Cameroon: Armed Conflict

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 6th July 2021.

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Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Shadow Minister (Equalities Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the predominant cause of the conflict in anglophone Cameroon; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the crisis in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, including the disturbing reports of human rights abuses by both armed separatists and security forces. We assess that the root causes of the conflict are varied and complex. These include constitutional issues and the different legal and education systems in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, and the need for sustained political will on all sides to resolve the crisis. These were discussed at the Grand National Dialogue in 2019 and we continue to urge progress on the issues identified, including further inclusive dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis.

We regularly raise our concerns with the Government of Cameroon. In March I travelled to Cameroon and met President Biya, Prime Minister Ngute and Foreign Minister Mbella Mbella to push for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. I also met the President of the South-West Regional Assembly, civil society, political opposition and religious leaders, to hear the experiences of the affected communities. We have shared our experiences of conflict resolution with the Government of Cameroon, and we urge all sides to remain engaged with the Swiss-led process to facilitate talks.

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