From ‘Anglophone Problem’ to ‘Anglophone Conflict’ in Cameroon: Assessing Prospects for Peace

Maurice Beseng, Gordon Crawford, Nancy Annan

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Since 2017, an armed conflict has been raging in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon between separatist forces and the Cameroonian military. This review analyses the historical origins and root causes of the conflict; the trigger mechanism of rising protests and state repression in 2016; the emergence and evolution of the armed conflict over the past 5 years; its impact on civilians; and hopes for peace. However, there is currently little prospect for conflict resolution as the Cameroon government appears intent on ignoring limited international pressure, maintaining the charade that the ‘security crisis’ is over and reconstruction is underway, while continuing its counter-insurgency strategy to militarily defeat the armed separatist groups. We note that, while the desire for peace is profound, the political status quo is no longer tolerable nor acceptable, with conflict resolution dependent on political changes that provide, at a minimum, the Anglophone regions with greater autonomy and protection of their particular identity and institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalAfrica Spectrum
Issue number1
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (


  • Cameroon
  • Anglophone problem
  • Anglophone conflict
  • identity
  • conflict resolution


  • Peace and Conflict


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