Spoils of War May Outweigh Incentives for Peace in Cameroon

Five years into a deadly separatist conflict in Cameroon's English-speaking regions, hopes of finding a negotiated settlement seem more distant than ever as both the government and secessionist rebels dig in, according to civil society activists.

It's widely acknowledged that at some stage there needs to be a negotiated settlement. "Every day that this pointless war goes on, the blood of another life stolen from us stains the ground of this land," said Esther Omam, a leading peace advocate.

The urgency for talks is even shared by some rank and file separatist fighters. "The more the war is prolonged, even if we get the desired result at the end of the day, we run the risk of many lives being lost," one fighter said.

Peacemaking takes hard work said Andrew Nkea, archbishop of Mamfe in the southwest region. Nkea has been involved in multiple efforts to initiate talks in his conflict-hit community, and is realistic that ending a war, in which so many interests are involved, will be an uphill battle.


The grave of 34-year-old Ojong Thomas Ebot killed by soldiers in the forest surrounding Ebam on March 1, 2020.

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