three Cameroonian soldiers were also wounded in the battle.[131] Five hours of fighting along the Buea-Kumba Highway left more than 500 people stranded; at least one separatist was killed in the battle.[92]
  • On September 4, separatists invaded Bamenda to attack the convoy of the Minister of Basic Education. The first shootings took place in the Mile 2 neighborhood, where two gendarmes were wounded. The separatists then attacked soldiers on Foncha street, starting a gunfight that lasted for hours. The incidents paralyzed the city, with businesses closing as employees went home. Civilian casualties were reported, though the number was hard to determine.[132] The same day, the Fon of Bafut was abducted from his palace by gunmen who accused him of aiding the Cameroonian Army; his captors released him hours later.[133] In Ndop, the Cameroonian Army destroyed three separatist camps and claimed to have killed about a dozen separatist fighters, including an ex-gendarme officer who had joined the separatists. The Cameroonian Army suffered two wounded.[134]
  • At night on September 4 breaking September 5, a Cameroonian Army operation killed 27 suspected separatists fighters in Yemngeh near Zhoa in Wum, Northwest Region.[135]
  • On September 5, a truck transporting government soldiers was attacked en route Oku, leading it to lose control and tumble over. Five soldiers died and another 10 were wounded. The Cameroonian Army claimed that two separatists were also killed in the incident.[136]
  • On September 7, four civilians were killed by Cameroonian soldiers in Ekona.[137]
  • On September 8, at least two people were killed in Bamenda when separatist elements attacked a construction site and a bus.[138]
  • On September 9, 50 or more separatists carried out three simultaneous attacks in Oku; on the gendarmerie brigade, a police station, and the home of the Assistant Divisional Officer. The separatists burned down the police station, destroyed Assistant DO's belongings, stole a police van and abducted three police officers.[139]
  • On September 11, separatists took control of the Muea and Mile 16 neighborhoods of Buea, blocking the main entrances to the city. One soldier from the Rapid Intervention Battalion was killed by separatists.[140]
  • On September 12, at least 15 separatists were killed when the Cameroonian Army raided one of their camps near Chomba.[141] The same day, armed men attempted and failed to abduct the Fon of Buea.[142]
  • On September 13, separatists attacked a gendarmerie brigade in Nkwen, near Bamenda. The Cameroonian Army claimed to have killed six separatists while repulsing the attack.[143]
  • On September 15, the road between Wum and Bamenda was reopened after a two-week blockade.[144]
  • On September 17, there was heavy fighting in Oku.[145] In Njikwa, the Cameroonian Army destroyed a separatist camp in a raid in which they claimed 30 separatists were killed.[146]
  • On September 20, a four-day battle broke out in Bafut, with a battle on September 23 lasting an entire day. According to local sources, the separatists suffered two killed and five wounded, and the army lost over a dozen soldiers.[147]
  • On September 21, an Ambazonian commander was killed in a Cameroonian raid on a separatist base in Kumba.[148]
  • On September 22, seven young men were killed in Mbiame. While the Cameroonian Army claimed they were separatists, locals disputed this. At least one of them was captured alive and summarily executed.[149]
  • On September 23, separatists attacked a gendarmerie post in Limbe, injuring a student gendarme and seizing weapons.[150]
  • On September 24, Cameroonian soldiers killed two civilians in Buea while patrolling during a "ghost town".[150]
  • On September 25, separatists attacked a prison in Wum, enabling over 100 inmates to escape.[151]
  • On September 26, at least three separatists were killed during clashes with security forces in Bamenda.[152] In Limbe, two police inspectors were killed by separatists who made an unsuccessful attempt to burn down the police station there.[153] In Buea, security forces killed at least seven civilians, six of whom were rounded up ans summarily executed.[154]
  • On September 27, separatists forced the police and gendarmes to retreat from Balikumbat, Ngo-Ketunjia. The Ambazonian flag was then hoisted over the abandoned police buildings and the divisional office.[155]
  • On September 28, the Cameroonian Army raided a separatist camp near Ndop, destroying the camp and killing six separatist fighters.[156]
  • On September 29, a Cameroonian Army officer was beheaded in Tatum. In ensuing clashes, four separatists were killed.[157]
  • On September 30, in anticipation of the first anniversary of Ambazonia's declaration of independence on October 1, the authorities imposed a 48-hour curfew throughout the Anglophone region. This was done to prevent a reoccurrence of the mass demonstrations that took place the year before. People were forbidden from moving across sub-division boundaries, and gathering of four or more people in public was prohibited. Businesses were shut down and motor parks were closed as well. Meanwhile, in anticipation of the Cameroonian presidential election on October 7, the separatists started enforcing a lockdown of their own. To this end, they blocked major highways with trees or car wrecks. Throughout the day, security forces and separatists clashed in Buea, Bamenda and other cities.[158]


  • On October 5, three separatists were killed in clashes in Small Soppo, a neighborhood of Buea. Cameroonian forces also attacked a separatist camp in Lysoka, a town close to Buea. In Bamenda, a priest was killed by a government soldier.[159]
  • On October 6, gunmen stormed the Kumba High Court and burned down the building.[160]
  • On October 7, the day of the Cameroonian presidential election, there were clashes all over Southern Cameroons, as separatists moved to prevent what they considered a foreign election to take place in Ambazonia. This resulted in a very low turnout, and in many cases, no officials showed up to man the polling stations. In Bamenda, at least 20 separatist fighters moved around openly to prevent people from voting. Two separatists were killed by government troops while attacking a polling station.[161] Following the election, two people from Kumba were murdered for having voted.[162]
  • On October 9, government soldiers killed at least seven people in Ekona, Fako Division.[163]
  • On October 11, Cameroonian troops killed four suspected separatist fighters in Misaje and another seven in Eshobi. Six hostages were also released in Eshobi.[164] It was also reported that fighters had twice attacked the convoy of Special Duties Minister at Cameroon’s Presidency on the road from Mamfe to Kumba. Both attacks failed.[165]
  • On October 14, Cameroonian soldiers rounded up and shot four boys in Mutengene, Fako Division.[166]
  • On October 17, SDF President John Fru Ndi's house in Bamenda was set on fire by armed men.[167] In Muyuka, a teenager was killed by security forces during a clash with armed groups.[168]
  • On October 18, at least one civilian was killed during clashes in the Mile 14 and Mile 15 neighborhoods of Buea. Three soldiers were also wounded.[169]
  • On October 19, the Cameroonian Army announced it had killed 17 suspected separatists in Ndop[170] and five in Bafut over the weekend.[171]
  • On October 21, security forces attacked a separatist camp in Oku. At least eight separatists were killed, while four Cameroonian soldiers were seriously wounded.[172]
  • On October 23, several battles took place all across the Anglophone regions.[173] The Cameroonian Army launched simultaneous attacks on seven or more separatist camps in the Northwest Region. The fighting continued for more than 24 hours, and at least 30 separatists were killed as well as an unknown number of Cameroonian soldiers.[174] One Cameroonian soldier was confirmed killed.[175] The Cameroonian Army also attacked suspected separatists in Bombe Bakundu, Southwest Region.[176]
  • On October 24, Cameroonian forces assaulted two separatist camps in Oku. The separatists had been tipped of the incoming assault, and had evacuated the bases earlier the same day. A single fighter stayed behind and carried out an ambush, injuring six soldiers before he was killed.[177]
  • On October 28, Cameroonian soldiers killed at least five people and set several houses on fire in Nyasoso, Koupé-Manengouba. Government forces had repordedly tried for sometime to break into Nyasoso, but had been held back by separatists.[178]
  • On October 29, heavy fighting broke out in Bambili, Northwest Region, with separatists attacking security forces by the Fon's palace. The fighting continued the next day, when separatists attacked the Bambili gendarmerie brigade.[179] In Penda Mboko, Littoral Region (near the border with the Southwest Region), gunmen attacked and tried to burn down a school, but were repelled by security forces.[180]
  • On October 30, an American missionary was caught in the crossfire and killed in Bambui. Security forces and separatists blamed each other for his death.[181] In Buea, separatist fighters paraded the streets of the neighborhood of Bomaka with a captured armored car.[182]


  • On November 3, separatists chopped the fingers off six plantation workers. Separatists had ordered a strike to protest the reelection of President Biya, and allegedly mutilated the workers as punishment for defying those orders and going to work.[183]
  • On November 4, 79 students and four staff members were kidnapped from a school in Nkwen, near Bamenda.[184] The kidnappers transported everyone to Bafut, slipping past several security checkpoints on the way. The purpose of the kidnapping was to tell the students to stop going to school, a message they were tasked to convey to other schools as well.[185] Cameroonian authorities announced the launching of an operation to locate and free the students.[186] All 79 students were released without ransom three days later, with the Cameroonian Army claiming the kidnappers did so because they realized they were surrounded and had no other alternative. On November 12, the principal and the three staff members were released too.[187] While the kidnappers identified as "Amba Boys" and the government blamed the separatists, the Ambazonia Self-Defence Council claimed that they not only had nothing to do with the kidnappings, but had also sent its own fighters to try to locate the children.[188]
  • On November 5, armed men killed two people in Batibo, both of whom had been suspected of having assisted the security forces.[189]
  • On the weekend of November 10–11, an Ambazonian commander was killed in a shootout in Kumbo.[190]
  • On November 10, a staff member at Buea University was abducted by gunmen.[191]
  • On November 11, according to the separatists, 13 Cameroonian soldiers and two separatists were killed when separatists carried out a successful ambush.[192]
  • On November 12, Cameroonian soldiers ambushed and killed at least 13 suspected separatists in Donga-Mantung.[193] In Buea, separatists ambushed and killed a retired policeman who they suspected was spying for the army.[194] In Esu, Menchum Division, government soldiers burned down dozens of houses and tortured villagers.[195]
  • On November 13, 25 separatists were killed near Nkambé, according to Cameroonian security officials.[196] In Mwa, Donga-Mantung, the town's mayor was killed by unidentified gunmen.[197] In Buea, a teacher at a government high school was kidnapped by three armed men, who also beat up another teacher and some students.[198] The teacher was released by his captors on November 21.[199]
  • On November 15, 13 nuns were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Bamessing, spending a day in captivity before being released the next day.[200]
  • On November 16, Cameroonian forces ambushed and killed at least ten separatist fighters in Belo, including a general.[201] In Buea, a staff member at Buea University was abducted.[191]
  • On November 18, unidentified gunmen kidnapped a policeman in Kumba, releasing him the day after for a ransom.[202]
  • On November 19, a policeman was kidnapped and beheaded by unidentified gunmen, despite receiving ransom from the family.[202] The policeman had been accused of training Ambazonian fighters, and was on the way to Yaoundé to defend himself when he was kidnapped.[203]
  • On November 20, unidentified gunmen kidnapped nine students and a teacher from Lords Bilingual Secondary school in Kumba. The army went on a search, and was able to locate the kidnappers' camp. At night the camp was raided, resulting in the death of two kidnappers and the capture of one, while three students were rescued. The remaining seven hostages were able to escape on their own, while the army pursued the remaining kidnappers into the bushes. Two more kidnappers, including the leader, were killed the next morning.[204]
  • On November 21, a Kenyan missionary was killed in Kembong, Manyu Division.[205] Bishop Andrew Nkea of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mamfe said the missionary was shot in front of the church by soldiers who were shooting from a vehicle, citing the accounts of eyewitnesses. The bishop also stated that one more person was shot near the church. A local source stated that there were no armed separatists in Kembong at the time, while government soldiers were present. A Defence Ministry spokesperson denied the claims and blamed separatists.[206] In Belo, the Vice Principal of the Government Bilingual High School was killed in his own home by unidentified gunmen.[207]
  • On November 22, around 40 Ambazonian fighters and unarmed civilians were killed in Bali by government soldiers, who then set their corpses on fire. With no trace of bullet wounds on any of the bodies, unconfirmed reports alleged the use of chemicals by the soldiers.[208]
  • On November 24, a Catholic priest, a deacon and their driver were kidnapped in Munyenge, Muyuka.[209]
  • On November 26, a police officer was killed in an armed clash between separatists and government forces in Ako, Donga-Mantung.[210]
  • On November 27, students and a staff member of the University of Bamenda were kidnapped on matriculation day. Government forces and separatists clashed in Bambili.[211]
  • On November 28, heavy clashes along the Buea-Kumba Highway left traffic paralyzed, with separatists blocking roads, burning vehicles and attacking government soldiers in Ekona and Muyuka. A military convoy arrived on the morning of November 29 to escort travellers to their destinations, while fighting was still going on.[212]
  • On November 29, at least 30 people were kidnapped by ten unidentified gunmen in Bangourain, Noun Division, West Region, close to the border with Northwest Region. The captives were transported with canoes across the Lake Bamendjing reservoir.[213] In Kembong, just south of Mamfe, a military vehicle hit a road bomb; no soldiers died, but the vehicle was destroyed.[214]
  • On November 30, after a day of relative calm along the Buea-Kumba Highway, separatists took control of parts of the road and mounted road blocks.[212]


  • On December 1–2, heavy clashes took place across Northwest Region, leaving three or more dead in Mankon, Mezam Division.[215] In Southwest Region, the blockade of the Buea-Kumba Highway continued for the fourth consecutive day, with fighting taking place in the villages of Mbalangi and Bombe. Only a few vehicles made it from Buea to Kumba, arriving late at night.[216]
  • On December 3, separatists attacked Cameroonian soldiers guarding a water tank in Kumbo. The next day, soldiers burned dozens of houses in the locality of Romajia.[217]
  • On December 5, government soldiers killed 7 civilians and burned around 15 houses in Meluf, Kumbo.[218]
  • On December 6, soldiers burned 19 houses in Kikiakom. Unverified reports claimed that two separatists were killed in Mbukui.[218]
  • On December 7, the chief of Dieka-Bafaw, Mbonge was killed by suspected separatists.[219]
  • On December 8, 12 or more students of the University of Bamenda were kidnapped on graduation day. The kidnappers released a video saying that all the students would be released, and that the incident should serve as a warning to other students to uphold the school boycott.[220]
  • On December 10, a teacher was killed by unidentified gunmen in Njinikejem, Belo.[221]
  • On December 11, a teenager was killed during a battle between government forces and separatists in Bamenda.[222] In Kumbo, Bui Division, the military evacuated Fon Sehm Mbinglo, one of the most powerful traditional rulers in Cameroon, with a helicopter. This occurred a few days after two princes were killed under unclear circumstances.[223]
  • On December 12, clashes along the Buea-Kumba Highway left travellers stranded on both sides.[224] In Munyenge, Fako Division, local separatists clashed with separatists from Marumba who came to collect taxes in the area. Unconfirmed reports claimed that at least 25 separatists died in this inter-rebel conflict.[225]
  • On December 13, armed men seized the residence of Gabsa Nyagha Sixtus, a coordinator of the recently-formed disarmament committee, in Balikumbat. After sending away all civilians, the armed men set the building on fire. Sixtus had been appointed less than a week prior to the attack.[226]
  • Between December 14 and 15, heavy clashes took place in Bamenda. A battle was fought in the Mankon neighborhood, where government soldiers burned down houses and stores. During the fighting, separatist fighters destroyed several police vans.[227] The military claimed to have killed seven armed separatists in the battles, while itself suffering four seriously wounded. The army commander of the region accused the separatists of hiding among civilians, while locals accused the military of shooting indiscriminately.[228]
  • On December 15, at least five separatists were summarily executed by unknown perpetrators, raising speculations of separatist infighting.[229]
  • On December 16, a policeman was killed by suspected separatists in Ndop.[230]
  • On December 18, at least six students and a teacher were kidnapped from three different schools in Bamenda.[231]
  • On December 21, ADF General Ivo Mbah was killed during a military raid in Kumba.[232]
  • On December 22, a Cameroonian soldier was killed in Mbengwi, Momo Division.[233] In Bangourain, Noun Division (roughly five kilometers outside Southern Cameroons), attackers burned down over 60 houses, killed one person and kidnapped several more.[234] While the government blamed separatists, the separatists claimed the attack was a false flag operation by the government to make Cameroonian Francophones more eager to fight on; the ADF has made a point of not attacking outside the borders of Southern Cameroons.[235] In Ekondo-Titi, a battle between separatists and security forces left two separatists dead.[236]
  • On December 23, Christmas was celebrated a day early by churches all across the Anglophone regions, as Christmas Eve clashed with the weekly ghost towns.[237]
  • On December 24, clashes took place in Bamali,[238] Buea, Muyuka, Bamenda, Bambalang and Babessi.[239] The security forces destroyed the electricity transformer in the neighborhood of Mile 16, deliberately causing a one-week blackout. This was done to make it harder for separatist fighters to identify government soldiers in the neighborhood.[240]
  • On December 25, according to locals, Cameroonian soldiers destroyed over 40 houses and killed over 27 civilians in Ekona, Muyuka. Allegedly, the army carried out the act after separatist fighters had attacked a BIR camp in the early morning and killed four soldiers.[241] In Mbonge, the aide of deceased ADF General Ivo Mbah was murdered by fellow separatists.[242]
  • On December 26, two suspected separatists were lynched by villagers in Bangourain.[235]
  • On December 28, government forces launched an attack to destroy a wall between Bangulan and Bangourain, erected and controlled by separatists.[243] In Bamenda, a soldier was decapitated by separatists as the warring parties clashed.[244] In Binka, Nkambé, government soldiers killed at least six separatists and arrested one.[245]
  • On December 31, the presidents of Cameroon and Ambazonia addressed the ongoing conflict in their end of year speeches. President Paul Biya of Cameroon promised to "neutralize" all separatists who refused to disarm, while emphasizing that anyone who drops their guns can be reintegrated into society.[246] President Samuel Ikome Sako of Ambazonia said that the separatists would switch from a defensive to an offensive strategy in the war, and announced that a Mobile Wing Police would be created to capture territory and defeat government militias. He also condemned anyone engaged in kidnappings of civilians, and promised to fight back against anyone involved in such practices.[247] The same night, separatist fighters attacked the convoy of the Governor of the Northwest Region, injuring at least one government soldier.[248] The Cameroonian Army also announced the killing of Lekeaka Oliver, Field Marshall of the Red Dragons militia, in Lebialem; the killing was denied by the Interim Government of Ambazonia,[8] and was also denied by sources within the Cameroonian Army.[249] Oliver resurfaced in a video a week later, proving that reports of his death were false.[250] In Buea, separatists initiated a ghost town that would last until January 3.[251]


  • On January 2, armed men chopped the hands or fingers off at least half a dozen workers at Cameroon Development Corporation.[252] No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and separatist movements were quick to condemn the act.[253]
  • On January 3, armed men burned down the residence of Minister Dion Ngute in Bobongo, Ekondo-Titi, Southwest Region.[254] In Mbelenka, Lebialem, three gendarmes were wounded in a separatist attack.[249] In Widikum, Momo Division, an Ambazonian general was killed when security forces raided a separatist camp. Government forces claimed that 17 separatists were killed during the raid, while the separatists claimed that the general was the sole loss.[255] In Fundong, a police officer was killed.[256]
  • On January 4, separatists killed two soldiers and wounded two more in Fundong, seizing their weapons.[256]
  • On January 5, separatist militias demanded 15 million FCFA to restore pipe bone water to the Mile 4 neighborhood of Limbe. The militias had blocked the water reservoir in Wotutu months prior, and had accused the villagers and the Chief of Wotutu of not cooperating with them. To pay off the sum, each household in Wotutu and Mile 4 contributed 2000 FCFA.[257] In Kumba, armed men attempted to shut down the neighborhood of Kosala, but had to retreat when security forces intervened. Inhabitants said that the armed men identified as "Amba boys", but some speculated that they were thieves who tried to take advantage of the ongoing conflict.[258]
  • On January 6, Anglophone Cameroonians in the diaspora organized protests to mark the first anniversary of the arrest of the Ambazonian leadership. Throughout the day, armed clashes took place in Muyuka, Bafut. Mundum and Mamfe.[259] In Mamfe, two Ambazonian generals were killed when their camps were raided by the Rapid Intervention Batallion.[260]
  • On January 7, separatists carried out a ghost town in Buea, prompting the mayor of the city, Patrick Ekema, to close shops and businesses that did not stay open during the ghost town. He promised to defeat the ghost towns by January 31.[261]
  • On January 10, Ambazonia's first president Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, as well as other Ambazonian leaders who had been extradited from Nigeria to Cameroon a year before, appeared before the Military Tribunal in Yaoundé. Separatists enforced a ghost town that shut down Buea.[261] In Muyuka, heavy clashes led to a large military deployment in Muyuka.[262] The crackdown in Muyuka continued into the next day, prompting civilians to flee into the forest.[263] In Yoke, a village in Muyuka, two government soldiers and two separatist fighters were killed in a shootout, in which a civilian was killed by a stray bullet as well.[264]
  • On January 11, government soldiers ambushed and killed at least 21 separatist fighters in Mbot, Nkambé, Northwest Region. According to villagers, the soldiers burned down several houses during the attack.[265] On the Kumba-Buea Highway, suspected separatists forced hundreds of travellers out of their vehicles and seized valuables that were left behind. The gunmen stole millions of franc CFA from travelling business people.[266]
  • On January 12, at least seven suspected separatists were killed in Alabukam, Northwest Region,[267] bringing the total number of separatists killed over the weekend to at least 28. The separatists claimed to have killed six soldiers over the weekend.[268]
  • On January 13, the lawyer of Ambazonia's first president Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, who had been under arrest for a year and stood trial in Cameroon, said that his client was ready for direct negotiations on four conditions: That the negotiations took place outside Cameroon, a ceasefire, that all prisoners be released, and a general amnesty.[269]
  • On January 15, unidentified gunmen kidnapped at least 36 people at the Buea-Kumba Highway.[270] They were released the next day, while the kidnappers held on to phones and money.[271]
  • On January 17, a well-known investor and cattle owner from Wum was assassinated by suspected separatists.[272] As a response, government forces raided a separatist camp in Wum two days later, killing at least six separatists.[273]
  • On January 19, unidentified gunmen set a truck on fire in Nkwen, Bamenda. Gunshots in front of public buildings forced civilians to flee.[274]
  • On January 20, several houses were torched in Weh, Menchum Division. Local sources blamed men dressed in military uniforms.[274]
  • On January 22, the head of a decapitated security guard was displayed on a stick in the Kosala neighborhood of Kumba.[275]
  • On January 24, the leader of Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF), General Andrew Ngoe, was killed in Matoh, Mbonge, alongside several other SOCADEF fighters. SOCADEF confirmed the loss.[9] In Kumba, separatists publicly flogged a youngster for stealing vegetable oil from a displaced family and refusing to pay a fine.[276]


Military strategy[]

The Cameroonian Army is fighting a counter-insurgency war, aiming to hit the separatists' support base. This includes burning houses where weapons are found and, according to locals but denied by the army, carrying out revenge attacks.[277] In August 2018, the Defence Minister of Cameroon announced that the army would be expanded with 2,600 new recruits, 2,000 of whom would go to the Rapid Intervention Battalion.[278]

The Ambazonian separatists are fighting a guerilla war. As of June 2018, their weapons were mostly hunting rifles, which are far inferior of the automatic weapons used by the Cameroonian Army. Numerically and materially disadvantaged, the separatists carry out hit-and-run attacks, ambushes and raids. According to the ADF, as of June 2018 there were 1,500 soldiers in the ADF, spread across 20 camps throughout Southern Cameroons.[13] The militias enjoy significant local support, with civilians giving them food, informing them on troop movements, or outright assisting them in carrying out attacks.[11] The Interim Government of Ambazonia has stressed that the war will take place solely within Southern Cameroons, and claims that attacks across the border have been false flag operations by the Cameroonian government.[279]

Unlike the Cameroonian soldiers deployed in the region, the separatists are locals, and are thus more familiar with the terrain. Cameroonian General Melingui stated that the separatists have a leverage over the army when it comes to familiarity with the battleground; "They know the terrain. These are youths from local villages. We try to seek them out but we can't find them. Our men aren't familiar with the forest." Cameroonian authorities have admitted that they have little control over the security situation outside the cities.[277] Journalist Emmanuel Freudenthal, who spent a week with ADF rebels, stated that the separatists control much of the countryside because the infrastructure in Southern Cameroons is so poorly developed, making it hard for the Cameroonian government to access those areas.[13]

Ambazonian Governing Council leader in exile Ayaba Cho Lucas summed up the ADF strategy in the following way: "60% of the GDP of Cameroon is earned in Ambazonia. [...] We must try to raise the cost of the occupation to higher than the profits they get here."[5]

Political, diplomatic and propaganda strategy[]

According to Millan Atam, chairperson of the Southern Cameroonians Congress of the People, the separatists are building up support for their cause through two distinct phases. The first phase was to build internal capability to resist the Cameroonian Army and raise faith in the cause. Once a significant portion of the population of Southern Cameroons clearly wanted separation, the separatists would approach the international community with their cause.[280]

The Cameroonian government has tried to limit the extent of which the conflict affects everyday life in Southern Cameroons, and portrays the war as a battle between chaos and stability in which the government represents the latter. To this end, local authorities have penalized businesses that respected "ghost towns" declared by the separatists.[281] The government has fired and replaced local administrators who fled from the region, despite their valid fears of kidnappings.[282] In September 2018, the army physically prevented people from fleeing their homes.[283]

In August 2018, Minister of Territorial Administration Atanga Nji made a vague offer of amnesty to separatists who surrender their weapons, saying they would "be received as prodigal sons". The minister also announced a plan to rebuild infrastructure that had been destroyed due to the conflict.[284]

In December 2018, Ambazonia launched the AmbaCoin, a cryptocurrency meant to replace the Central African CFA franc. The separatists hoped that the local population would gradually switch to using the AmbaCoin, circumventing what they consider to be an economic blockade on the Anglophone regions.[285]

Both sides have used WhatsApp to spread propaganda.[277] Cameroonian authorities have arrested journalists on the accusation of propagating false information, the punishment for which is six months to two years in prison.[286]


In late June 2018, the Cameroonian government claimed that more than 120 soldiers and policemen had died since the start of the conflict.[95]

Alleged war crimes reports[]

By Cameroon[]

There is photographic evidence that shows a consistent policy of burning down villages. The army has claimed that the soldiers who were filmed were separatists wearing stolen Cameroonian Army uniforms, a claim that has been denied by local residents. Satellite images show extensive damage to villages. Journalists have been denied entry to the conflict zones, and soldiers have been forbidden from carrying mobile phones.[287]

In August 2018, the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa published a list of 106 villages that had been raided by government forces since October 2017. Citing eyewitness accounts, videos and photos as evidence, the Centre claimed that 71 of these villages had been completely destroyed and depopulated, while the remaining 34 had been partially deserted.[288]

By Ambazonia[]

At the end of 2017, the separatists declared a school boycott, and have attacked and burnt down schools that refused to shut down. Between February 2017 and May 2018, at least 42 schools were targeted.[287] Some separatists consider schools to be legitimate targets because the French language is taught as a mandatory subject.[289] However, the ADF has denied having any connection to attacks on schools, blaming other militias or the government.[13]

Throughout 2017, there were no reports of ADF using violence against civilians. As of October 2018, five such incidents had been reported, though these attacks were for the most part not lethal; one civilian death was attributed to an ADF attack. Other separatist groups had attacked civilians 25 times within the same time frame, and were responsible for 13 civilian deaths.[29] Separatists have also been accused of using schools and churches as military barracks.[290]

In December 2018, Christopher Anu, Communication Secretary of the Ambazonia Interim Government, posted a video online where he asked separatist fighters to attack United Nations targets, causing a rift with fellow separatist activist Ayaba Cho Lucas.[291]

Humanitarian consequences[]

By January 2018, 15,000 people had fled from Southern Cameroons to Nigeria.[17] This number increased to at least 40,000 people by February.[292] By August 2018, more than 180,000 people had been displaced due to the war.[293]

Other consequences[]

The conflict has severely harmed the local economy. In June 2018, Cameroon Development Corporation, a state-owned company with 22,000 employees, declared the conflict could lead to the loss of 5,000 jobs on the short term.[294] In July 2018, an NGO reported that the war had caused a 70 percent increase in unemployment in the agricultural sector. The palm oil and cocoa sectors in Southwest Region had taken a severe blow, with state-owned company Pamol abandoning plantations in some areas. The private company Telcar Cocoa reported that the cocoa production had fallen 80 percent. The NGO suggested that companies make deals with the separatists in order to safeguard their facilities.[295] The separatists aim to prevent the Cameroonian state from getting any income from the Anglophone regions, in order to make cost of controlling the region surpass the benefits.[5]

The conflict has triggered an exodus of the Nigerian business community from Southern Cameroons, as well as Nigerian traders who used to run key markets.[296]

Thousands of displaced people have fled to protected areas, endangering the wildlife there.[297]

International reactions[]

Southern Cameroonian expats marching in support of the Ambazonian cause

International organizations[]

  • African Union – As of July 2018, the African Union has remained largely silent on the Anglophone Crisis.[298]
  •  European Union – On June 20, 2018, the EU supported the entry of UN bodies to the Anglophone region, and called upon the Cameroonian government to allow this.[293]
  •  United Nations – On May 30, 2018, the United Nations declared a humanitarian crisis in Southern Cameroons and started organizing aid. Through the declaration, the United Nations assumed responsibility for the safety of civilians in Southern Cameroons, and to this end it could intervene against both warring parties.[299] The United Nations has also called for impartial investigations of possible human rights violations in the Anglophone region.[293] On November 20, 2018, the UN condemned both sides; the separatists for abductions, school attacks and killings of policemen, and the government for carrying out extrajudicial executions.[300]



  •  Chad – According to unverified reports, Chadian President Idriss Déby agreed to deploy Chadian troops to the Anglophone region to fight the separatists. In February 2018, it was reported that Chadian troops had been fighting in Southern Cameroons for weeks. However, no physical evidence of such a deployment has been provided.[301]
  •  Equatorial Guinea – In January 2018, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called for dialogue as the best way to end the Anglophone crisis.[302]
  •  Nigeria – President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to prevent the separatists from operating from Nigerian territory; "Nigeria will take necessary measures within the ambit of the law to ensure that her territory is not used as a staging area to destabilise another friendly sovereign country".[303]


  •  China – In November 2018, China offered humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people in Southern Cameroons.[304]


  •  Belgium – In November 2018, a Belgian envoy stated that Cameroon should learn from Belgium when it comes to dealing with multi-lingualism.[305]
  •  France – France has condemned separatist attacks on soldiers, and has called for dialogue to ensure the unity of Cameroon.[59] France has been under pressure by Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom to put pressure on Cameroon. In October 2018, it threatened to cut military aid unless the Cameroonian government initiated a dialogue with the separatists.[306]
  •  Germany – Germany officially supports a resolution through dialogue and reforms.[305] A lot of sympathy for the Ambazonian cause has been expressed in the Bundestag, with a representant of the Free Democratic Party going as far as proposing a military intervention in October 2018.[307] Germany has put pressure on France to force the Cameroonian government to take steps to end the war.[306]
  •  United Kingdom – Minister for African Affairs Harriett Baldwin called for the conflict to be "solved democratically".[308] The United Kingdom has criticized France for enabling the Cameroonian government.[306]

North America

  •  United States – According to the U.S. Department of State's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2017, Cameroonian forces carried out arbitrary killings, disappearances, torture, violations of freedom of expression and unlawful detentions in harsh prison conditions.[309] In 2018, the United States formally accused the Cameroonian Army of carrying out targeted killings.[310] In November 2018, following the death of an American missionary, the US Department of State issued a statement urging both sides to cease all attacks on civilian targets. The United States also condemned the "systematic intimidation based on ethnic and religious affiliation" in Cameroon.[311]


  •  Australia – Australian diplomat Alexander Chapman stated that "Australia recommends Cameroon lift unnecessary restrictions on freedom of assembly, investigate the alleged use of force in demonstrations, and ensure arrested protestors receive fair trials."[312]


  • Amnesty International – In a report published in June 2018, Amnesty International criticized both sides for using excessive force. The report accused the Cameroonian Army of arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and destruction of property. The report claimed that the Cameroonian Army had obliterated an entire village, citing satellite photos as evidence. The Cameroonian Army denied the findings of the report.[313]
  •  Biafra – Biafran independence movements have voiced support for the Ambazonian cause. A coalition of Biafran movements has met with the Ambazonian leadership and discussed building a diplomatic and bilateral relationship between Biafra and Ambazonia.[314]
  • Confederation of African Football – Cameroon was meant to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. However, due to security concerns, the Confederation of African Football retracted the hosting right.[315]
  • UNPO.png Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization – Ambazonia was admitted to the UNPO on March 28, 2018.[316] The UNPO criticized Nigeria's extradition of the Ambazonian leadership as a violation of international refugee law, as most of the individuals had submitted political asylum claims.[53]


  1. Ambazonian guerillas are often referred to as "Amba Boys", a term used both by pro-government forces and by the separatists themselves.


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  216. Renewed Gunfire Lockdown Kumba-Buea Road Corridor, The National Times, Dec 3, 2018. Accessed Dec 3, 2018.
  217. Soldiers On Burning Spree Mission In Romajia, Kumbo, Cameroon News Agency, Dec 4, 2018. Accessed Dec 7, 2018.
  218. 218.0 218.1 The Onslaught In Kumbo Continues-Analysis of Radio Evangelum, Cameroon News Agency, Dec 7, 2018. Accessed Dec 7, 2018.
  219. Gunmen Kill, Bury Chief For Possessing Mystical Powers, The National Times, Dec 10, 2018. Accessed Dec 10, 2018.
  220. Cameroon: At least 12 Bamenda University students kidnapped on graduation day, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 11, 2018. Accessed Dec 11, 2018.
  221. Cameroon: Gunmen kill teacher in Njinikejem, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 11, 2018. Accessed Dec 11, 2018.
  222. Cameroon: teenager killed in Bamenda on ghost town day, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 11, 2018. Accessed Dec 11, 2018.
  223. Military ‘Rescues’ Fon Of Nso Out Of Conflict Hit Chiefdom, The National Times, Dec 12, 2018. Accessed Dec 12, 2018.
  224. Cameroon:transport prices skyrocket as clashes intensify on Buea-Kumba road, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 12, 2018. Accessed Dec 12, 2018.
  225. ‘Ambazonia’ Fighters Clash Over FCFA 500,000 Cocoa Tax, Casualties Feared, The National Times, Dec 13, 2018. Accessed Dec 15, 2018.
  226. Cameroon: residence of disrmament committee coordinator set ablaze, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 13, 2018. Accessed Dec 13, 2018.
  227. Clashes In Bamenda Leaves Stores, Vehicles shattered, Cameroon News Agency, Dec 17, 2018. Accessed Dec 18, 2018.
  228. Cameroon military says it killed 7 suspected separatists, The Charlotte Observer, Dec 18, 2018. Accessed Dec 18, 2018.
  229. Cameroon: infighting from ‘Ambazonia armed groups’ leaves at least 5 dead, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 16, 2018. Accessed Dec 16, 2018.
  230. Cameroon: Police commissioner killed in Ndop, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 16, 2018. Accessed Dec 16, 2018.
  231. Cameroon: At least six students, one teacher kidnapped in Bamenda, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 20, 2018. Accessed Dec 21, 2018.
  232. Cameroon: ‘Ambazonia General’ killed in Kumba, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 21, 2018. Accessed Dec 21, 2018.
  233. Cameroon soldier killed by Ambazonia separatists in restive NW region, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 24, 2018. Accessed Dec 24, 2018.
  234. Cameroon: Separatist attack in Bangourain leaves one dead,many kidnapped, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 24, 2018. Accessed Dec 24, 2018
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  236. Cameroon soldiers kill two separatists in Ekondo Titi, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 24, 2018. Accessed Dec 24, 2018.
  237. Traditional Ghost Town Phenomenon Mars Christmas Eve Church Services In NW, SW, The National Times, Dec 24, 2018. Accessed Dec 25, 2018.
  238. CAMEROUN: Combats entre séparatistes et armée à Ndop et à Bamali,, Dec 25, 2018. Accessed Dec 25, 2018.
  239. Christmas celebrations marred by violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 26, 2018. Accessed Dec 26, 2018.
  240. Fierce Gun Battle Between Security, Restoration Forces Leaves Mile 16 Inhabitants In Darkness, The National Times, Dec 30, 2018. Accessed Dec 30, 2018.
  241. Exclusive: The Untold Story Of Christmas Day Killings, Arson In Ekona, The National Times, Jan 2, 2019. Accessed Jan 2, 2019.
  242. General Ivo’s Aide Murdered As ‘Ambazonia’ Infighting Lingers On, The National Times, Dec 25, 2018. Accessed Dec 25, 2018.
  243. Soldiers VS Ambazonia Fighters : The Struggle to Break The Bangolan Wall, Cameroon News Agency, Dec 28, 2018. Accessed Dec 28, 2018.
  244. Cameroon: Soldier beheaded as gunshots rock Bamenda, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 28, 2018. Accessed Dec 28, 2018.
  245. Cameroon soldiers kill six separatists in Binka, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 30, 2018. Accessed Dec 30, 2018.
  246. Cameroon: Biya says soldiers will ‘neutralize’ Ambazonia fighters who fail to drop their guns, Journal du Cameroun, Dec 31, 2018. Accessed Dec 31, 2018.
  247. No Retreat, No Surrender, From Defensive To Offensive Strategy, The way Forward In 2019-Dr Samuel Sako, Cameroon News Agency, Dec 31, 2018. Accessed Dec 31, 2018.
  248. Cameroon: NW Governor attacked by Ambazonia fighters on New Year, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 1, 2019. Accessed Jan 1, 2019.
  249. 249.0 249.1 Cameroon: Three gendarmes killed in Mbelenka, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 4, 2018. Accessed Jan 4, 2018.
  250. Separatists’ Kingpin, ‘Field Marshal’, Resurfaces In Video After Rumours Of His Death Went Viral, The National Times, Jan 6, 2018. Accessed Jan 6, 2018.
  251. Buea Regains Steam After 3 Days Of Lockdown, The National Times, Jan 3, 2019. Accessed Jan 3, 2019.
  252. Cameroon: Armed men chop off fingers of CDC workers, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 3, 2019. Accessed Jan 3, 2019.
  253. Gunmen Defy ‘Ambazonia’ President’s Warnings, Attack CDC Workers, The National Times, Jan 4, 2019. Accessed Jan 4, 2019.
  254. Cameroon: Residence of Minister Dion Ngute burnt by armed men, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 3, 2019. Accessed Jan 3, 2019.
  255. Cameroon: ‘Ambazonia General’ killed in Widikum, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 4, 2019. Accessed Jan 4, 2019.
  256. 256.0 256.1 Cameroon: Two security forces killed in Fundong, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 7, 2019. Accessed Jan 7, 2019.
  257. ‘Amba Boys’ Demand FCFA 15 Million To Reinstate Water To Community, The National Times, Jan 5, 2019. Accessed Jan 5, 2018.
  258. Gunmen Escape From Soldiers After Failing To Shutdown Neighbourhood, The National Times, Jan 6, 2019. Accessed Jan 6, 2019.
  259. Cameroon: Protests, ghost towns mark anniversary celebrations of detained ‘Ambazonia leaders’, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 7, 2019. Accessed Jan 7, 2019.
  260. Cameroon: Two ‘Ambazonia Generals’ killed in Mamfe, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 7, 2019. Accessed Jan 7, 2019.
  261. 261.0 261.1 Total Lockdown In Buea As Sisiku & Co Appear Before Court, The National Times, Jan 11, 2019. Accessed Jan 11, 2019.
  262. Cameroon: vionlence, gunshots, ghost towns engulf parts of Anglophone towns, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 10, 2019. Accessed Jan 10, 2019.
  263. Gunshots Send Villagers Into Hiding As Soldiers Intensify Crackdown On Separatists, Jan 11, 2019. Accessed Jan 11, 2019.
  264. Soldiers, Ambazionia Fighters, Civilian Killed In Yoke Gun Battle, The National Times, Jan 12, 2019. Accessed Jan 12, 2019.
  265. Cameroon soldiers kill 21 separatist fighters in NW region, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 12, 2019. Accessed Jan 12, 2019.
  266. Gunmen Burn Vehicles, Harass Travellers On Kumba-Buea Road, The National Times, Jan 13, 1019. Accessed Jan 14, 2019.
  267. Cameroon: Seven suspected separatists killed in Alabukam, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 14, 2019. Accessed Jan 14, 2019.
  268. Government forces kill 28 rebels in one of the bloodiest weekend in the ongoing Anglophone crisis, The National Times, Jan 14, 2019. Accessed Jan 14, 2019.
  269. Sisiku’s Lawyer Says Ambazonia Leader Is Ready To Negotiate With Biya, The National Times, Jan 13, 1019. Accessed Jan 13, 2019.
  270. Cameroon: At leats 36 passengers kidnapped along Buea-Kumba highway, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 16, 2019. Accessed Jan 16, 2019.
  271. Suspected anglophone separatists release 30 kidnapped in Cameroon: security source, Pulse, Jan 16, 2019. Accessed Jan 17, 2019.
  272. Outrage In Wum After Gunmen Kill Prominent Cattle Owner, Investor, Jan 19, 2019. Accessed Jan 20, 2019.
  273. Cameroon: death of prominent businessman sparks killings in Wum, Journal du Cameroun, Jan 20, 2019. Accessed Jan 21, 2019.
  274. 274.0 274.1 Killings, Arson, Sustained Gunfire Rock NW, The National Times, Jan 21, 2019. Accessed Jan 22, 2019.
  275. Confusion Grips Kumba Population As Security Guard’s Head Is Displayed On A Stick, The National Times, Jan 22, 2019. Accessed Jan 23, 2019.
  276. Amba Boys Flog Youngster For Stealing Vegetable Oil From Displaced Family, The National Times, Jan 24, 2019. Accessed Jan 24, 2019.
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  279. Interim Government Warns Cameroun Against Propagating Inter-Citizen War Between Both Cameroons, Bareta News. Accessed Dec 25, 2018.
  280. Black-On-Black Colonialism: The Divide Between Francophone Cameroon And Anglophone Ambazonia, The Daily Vox, Jun 4, 2018. Accessed Jun 5, 2018.
  281. Cameroon mayor warns Buea businesses over ghost towns on Mondays, Africa News, Jul 22, 2018. Accessed Aug 23, 2018.
  282. Biya appoints new Batibo DO, sacks runaway administrators in Anglophone regions, Journal du Cameroun, Sep 20, 2018. Accessed Sep 20, 2018.
  283. Cameroon intercepts families from fleeing war-torn Anglophone region, CGTN Africa, Sep 16, 2018. Accessed Sep 16, 2018.
  284. Your future is not in the bushes- Minister Atanga Nji, Journal du Cameroun, Aug 22, 2018. Accessed Aug 22, 2018.
  285. ‘Cryptocurrency is Freedom!’ — Exclusive Interview with Ambazonian Secessionists, CCN, Dec 22, 2018. Accessed Dec 24, 2018.
  286. Cameroon Journalist Jailed in Anglophone Unrest, Voice of America, Nov 8, 2018. Accessed Nov 9, 2018.
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  288. CHRDA publishes shocking list of military atrocities in Cameroon’s NW, SW regions, Journal du Cameroun, Aug 22, 2018. Accessed Aug 22, 2018.
  289. Schools Fail to Open in Cameroon's Restive English-speaking Regions, Reliefweb, Sep 4, 2018. Accessed Sep 4, 2018.
  290. Churches turned into military barracks, people killed: Cameroon Christians cry out, The Christian Post, Dec 6, 2018. Accessed Dec 6, 2018.
  291. Attack On UN Vehicles, Ghost Town Operations Split ‘Ambazonia’ Leadership, The National Times, Dec 3, 2018. Accessed Dec 3, 2018.
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  294. Cameroon: Anglophone crisis could cost 5,000 jobs, Journal du Cameroon, Jun 18, 2018. Accessed Jun 18, 2018.
  295. Cameroon’s palm oil, cocoa sectors worst hit by crisis, Journal du Cameroun, Jul 19, 2018. Accessed Jul 18, 2018.
  296. Cameroon’s Nigerian business community is fleeing as the Anglophone crisis deepens, Quartz, Jul 7, 2018. Accessed Jul 9, 2018.
  297. Cameroon crisis threatens wildlife as thousands flee to protected areas, African Arguments, Jul 12, 2018. Accessed Jul 12, 2018.
  298. African Union Intervenes In Cameroon Crisis, Taarifa, Jul 12, 2018. Accessed Jul 12, 2018.
  299. Aid starts to trickle in for “Ambazonians” as UN declares Humanitarian Crisis in South Cameroon, Pan African Visions, Jun 2, 2018. Accessed Jul 13, 2018.
  300. UN condemns mass killings, kidnappings in crisis stricken Cameroon, Journal du Cameroun, Nov 21, 2018. Accessed Nov 21, 2018.
  301. Cameroon: Chad Deploys Military to Southern Cameroons as Crisis Persists, All Africa, Feb 5, 2018. Accessed Sep 16, 2018.
  302. Anglophone Crisis: Obiang Nguema steps in, calls for dialogue, Cameroon Concord, Jan 24, 2018. Accessed Jul 5, 2018.
  303. Nigeria's promise to Cameroon, Africa Review, Feb 13, 2018. Accessed Apr 21, 2018.
  304. Cameroon: China offers humanitarian assistance to displaced Anglophones, Journal du Cameroun, Nov 23, 2018. Accessed Nov 23, 2018.
  305. 305.0 305.1 Ambazonia: Germany and Belgium Vow to Support Dialogue in Cameroon , UNPO, Nov 14, 2018. Accessed Nov 14, 2018.
  306. 306.0 306.1 306.2 Pressure mount on Macron to get Biya to the dialogue table, The National Times, Nov 27, 2018. Accessed Dec 3, 2018.
  307. Germany should use force if needed to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Anglophone Cameroon: says German Parliamentarian, The National Times, Oct 14, 2018. Accessed Dec 3, 2018.
  308. Britain wants democratic solution to Anglophone crisis, Journal du Cameroun, Jun 13, 2018. Accessed Jun 20, 2018.
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  310. Cameroon army employing targeted killings, U.S. tasks Biya to show leadership, Africa News, May 18, 2018. Accessed May 18, 2018.
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  312. Australia condemns Cameroon’s human rights record, Journal du Cameroun, May 18, 2018. Accessed Jun 28, 2018.
  313. Cameroon: Amnesty Calls for End to Violence, AllAfrica, Jun 14, 2018. Accessed Jun 14, 2018.
  314. Pro-Biafra groups vow to be under one leadership, The Sun News Online, Jun 28, 2018. Accessed Jun 28, 2018.
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