Cameroon’s ‘anglophone crisis’ offers a bleak outlook

A map of Cameroon, highlighting the majority English-speaking regions
People in Cameroon’s majority English-speaking regions feel marginalized by the francophones who dominate the country’s politics (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Separatist forces are gaining support in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions
  • The heavy-handed response of President Paul Biya’s regime has exacerbated the situation
  • Instability in the country is likely to rise, hurting its economy and potentially leading to civil war

Cameroon’s economic and security outlook is increasingly negative, as violence escalates in the country’s anglophone regions. While the separatist movement and an economic slowdown may not stop President Paul Biya from being reelected for a seventh term, the crisis leaves little room for positive scenarios.

The Republic of Cameroon is divided between a French-speaking majority and an English-speaking minority that makes up 20 percent of the country’s population of 23.4 million. This minority is mostly concentrated in the country’s western regions, which were once under British trusteeship and called Southern Cameroons.

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