Gunfire was reported in several areas of the Northwest Region capital Bamenda on Tuesday, September 1, amid clashes between security forces and suspected anglophone separatists. A major security operation was reportedly launched in the city after two police officers were ambushed in the Small Mankon area on Tuesday morning. At least one of the officers is believed to have been killed in the attack. Sporadic gunfire was subsequently reported in the city, including in the City Chemist, Food Market, and Commercial Avenue areas, as security forces conducted a search for the attackers, although it is currently unclear whether there have been any further casualties from the clashes.
Further security operations, including patrols, searches, checkpoints, and movement restrictions, are likely in Bamenda in the near term, with an associated risk of attacks targeting security forces in the city.
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 Bamenda are advised to shelter in place until security operations have concluded and the situation in the city has stabilized. Travelers in Cameroon's Anglophone regions 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 and 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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