North-West and South West situation report (1-30 November 2021)
Four children and one teacher lost their lives in a NSAG attack on the Government Bilingual High School in Ekondo Titi, Ndian division, South-West region.
Incidents of diversion and looting of food supplies forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to temporarily suspend distribution in Meme and Menchum divisons, North-West region.
A 13-year-old boy was severely injured after picking up an improvised explosive device (IED) in Mezam division, North-West region.
The cholera outbreak in the South-West region continues to spread. At least two health districts have confirmed new cases, with 134 cases and 6 deaths in total.
The situation in the North-West and South-West regions (NWSW) remains highly fluid, as fighting continues between State security forces (SSF) and non-State armed groups (NSAGs).
NSAGs use of IEDs is frequent, with 13 explosions reported by humanitarian actors across both regions, especially in divisions with high humanitarian presence such as Fako, Meme and Manyu in the SW and Mezam, Momo and Ngo-Ketunjia in the NW. While most incidents still targeted military personnel, some of the explosions were reported on roads that are regularly used by civilians and humanitarians, and civilian casualties have been reported. Furthermore, November saw explosive incidents targeting civilians, or indiscriminate explosions in public spaces, such as the explosion at the Buea market. On 30 November, a 13-year-old boy was severely injured after picking up an IED in the Mezam division in the NW.
Students and teachers continue to be targeted by NSAGs. On 9 November, NSAG fighters reportedly intruded the premises of the Government High School Oku in the NW and abducted the principal and two teachers. On 10 November, an IED exploded and injured 11 students in the amphitheatre of the University of Buea, in the SW region. On 24 November, unidentified gunmen attacked the Government Bilingual High School in Ekondo Titi in the SW. Four students aged between 12 and 17 years old, including one girl and a female teacher, were killed, as well as an unconfirmed number of students and teachers were injured. Following the incident, the Humanitarian Coordinator condemned the attack and urged all parties to respect and promote the right to education.
Insecurity continues to impede humanitarian access from 16 to 19 November and 23 to 26 November, due to clashes between NSAGs and SSF, with the latter closing 160 km of road between Kumba and Mamfe, in the SW. Passengers could reportedly only cross checkpoints on foot, but no vehicles were allowed to pass, including humanitarian vehicles. As a result, WFP food supplies could not be transported beyond Kumba. Humanitarian stakeholders advocated to open a humanitarian corridor to access the population in need of assistance, ambulances were granted access to the areas between both towns. On 24 November, a truck transporting humanitarian food commodities was intercepted and diverted at gunpoint by a NSAG commander in Mabanda village, Meme division in the SW. A similar diversion by an armed group of an NGO truck transporting food was reported at Mile 6 Akum village, Menchum division in the NW.
Protection continues to be a major concern as civilians continue to be arbitrarily arrested, assaulted, abducted for ransom and denied access to basic services. Civilians are accused by both parties to the crisis of supporting the other side. In November, NSAG attacks and military operations led to the displacement of over 1,000 persons in the NWSW.