The situation in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions remained concerning in March, with continued hostilities, targeted attacks, destruction of property, and increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The population continues to be caught in the middle of the crisis, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and kidnappings. Some people were targeted for alleged association with one side or the other, others were caught by stray bullets during crossfire.
Hostilities were reported in the Boyo division in the North-West (NW) region. On 5 March, armed men launched an attack on Fulani herdsmen as their cattle allegedly destroyed crops in the cultivated land in the lower Menchum valley in Boyo division in the NW. This attack led to the death of at least ten Fulani herdsmen while a 17-year-old girl was injured by a stray bullet. On 7 March, armed men attacked the Fulani’s community, reportedly as a reprisal for burning a woman alive in her house in Beneng village in the same division. Six members of the Fulani community were allegedly killed during this confrontation.
On 7 March, a video circulated on social media showing armed persons distributing World Food Programme (WFP) rice bags, reportedly seized earlier from a distribution site in Munyenge village in Muyuka subdivision.
On 26 March, armed men attacked a United Nations convoy in Ikata village, 41 km from Buea, in the South-West region of Cameroon. The convoy, which included two vehicles with seven staff members, was conducting a monitoring mission to Munyenge village in the South-West region. The mission was immediately aborted and the team returned safely to Buea but the two vehicles were severely damaged. This attack on a UN convoy was the first of its kind in the North-West and South-West regions. The Humanitarian Coordinator for Cameroon and UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Matthias Z. Naab, strongly condemned the attack and the UN suspended food distributions and humanitarian missions in the area until further notice. At least nine incidents of detonated or dismantled IEDs were reported. Humanitarian organizations were not directly targeted by IEDs but remained at risk of becoming collateral damage.
Attacks against school staff, students, and personnel were reported in the South-West region. On 5 March, unidentified gunmen abducted a student from a Government high school in Batoke village, Limbe 2 subdivision. The student was found tied to a tree in the afternoon of the same day. On 6 March, armed men intruded a full gospel secondary school in mile 4 Nkwen in Bamenda 3 subdivision and abducted two teachers and a student. The student was released few hours later while the two teachers remained in captivity. On 10 March, a 62 year-old man was physically assaulted by armed individuals in Meli village in Fundong Sub-Division after they discovered a school uniform in his bag.
Violence has resulted in multiple population displacements across the NWSW regions with over 1,427 people forced to flee their homes seeking shelter and safety in nearby bushes, villages, and towns in March alone. The Donga-Mantung, Boyo and Mezam divisions in the NW, and Manyu division in the SW, were the most affected.