Yaounde — SOME girls kidnapped by armed groups have suffered miscarriages and early pregnancies as children emerge the worst victims of clashes between English-speaking protesters and security forces in Cameroon.
The problems in the northwestern and southwestern regions have peaked since 2018 as local communities demand independence, citing marginalization by the government dominated by French speakers.
More than 300 students and teachers Anglophone Cameroon have been abducted and at least 74 schools have been destroyed.
Some 80 percent of children have not attended school and are more likely to be recruited by armed groups demanding the independence of the volatile regions.
"Several cases of marriages and early pregnancies are reported," said a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
Two nurses have been killed as attacks on medical staff and infrastructure escalate. At least 40 percent of health facilities have been destroyed and 60 percent are partially functional
About 1 400 security incidents have been recorded since the beginning of the year.
Over 400 000 civilians have been displaced and 35 000 refugees fled to Nigeria.
Some 312 000 people are in need of emergency food assistance after the violence also interrupted agricultural activities.
Cameroon's problems date back to the colonial era when it was ruled by France and Britain before independence in 1960.
France controlled two-thirds of the country.