Africa

Cameroonian conflict: Most neglected crises in the world

Cameroon’s conflict with English-speaking separatists has been called the most neglected crises in the world for the second year in a row by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The English-speaking minority in the Central African country is fighting for autonomy after what it describes as decades of marginalization by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

Some separatists have declared the autonomy of two regions – an approach rejected by President Paul Biya.

Cameroon has also been affected by a refugee crisis from the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR) and by continued attacks in the north by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The annual list of neglected crises is based on three criteria:

  1. lack of funding;
  2. lack of media attention;
  3. political and diplomatic neglect.

“The deep crises represented by millions of displaced Africans are yet again the most underfunded, ignored, and deprioritized in the world. They are plagued by diplomatic and political paralysis, weak aid operations, and little media attention. Despite facing a tornado of emergencies, their SOS calls for help fall on deaf ears,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the NRC, said.

Nine African countries are on the list of ten, Venezuela being the only non-African country this year. The report also highlights the ongoing armed conflict in the Sahel region, which includes Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, which has resulted in the deployment of military forces from a multitude of European nations.

Niger and Burkina Faso are on the list of neglected crises for the first time.

Humanitarian crises in all of the countries on this year’s list are expected to worsen throughout 2020, due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

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