According to a military statement on Wednesday, June 17, at least 24 alleged separatist fighters have been killed in recent days in a series of security operations in Cameroon's Anglophone Northwest region. The most significant clashes are reported to have erupted in the towns of Bali, Balibo, and Widikum, as soldiers cleared roadblocks allegedly erected by separatists on routes leading into neighboring Nigeria. At least 13 suspected separatist fighters were reported to have been killed in the operation, with a number of weapons being seized and several alleged rebel camps destroyed. Although no date was given for the operations, they are believed to have followed a raid on the town of Mbokam in the Bui area on Friday, June 12, in which 11 people were killed. While the military statement on Wednesday claimed that those killed in Mbokam had been Anglophone separatist fighters, claims of civilian casualties from the operation have continued to spread via social media in recent days.
Further security operations are likely to be staged in the Northwest region in the medium term.
Tensions between Cameroon's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities remain high in the Northwest and Southwest regions, where a separatist movement has transformed into a low-level armed insurgency. The situation has deteriorated considerably since September 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. The United Nations estimates that at least 50,000 Cameroonians have fled the fighting to Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict, with more than 675,000 others believed to have been internally displaced.
Those in Cameroon's Anglophone region are advised to maintain a heightened level of vigilance due to the high risk of violence between separatists and the government forces. Monitor local media for the latest updates on the security situation and adhere to any directives issued by local authorities or security forces, including curfews.
The security environment in the Northwest and Southwest regions remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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