Conflicts in Africa have led to 1850 deaths and 500,000 displaced persons, including many children deprived of their childhood. To date, 1,300,000 people are in need of assistance in Cameroon. Here the most serious IDPS crisis in the world is occurring - yet no one is talking about it. According to Norwegian NGO Norwegian Refugee Council, lack of funding and political negligence may lead to a full-scale war.
The numbers are dramatic. Conflicts in Africa have in fact led to 1850 deaths and 500,000 displaced persons, including many children deprived of their childhood. To date, 1,300,000 people are in need of assistance in Cameroon. Here the most serious IDPS crisis in the world is occurring – yet no one is talking about it.
The Situation in Cameroon
Denouncing the situation is the Norwegian NGO Norwegian Refugee Council, which publishes a list of the ten most critical IDPS situations in the world. In first place this year is Cameroon. Since 2016 there has been a conflict between armed government and separatist groups here.
The initial peaceful protests have in fact resulted in a real war in the English-speaking parts of the country.
In the ranking after Cameroon there are Congo, Central African Republic, Burundi, Ukraine, Venezuela, Mali, Libya, Ethiopia and Palestine. In other words, almost all the top ten countries are in Africa.
The crisis according to the NGO is leading to a civil war. Despite UN appeals, the situation does not seem to be improving. According to the dossier of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the silence of the international media and the negligence of politics are doing the rest.
Those who are paying the consequences are above all the children who are living the humanitarian emergency to the full. According to estimates 780,000 children can no longer go to school because the villages have been destroyed. The situation is also serious in terms of health. Dozens of hospitals are now on fire, while the inhabitants have to take refuge in the woods without any kind of sustenance.
The Reasons Behind the IDPS Crisis
Attempts at mediation failed. At the root of the crisis, according to the Norwegian NGO, there are claims for autonomy that date back to colonial divisions.
“The international community seems to be asleep when it comes to the crisis in Cameroon. Brutal killings, burnt villages and massive displacement are taking place in general silence”. These are the harsh words of the Secretary General of the Norwegian Council for Refugees (NRC), Jan Egeland.
The annual list of neglected crises is based on three criteria: lack of funding, lack of media attention and political negligence. Cameroon scored high on all three, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, two other crises where lack of public attention contributed to the lack of funding for humanitarian aid.
“This culture of paralysis by the international community must end. Every day the conflict escalates and the region comes closer and closer to a full-scale war,” Egeland said.