Cameroon Crisis: What Is Really Going on and What are the Motivations?

By Scott Morgan

The events that have occurred, last week, in Cameroon will have analysts confounded regarding the motivations of certain actors in the Country.

On May 15th, it was revealed that the United States was going to transfer two aircraft designed for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Operations to the West African Country. The timing is unique for the actions currently underway as forces of the Francophone Government target the Minority Anglophone speakers who reside along the border with Nigeria.

This campaign which has been quietly undertaken for more than a year first came to light when the authorities would shut down Internet Access but would restore it for a high profile visitor. After they departed then the Internet would again be shut down for the Anglophone Community. It could be seen as resetting to a default position.

So, why has the Government of Cameroon resorted to such actions? The immediate reaction is to suggest that the regime of Paul Biya is removing a threat to an extension to his power. The next scheduled poll is not until October 2025, therefore to the casual observer this may be seen as sour grapes for lack of votes.

Another train of thought has an even more interesting connotation: the Government of Cameroon is attempting to crackdown on the Boko Haram Insurgency. This concept should not be discredited immediately. There have been persistent reports from within Nigeria of some Boko Haram Fighters speaking French. The Group has also proven adept at striking targets within Northern Cameroon in an effort to punish the Government for supporting the Nigerians in the effort to defeat this insurgency.

So, it appears to some elements within the Cameroonian Security Community that any English Speaker is either a member of Boko Haram or supports the group. 

It does sound simplistic to the casual observer of West African Politics, however there is a train of thought that the Anglophone community is not actually part of Cameroon. This goes back to the Casamance Referendum around the time of Independence when there were three options presented:

  • Union with Cameroon
  • Union with Nigeria
  • Independence. 

History tells us that Union with Cameroon won.

So now that the scenario has been set what happens next? On May 22nd it was announced that the US Ambassador was called to the Foreign Ministry to address remarks he made that the Cameroonian Security Forces were making targeted killings against the Anglophone Community in the country, plus other abuses against Militants.

This shows that the Government of Cameroon feels that this is an internal matter and does not want any input from any other party unless they agree with the plan of action. Especially when the party actually provides the means in which they are conducting the Policy. This is not going to end well for either Cameroon or Nigeria 

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]


  1. Hi Morgan,

    The Cameroon have always puzzled me, the way it is divided into two communities (due to history) and it still managed to keep a balance. But now the cage is being rattled, so which foreign force is behind it exactly?


  2. I agree with Max. Which country will benefit the most from this unrest?


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