Cameroon: North-West and South-West Crisis Situation Report No. 10 - As of 31 August 2019

This report is produced by OCHA Cameroon in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 1 – 31 August 2019. The next report will be issued in October.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 30,000 people in the North-West (NW) received e-voucher assistance from CRS and 2,300 in the South-West (SW) were supported through paper vouchers by IRC.

  • 128,000 people in the NWSW received food and livelihood assistance.

  • 12,795 children were vaccinated for polio and 11,156 for measles in the SW.

  • An attack against the Akwaya Hospital in the NW and an ambulance in Akum (NW) were reported.

  • Out of 1,814 children aged 6-59 months screened for acute malnutrition, 63 were diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and were referred for treatment.

  • The number of unaccompanied and separated children in the Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CP AoR) is estimated at 5% of all IDP children.

  • 70% of IDPs interviewed in both regions need NFI assistance.

  • A total of 34 WASH activities were implemented in the NWSW reaching 11,247 individuals (NW 4,479 and SW 6,768).

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Humanitarian

The humanitarian situation in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) remains intrinsically tied to the political crisis, the deteriorating security situation and the resulting high level of protection incidents. As civilians continue to be targeted by excessive violence including burning of houses, displacement levels continue to grow leading to a concerning increase in humanitarian needs.

Political

August was marked by the Government’s campaign to encourage communities in NWSW to send their children back to school in September and by counter-actions by non-State armed groups (NSAGs) to ensure that schools remained closed until a political solution to the crisis is found. The politicization of education by all sides has resulted in 9 out of 10 children in NWSW having no access to learning or education for three years.

On 26 August the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education met in Yaounde to map out strategies for their back to school campaign which included increasing security/armed presence close to schools. On 14 August, NSAGs released statements declaring lockdowns from 2 to 6 September and from 9 to 13 September in order to prevent school resumption. On 23 August, Catholic Bishops of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference wrote an open letter to separatists, parents, teachers and the Government calling for school resumption and an end to attacks on schools.

On 20 August 2019 the Yaoundé Military Tribunal sentenced Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine other separatist leaders to life imprisonment and a 250 billion CFA fine. The ten leaders were arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon in January 2018. In reaction to the sentencing, which provoked widespread criticism within civil society, NSAGs declared a lockdown in NWSW from the 26 August to 13 September, prolonging the previously announced two-week lockdown to three weeks.

In fear of potential confrontations between NSAGs and Government defense forces during the lockdown days, as well as people resorting to sending their children to school elsewhere, a significant number of people left urban centres in NWSW for other areas in Cameroon.

On 2 August 2019 the United States senate passed resolution 292 calling on the Cameroon Government and separatist leaders to end violence, respect human rights and to engage in dialogue. On 26 August, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), supported by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR), submitted a statement to the 42nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council calling for an end to atrocities in the NWSW.

Security

Lack of security in both rural and urban areas continues to worsen. Human rights violations continue to be committed by both parties to the conflict. Arbitrary arrest, burning of villages and indiscriminate killing of civilians are conducted with impunity.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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