The situation in the NWSW regions deteriorated compared to the month before with an upsurge in violence and targeted attacks with potential relation to the regional elections that took place on 6 December. The deteriorating security situation has resulted in multiple population displacements across the NWSW regions with over 4,116 people forced to flee their homes to seek shelter and safety in nearby bushes and villages. These movements are often temporary and displaced persons usually return to their homes once the security situation allows.
Humanitarian actors continued to operate under numerous constraints. On 1 December, during a food distribution in Ikata town in Fako division in the South-West (SW) a commander of a non-State armed group (NSAG) attempted to behead a staff member of an international humanitarian organization involved in the distribution. Fortunately, she escaped unharmed. On 8 December, the Governor of the North-West (NW) region suspended the activities of the International NGO Doctors Without Borders in the region, causing potential serious impact on the provision of life saving humanitarian assistance in the region.
A lockdown was announced by NSAGs from 4 to 7 December 2020, due to the regional elections. NSAG fighters carried out several attacks to enforce the lockdown as well as to target anyone participating in the election. On 5 December, NSAG fighters burnt down a truck in Santa subdivision in NW and abducted the driver and his assistant. On 6 December, NSAG reportedly shot a priest and a seminarian in Akum town in Santa subdivision. Later, on the same day, NSAGs burnt a taxi in Buea subdivision in SW.
In December, NSAG attacks on traditional authorities were numerous. On 6 December, NSAG fighters reportedly abducted the Fon of Mbessa, in Belo subdivision in the NW as he returned from the voting station. On 10 December, NSAG abducted three chiefs at Mile 14 Dibanda, the chief of Mile 14 Dibanda, the chief of Mile 15 Lower Bokova, and the chief of Mile 16 Bolifamba l in Buea subdivision in SW. The chief of Mile 14 Dibanda reportedly died during the incident, while the other two chiefs were released after spending a night in captivity. On 12 December, the Fon of Kedjom Ketinguh, Small Babanki, in the Tubah subdivision in NW, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen suspected to be NSAG fighters. He was released on 18 December.
Attacks against school children and staff continued during December. On 8 December, NSAG fighters shot a secondary school student in Ngashie in Oku subdivision in NW, as he was on his way to school.
In December, there was also an increase in the use of improvised explosive devices (IED). On 5 December, an IED detonated on the Santa on Pinyin road in Santa subdivision wounding three persons. On 9 December, an IED detonated in Mbengwi in Momo in NW killing an eight year- old boy. On 17 December, an IED detonated at the Ntahnko market junction in Widikum subdivision in NW. On 19 December, a convoy of State Security Forces was attacked in Eyumojock subdivision in SW with a remote controlled IED. On 20 December, an IED exploded in Mile 10 Bambili in Tubah subdivision in NW causing the loss of a welder’s hand after he had mistaken the object for an iron rod.