Cameroon: North-West and South-West Crisis Situation Report No. 9 - As of 31 July 2019
• More than 700,000 children, representing almost 9 out of every 10 children, have been out of school for nearly three years with 80% of schools closed.
• An estimated 462,000 people in the North West and South West (NWSW) regions fall within the Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity calling for urgent action to protect and revive livelihoods, reduce food consumption gaps and reduce acute malnutrition.
• There is an outbreak of measles confirmed in Limbe and suspected in Ekondo-Titi health districts.
• It is estimated that up to 7,000 children between 6-59 months with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) can be expected in the two regions until the end of the year. Reports of hospital admission of children with SAM requiring inpatient care are increasingly being recorded in the regions.
• Out of 789 protection incidents in the month of July 36.4% are related to the destruction of houses and villages.
• Out of the 74 rape cases recorded only 13 were able to obtain health care services due to the absence of services in their localities. 785 cases of GBV were reported in the same month with indications that both are on the rise.
• 630 households were reported to have been displaced in the NWSW as they flee confrontations between the warring parties.
The humanitarian situation in NWSW continues to deteriorate with serious protection incidents, including excessive violence against civilians by all parties to the conflict being noted. Displacement of civilians continues to increase with destruction of houses and villages by fighting parties. Impunity for crimes and acts of violence against civilians throughout the NWSW is a hallmark of the crisis.
Humanitarian access to persons in need throughout NWSW continues to be a challenge with armed groups often blocking access as well as threatening humanitarian personnel. Although the crisis is characterized as a protection crisis, severe and growing needs have been noted in health, education, shelter, food security and WASH. Despite the severity of the crisis funding for the humanitarian response remains at 15% as of the end of July of the total required for 2019.
Cameroon’s bilateral and multilateral partners continue to put pressure on the government for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The German military on 2 July 2019 declared it has ended its military mission in Cameroon as a result of the Anglophone crisis. The mission to Cameroon started four years ago to support the Cameroonian military in the fight against Boko Haram.
From the 1 to 3 of July 2019, US Congresswoman Karen Bass led a fact-finding mission to Cameroon. She called on parties to the conflict to respect human rights, end all violence and begin dialogue. On 24 July 2019, the US House of Representatives voted for Resolution 358 calling for restraint and dialogue in Cameroon. They proposed federalism as a possible way out of the crisis and called for the release of prisoners.
On the 19 of July 2019, the Swiss Ambassador and the Africa Director for Humanitarian Dialogue met with the Prime Minster of Cameroon. In a declaration on 27 July 2019, the chairperson of the AU Commission welcomed the initiative for dialogue to resolve the NWSW crisis. He reaffirmed AU support for any initiative aimed at peace, stability and national reconciliation in Cameroon.
State authorities and some anglophone civil society organizations are advocating for schools to resume in September 2019. However, armed groups continue to threaten those attempting to reopen schools. In a communique dated 12 July 2019 a group called the Ambazonian Prisoners of War (APOW) declared school can only resume if the problems that underpinned the crisis are resolved.
Security continues to worsen in the conflict hit regions. Human rights violations continue to be committed by both parties to the conflict. Arbitrary arrest, burning of villages and indiscriminate killing of civilians are on the rise. Women were reportedly used as human shields during hostilities. Those most affected by the violence are civilians including Persons with Disabilities, women, children and the elderly.