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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACT OF VIOLENCE IN RELATION TO THE ANGLOPHONE CRISIS IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACT  OF VIOLENCE  IN RELATION TO THE ANGLOPHONE CRISIS IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, a culturally diverse nation located in Central Africa, has been grappling with a significant crisis known as the Anglophone Crisis since 2016. The crisis, rooted in historical grievances and disparities between the Anglophone (English-speaking) and Francophone (French-speaking) regions of the country, has escalated into a complex socio-political conflict characterized by violence, displacement, and human rights abuses(Awasom, 2020). This research seeks to delve into the profound impact of violence within the context of the Anglophone Crisis, shedding light on its multifaceted consequences on individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole.

The Anglophone Crisis traces its origins to colonial legacies, as Cameroon was previously administered by both British and French colonial powers(Bajaj, 2018). Following independence in the 1960s, the Anglophone minority has expressed grievances regarding perceived marginalization, discrimination, and the imposition of French language and legal systems in their regions. These tensions simmered for decades but erupted into widespread protests and calls for secession in 2016, leading to a violent crackdown by Cameroonian security forces and the emergence of armed separatist groups(Bajaj, 2015).

The escalation of violence within the Anglophone Crisis has had far-reaching ramifications across various dimensions. Firstly, it has resulted in significant loss of life, with reports of extrajudicial killings, targeted assassinations, and civilian casualties perpetrated by both state and non-state actors(Bang & Balgah, 2022). Moreover, the violence has caused mass displacement, as thousands of civilians flee their homes to seek safety in neighboring regions or across international borders, exacerbating humanitarian challenges and straining resources. Additionally, the breakdown of law and order has facilitated the proliferation of other criminal activities, including looting, extortion, and kidnappings for ransom, further destabilizing affected communities(Banks, 2016).

Furthermore, the impact of violence in the Anglophone Crisis extends beyond immediate physical harm, encompassing profound psychological trauma and socio-economic disruptions. Individuals and families subjected to violence endure lasting psychological scars, experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Moreover, the destruction of infrastructure, disruption of livelihoods, and closure of schools and businesses impede socio-economic development and exacerbate poverty and inequality within the affected regions(Bouopda, 2018).

Understanding the intricacies of violence within the context of the Anglophone Crisis is crucial for informing effective conflict resolution strategies, promoting reconciliation, and fostering sustainable peace and development in Cameroon. By examining the various dimensions of its impact, this research aims to contribute to a deeper comprehension of the crisis dynamics and facilitate evidence-based interventions aimed at mitigating violence, addressing root causes, and promoting inclusive dialogue and national cohesion. The Anglophone Crisis represents a complex and protracted conflict characterized by violence with profound consequences for individuals, communities, and the nation of Cameroon(Creswell & Guetterman, 2019). By investigating the impact of violence within this context, this research seeks to generate valuable insights that can inform policy-making, humanitarian response efforts, and peacebuilding initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis and promoting lasting stability and prosperity in the region. Therefore, the researcher sought to investigate the impact  of violence  in relation to the anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon has escalated into a protracted conflict marked by escalating violence, human rights abuses, and socio-political unrest. Amidst this turmoil, it is imperative to comprehensively understand the impact of violence on the affected populace, the society at large, and the prospects for peace and reconciliation. The sustained violence in Anglophone regions has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with significant implications for the well-being of civilians(Dietrich, 2019). The indiscriminate targeting of civilians, forced displacement, and destruction of property have resulted in widespread suffering, loss of lives, and psychological trauma. Understanding the humanitarian impact of violence is crucial for informing relief efforts and mitigating the suffering of affected populations. The pervasive violence in Anglophone regions has disrupted socio-economic activities, exacerbating poverty and hindering development initiatives. Businesses have been forced to close, agricultural productivity has declined, and access to essential services such as healthcare and education has been impeded. Exploring the socio-economic consequences of violence is essential for devising strategies to rebuild livelihoods and foster economic recovery in affected areas (Egoh, 2020). In addition, The Anglophone Crisis has engendered deep-seated political instability, characterized by distrust between Anglophone communities and the central government, as well as internal divisions within Anglophone regions. The use of violence as a tool of suppression and resistance has further polarized society, impeding efforts towards dialogue, reconciliation, and political resolution. Examining the political ramifications of violence is crucial for addressing underlying grievances and fostering inclusive governance structures. Hence, the need to investigate the impact  of violence  in relation to the anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the impact  of violence  in relation to the anglophone crisis in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

To examine the causes of violence in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

To assess the socio-economic impacts of violence on communities affected by the Anglophone crisis.

To analyze the psychological effects of violence on individuals living in conflict zones within the Anglophone region of Cameroon.

To propose strategies for conflict resolution and peacebuilding to mitigate the impact of violence in the Anglophone crisis.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What are the causes of violence in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon?

What are the socio-economic impacts of violence on communities affected by the Anglophone crisis?

What are the psychological effects of violence on individuals living in conflict zones within the Anglophone region of Cameroon?

What are the propose strategies for conflict resolution and peacebuilding to mitigate the impact of violence in the Anglophone crisis?

1.5 Significance of the study

Policymakers: Findings from the study can inform policymakers both domestically and internationally about the root causes of the Anglophone crisis and the dynamics of violence involved. This can aid in the development of effective policy responses aimed at conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and reconciliation.

Academic Contribution: Research on the impact of violence in the Anglophone crisis contributes to the academic understanding of conflict dynamics, particularly in the context of linguistic and cultural divides. It can also stimulate further research and scholarship on similar conflicts worldwide.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the impact  of violence  in relation to the anglophone crisis in Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will examine the causes of violence in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, assess the socio-economic impacts of violence on communities affected by the Anglophone crisis, analyze the psychological effects of violence on individuals living in conflict zones within the Anglophone region of Cameroon and propose strategies for conflict resolution and peacebuilding to mitigate the impact of violence in the Anglophone crisis.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Violence: behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.


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