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Country Reports

Cameroon Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Growing diplomatic pressure to find a political solution to the secessionist insurgency in Cameroon's Anglophone regions incentivised the government to to negotiate with the secessionists. However, the government's ban on discussing the prospect of secession means that neither successful negotiations are unlikely, with regular lethal armed exchanges between secessionist militant groups and the security forces likely to continue until negotiations without preconditions take place. Secessionists have attacked government-affiliated targets including state-owned farms and French-language schools.Large-scale anti-government protests are particularly likely around legislative elections (due in late 2019 but will probably take place on 29 February 2020 alongside local elections) or if opposition leader Maurice Kamto, who organised widespread popular protests on 26 January is released from prison.The only notable risk to government stability following confirmation of another seven-year term for President Paul Biya after elections in October 2018 is his advanced age and lack of a succession plan in the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais: RDPC). Biya is 85, and his death or incapacity would precipitate a power struggle within the RDPC and a fresh election.Rights to stage the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament were withdrawn from Cameroon on 30 November 2018, largely due to security concerns. Despite Cameroon being granted rights to host the 2021 tournament, this raises non-payment and strike risks for projects associated with the tournament such as stadia, roads, hotels, and other accommodation which may not now be needed, and elevates the risk of strikes as wage arrears mount up.IHS Markit forecasts GDP growth of 4.3% in 2019, supported by increasing gas production and timber processing. Tapered public expenditure, increased security spending, and the impact of secessionist activity and Boko Haram militancy will be the main drags on economic activity.
Last update: July 25, 2019

Operational Outlook

Periodical general strikes in the Northwest and Southwest regions, enforced by Anglophone insurgents, are likely to continue over the 12-month outlook. Strike risks will likely rise at large-scale construction projects in Cameroon; the loss of rights to host the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament means work on stadia and associated infrastructure will decrease in priority and wage arrears will mount. However, a lack of union unity will likely make strikes in most sectors of short duration. Following Paul Biya's re-election as president, Cameroon launched an anti-corruption drive, focusing on public finances, but while this will likely result in some exemplary prosecutions, the overall high risks are unlikely to change.

Last update: June 15, 2019

Terrorism

Very high

Low-level activity by Islamist militants including occasional suicide bombings, targeted killings of local officials and vigilantes, and kidnaps for ransom will continue in the 12-month outlook. Cameroon is unlikely to stage offensives because the affected Far North province is economically insignificant, it is difficult to control the porous border region with Nigeria, and troops are needed to fight Anglophone secessionists. The southwest and northwest regions will continue to experience regular attacks on security forces, state-owned commercial assets and public buildings, including schools and hospitals, although militant activity is unlikely to spread outside Anglophone areas. Border areas with the Central African Republic are also at risk of cargo hijacking and kidnap attempts.

Last update: June 21, 2019

Crime

Street crime and police extortion are common in Cameroon's major metropolitan areas and on inter-city highways. Smuggling networks are strong in border regions. The Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North region and the ongoing crisis in the Anglophone regions have led to a significant increase in crimes including trafficking, assaults, extortion, arson and kidnapping, particularly in border regions where law enforcement measures are weak. There is endemic and deep-rooted corruption at all levels of Cameroon's public institutions, while the prevalence of financial fraud and counterfeiting causes the government significant revenue losses every year.

Last update: July 20, 2019

War Risks

The Cameroon government's military response to an insurgency in its Anglophone regions is unlikely to stop despite growing international condemnation, particularly of human rights abuses carried out by security forces against civilians. Even the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy on 17–18 March has appeared to have failed to induce political negotiations between the government and the insurgents. The insurgency has further strengthened relations with Nigeria, which has extradited Anglophone leaders to face trial and will continue to limit cross-border militant activity. Risks of inter-state war with other neighbours such as Central African Republic will remain low due to co-operation on cross-border security issues.

Last update: June 12, 2019

Social Stability

Very high

Large-scale protests in the capital, Yaoundé, and other major cities on 26 January 2019 were suppressed with mass arrests, tear gas and live ammunition, stifling large-scale protest activity since. However, if opposition leader Maurice Kamto is released from prison, the likelihood of protests will significantly increase. Moreover, protests are likely to take place in the lead-up to and aftermath of legislative elections, which will take place before October 2019, following mass arrests during protests over the deeply flawed presidential election on 7 October 2018.

Last update: June 12, 2019

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: Proof of yellow fever vaccination from an approved center is required for travelers' entry to and exit from Cameroon, with the vaccine date listed on the vaccination record card being at least ten days old prior to arrival in the country. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease; it should be administered ten days in advance of travel to areas of active yellow fever transmission to be fully effective in preventing contraction of the disease.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is generally recommended for travelers over nine months of age.

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Cholera: A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora) has just been made available and may be prescribed for adults traveling to areas with active cholera transmission. The vaccine prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. As the vaccine is not fully effective, hygienic precautions should also be taken (e.g. drinking only bottled water, eating only thoroughly cooked foods, washing hands regularly, etc.).

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Meningococcal meningitis: There are several types of meningococcal vaccines. None offer full immunity and some require periodic booster shots. Consult your doctor to determine which is best for you depending on medical history and travel plans.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post-exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: August 15, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The year in Cameroon is divided into two equal seasons, the rainy season - which last from April until November - and the dry season, November to April. The Harmattan, a dry and dusty wind, blows across the country from November until February. Keep in mind that between July and October certain roads can become impassible due to muddy conditions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +237
Police-Emergency: 17 (or 117 from a foreign mobile) in Yaoundé, Douala and Garoua
Gendarmerie: 13 (or 113 à from a foreign mobile) from Central, Littoral, West and Northwest provinces
Security in Douala: 33 43 6572

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019