Cameroon. According to Countryaah.com, Cameroon population in 2020 is estimated at 26,545,874. The situation in the country was greatly affected during the year by events in neighboring Nigeria and the Central African Republic. The continued violent situation in the Central African Republic caused Cameroon to retrieve Cameroonian citizens from there at the beginning of the year. In February, the first plane landed after President Paul Biya decided to evacuate. Many Muslim Cameroonians have become victims of Christian militias called anti-Balaka, which in the Central African Republic conflict with the predominantly Muslim movement Séléka.
The large number of Central African refugees also created major problems. In October, up to 250,000 people were estimated to have traveled to Cameroon, according to the UNHCR (UNHCR). Already in May, the UN appealed to the outside world for more money to help the large number of refugees, many of whom were injured or malnourished.
Cameroon was forced during the year to reinforce the military presence along the border with Nigeria in the north of the country. In this way, the authorities tried to prevent the militant Islamist group Boko Haram from crossing over to Cameroon to plunder and commit acts of violence. As a result of the movement being pushed harder by the Nigerian military, Boko Haram has become more active in Cameroon.
Reports that Boko Haram would have training camps in northern Cameroon were dismissed by the government. In April, it was announced that a depot with weapons and ammunition intended for Boko Haram had been found, which the regime highlighted as evidence that the presence of the movement was not tolerated. The data was dismissed by sections of the local population as government propaganda.
However, the fact that Boko Haram was active even in Cameroon was clear. After more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in the Nigerian city of Chibok, Cameroon along with neighboring Chad promised to fight the military militarily. Cameroon authorities, however, dismissed the rumor that a number of the girls were in the country after being sold by Boko Haram, something that the movement’s leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to do.
Boko Haram’s attacks and fierce fighting between the Islamists and the Cameroonian military cost thousands of lives during the year. Among the people who kidnapped the movement were the wife of a Cameroonian minister. As a result of the violence, border trade between the two countries decreased sharply.
In September, Cameroon claimed that the country’s military killed Boko Haram’s infamous leader Abubakar Shekau in battle. This was contradicted by Nigeria, who claimed that Shekau was in fact killed by Nigerian soldiers. Most of it, however, suggested that Shekau was still alive, especially after a video was published in which a man who claimed to be the leader of the movement scornfully dismissed the rumors of his death.
In October, Cameroon’s army claimed to have killed over 140 members of Boko Haram in various efforts. In December, far more than a hundred terrorists should have been killed, including in connection with the attack and destruction of a training camp. At the same time, air strikes against the movement were carried out for the first time.
In August, Cameroon banned all entry from Nigeria. The reason was the cases of the infectious and deadly disease Ebola fever detected in Nigeria. The infection came to Nigeria from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the disease harmed thousands of deaths during the year.