Attacks On Chiefs Show Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Far From Over

On February 13, 2021 an armed group stormed the town of Lebialem in southwest Cameroon, dragged three traditional chiefs from their homes, and shot them dead. The attack was quickly attributed to secessionists calling for an independent state of Ambazonia led by a man, nicknamed Field Marshall.

Most of the violence against chiefs has been carried out by secessionists, but they have also been victims of government abuse. With a few exceptions, separatists have tended to target local chiefs with kidnappings. Those who have lost their lives in captivity are understood to have died of shock rather than execution. That all changed, however when the group known as the Red Dragons abducted and killed the three chiefs in Lebialem. It is suspected that the separatists targeted them for allegedly opposing the ongoing school boycott and refusing to pay them. These killings demonstrate that the Anglophone crisis continues to escalate - despite government claims that is beginning to come to an end, write R. Maxwell Bone and Akem Kelvin Nkwain for African Arguments.


Men hand out flags to people praying for peace in Cameroon's restive English-speaking regions, at Saint Joseph's Anglophone Parish in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde on September 6, 2019.

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