West Africa conflicts

This item appears on page 14 of the December 2017 issue.

At least 17 people were killed in western Cameroon on Oct. 1 when pro-independence protesters fought with police. Protests in the area have been a regular occurrence since November 2016, with the government responding by cutting off Internet access in the region and instituting a curfew.  

A separatist movement has been growing in the English-speaking western provinces of French-speaking Cameroon. Independence groups accuse the government of routinely underfunding majority-English-speaking provinces. The separatists are calling for the creation of the country of Ambazonia from the current Northwest and Southwest provinces of Cameroon.

An independence movement has also been simmering in the regions of Nigeria that border Cameroon, which were involved in a civil war from 1967 to 1970, when the region was declared the independent nation of Biafra. 

In September, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari labeled the separatist group Indigenous Peoples of Biafra as a terrorist organization and sent the military into the region. The group reported that the military killed members of their organization.