Cameroon: Massive population displacement, North West: Flash update (20 December 2019)

Situation Report
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  • Violence displaced an estimated 5,500 people in the North West between 9 and 15 December.
  • Priority needs of the displaced include protection, food, shelter, NFI, health and water.
  • No assistance has been delivered to those affected as of 20 December.


Between 9 and 15 December 2019, an estimated 5,475 people (782 households) were forced to flee their villages following a series of military operations and community clashes throughout the North West region. Military operations in the Momo, Mezam, Boyo, Ngo Ketunjia, Donga Mantung and Bui Divisions have led to the displacement of 2,775 people, while community clashes in the Boyo division has led 2,700 people to flee their homes. There are consistent reports of military burning houses and other civilian infrastructure in supposed retaliation for communities harbouring NSAGs.

The majority of IDPs have been forced to flee by foot. They have sought shelter in non-damaged buildings and agricultural structures in host communities. Others are reported to be making their way to Bamenda and other urban areas considered safer.


The priority needs of the 782 displaced households include protection, food, shelter, NFI, health and water.


A humanitarian response to those displaced remains challenging due to the continuous insecurity. Recently, there has been a significant increase in military operations and attacks by non-State armed groups in the region. The lack of financial resources and the decrease of humanitarian staffing due to the holiday season further hampers a humanitarian response to those displaced. No humanitarian response has been delivered yet to these displaced people. UN OCHA led a humanitarian assessment mission to the affected areas around Ndop on 19 December 2019 and will continue assessment missions in the other affected areas.


Eight Clusters have been activated in October 2018 to facilitate the humanitarian coordination in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. OCHA coordinates the inter-Cluster working group in Buea and Bamenda and the overall humanitarian response in the two regions. OCHA is engaging Cluster coordinators to mount a response to those displaced by the attacks and to increase the preparedness of the humanitarian actors in the two regions to respond faster to such displacement, as attacks might intensify in the runup of the municipal and legislative elections in February 2020.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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