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The security situation remains a concern in the Far-North, Northwest and Southwest

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Cameroon
  • December 2019
The security situation remains a concern in the Far-North, Northwest and Southwest

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite above-average agricultural production and falling food commodity prices, flooding and the upsurge in incursions by Boko Haram into the Far-North will negatively affect the population’s livelihoods and, in particular, will expose poor households and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity between December 2019 and May 2020.

    • In the Northwest and Southwest regions, there are fears of increased violence in the run-up to the February elections. This will disrupt preparations for the next agricultural season at a time when households are entering a more difficult lean season, particularly the IDPs and poor people in urban centers who will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between December and May.

    • Providing adequate humanitarian assistance in both the Far-North and the English-speaking regions is difficult because of the threat of kidnapping and poor road conditions. Insecurity adversely affects people’s livelihoods and does not encourage IDPs to return. This could prevent the next agricultural season progressing as normal.

    • As of 30 November, there were approximately 271,500 Central African refugees and 107,400 Nigerian refugees (of which 29 percent and 54 percent were in refugee camps, respectively); and more than 950,200 IDPs and 347,900 returnees, mainly from the Far-North, Northwest and Southwest regions, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In comparison with the end of September, the number of IDPs had increased by about 17 percent due to updates in the Littoral, Centre and Ouest regions.
    • Ongoing conflict in the English-speaking regions and the upsurge in incursions by Boko Haram into the Far-North are not conducive to the return of IDPs. Furthermore, the elections to be held in February in the country could lead to sociopolitical tension.
    • The region is experiencing an increase in incursions by members of Boko Haram into areas bordering Nigeria, specifically in the departments of Mayo-Tsanaga, Mayo-Sava and Logone-Et-Chari (the communes of Mora, Fotokol and Kolofata).
    • In addition, almost 40,000 people have been affected by rising water levels from floods, particularly in the communes of Zina, Maga, Gobo and Kai.
    • The security situation will remain a concern in the region, especially in communes bordering Nigeria. People in these areas will face threats of kidnapping, looting and destruction of property by members of Boko Haram.
    • In addition to the localized losses of crops due to flooding, areas of dry-season sorghum will also be reduced in some areas as a result of flood water.
    Northwest and Southwest
    • Since September, there has been a reduction in the level of violence and fatalities in Northwestand Southwest. However, clashes persist between separatists and the national armed forces. Similarly, kidnappings, roadblocks and fires are common and have recently occurred in the localities of Mankon, Belo, Ako, Nwa and Eyumojock. 
    • The level of violence could increase in the run-up to the February elections. The separatists are planning to boycott these elections, announcing a month of blockades between January and February. As a result, clashes with the army are increasing and kidnapping, killings and destruction of villages could lead to population displacement.




    Far-North region

    The security incidents associated with the Boko Haram incursions, which averaged 20 per month between January and August, have averaged 28 over the past three months. Communes along the border with Nigeria are most at risk and face abductions, livestock theft and destruction of property. These incursions also limit population movements and thus negatively affect households’ income-generation where border trade is an important means of livelihood. In some localities, such as Makary, people are forbidden to go about their business beyond 5 km from villages.

    Floods affecting approximately 40,000 people in localities around the Logone River continue to adversely affect livelihoods. These localities are difficult to access and some have been unable to plant dry-season sorghum crops due to waters that are slow to recede. In other communes, dry-season sorghum crops are developing as normal and the first harvests could start in January.

    Overall, production of rainfed crops and dry-season sorghum is expected to be lower than last year’s, due to higher losses caused by the late rains in October and November and reduced areas available for dry-season sorghum planting. However, production will remain above average as a result of the 10 percent increase in the area of rainfed crops compared with the average and partners providing increased support for agricultural activities.

    With the exception of the areas affected by floods and the actions of Boko Haram, poor households and IDPs are living off the new harvests. Food and cash assistance planned for December is expected to reach approximately 29,000 flood victims, 50,000 IDPs and 60,000 refugees.

    In the main markets of the region, prices for maize and sorghum (staple foods) have fallen by 12 percent and 24 percent, respectively, compared with the five-year average. Compared with last year, the price of sorghum is generally stable and the price of maize is 11 percent higher. Until May 2020, the price of sorghum could remain 20 percent below the average. Cash crop prices compared with the average are stable for onion and groundnut, but have fallen by 26 percent for cowpea. However, households can rely on livestock sales, the prices of which have risen considerably over the past year: by 48 percent for a 3-year-old bull, by 55 percent for a 2-year-old ram and by 88 percent for a 1-year-old goat, on average, according to field reports. These increases are driven by the good physical condition of the livestock and higher demand in southern cities and neighboring countries.

    With production above average, poor households will experience a typical lean season from June onwards. Decreasing staple food prices and rising livestock prices will facilitate household access to food. Overall, the region will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Nevertheless, a few households, including flood victims, poor IDPs and poor households exposed to Boko Haram’s actions, will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or even in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until May due to the deterioration of their livelihoods.

     Northwest and Southwest regions

    In the Northwest and Southwest regions, the conflict appears to have diminished in intensity since September, as the number of security incidents dropped from an average of 30 per month between January and August to an average of 15 per month between September and November. Nevertheless, the security situation remains precarious, as clashes persist between separatists and the national army. Roadblocks, general strikes, kidnappings, fires and destruction of property, recently in the localities of Mankon, Belo, Ako, Nwa, Eyumojock and Bui, continue to have a serious impact on livelihoods and are prompting people to flee toward forests or urban centers in neighboring areas. The situation could deteriorate in the coming months, with separatists having announced an elections boycott and threatening to hold a month of ghost town days between January and February. This could further disrupt the start of the first season.

    As occurred in the first season, production in the second season declined compared with the pre-crisis average due to populations’ limited access to their fields and the lack of maintenance of plantations. For example, plantains and cassava harvested in most localities were planted in 2016 or earlier, and their yield was lower than average due to poor maintenance.

    Compared with last year, there has been an increase in the level of staple food prices. In addition to declining production, insecurity and roadblocks reduce trade between production basins and urban centers. Since November, maize prices have risen by about 20 percent as a result of rising demand caused by low household stocks and additional demand for end-of-year festivals. Imported rice – which is in low supply in rural areas – is up by between 17 and 50 percent compared with normal prices. The high prices of staple foods are driving households to change their diets. Pulses (groundnuts, soya) and vegetables (cabbages, okra, leafy greens) are being substituted for proteins of animal origin (meat, fish, milk, eggs).

    Household income from the sale of cocoa and coffee continues to be lower than in a normal year. Farmers are finding it difficult to deliver their products to cooperatives and are being forced to sell at prices below official prices. The blockade of border crossings from Ekok and Idenau has led to a reduction in outward tomato flows to Nigeria, resulting in lower prices.

    In the coming months, local and imported staple food prices will be higher or will continue to rise as a result of households’ dependency on the market. Stockpiles of poor households will be depleted early (from February) and the lean season will be long, continuing into May, awaiting the first-season harvests. During this lean season period, the supply of foodstuffs could be low. 

    Food assistance encounters difficulties reaching IDPs and host populations in landlocked areas. In addition, threats of kidnappings and killings against humanitarian workers also hamper the regular delivery of aid.

    Thus, until the end of the lean season in May, IDPs and poor host households in urban centers will find it difficult to gain access to adequate food in terms of quality and quantity and will be forced to reduce the number of meals per day , which will put them in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between December and May.

    Figures Récolte principale : mi-août à janvier. Migration du bétail du nord vers le sud : mi-octobre à janvier. Pic de demande de mai

    Figure 1

    Calendrier saisonnier Cameroun


    Projection des prix sorgho pluvial à Maroua. Les prix sont en dessous de la moyenne quinquennale et sont similaires, ou en de

    Figure 2

    Figure 1


    Evolution des incidents et fatalités dans l’Extrême-Nord (EN) et dans les régions anglophones (NW-SW)le nombre d’incidents de

    Figure 3

    Figure 2


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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