May 2023 | Increasing violence between separatists and government
Three incidents in May indicated an increasing intensity in the conflict between Anglophone separatists and the central government in Cameroon that has been ongoing since 2017. On 2 May, a group of 15 separatists was reported to have attacked a military outpost in a village 40 kilometres from the city of Douala, killing five soldiers and one civilian. This attack was the closest yet to the country’s major port and economic hub. On 8 May, a journalist named Anye Nde Nsoh was murdered in Bamenda in what the separatists later claimed was a case of mistaken identity. A separatist leader subsequently threatened to arrest any journalist who protested against Nsoh’s killing. This is the third murder of a journalist in Cameroon in 2023. Two weeks later, a group of 30 women who had protested against a rebel group’s collection of taxes from the local population in the Nort-West region village of Kedjom Keku were kidnapped and mistreated. They were released after being held for one week.
March 2023 | Ruling party wins all seats in Senate in indirect election
An indirect election for seats in the Senate of Cameroon was held on 12 March. Of the 100 seats in the Senate, 30 are filled by direct appointments by the President, and the remaining 70 are filled through this indirect election. The members of municipal and regional councils constitute an electoral college that selects these 70 members of the Senate to represent the ten regions of the country. Following its broad victory in the last regional elections (2020), the party of President Paul Biya (the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement -- RDPC) won all 70 of the seats. It is expected that President Biya will also select members of this party for the remaining 30 seats. Challenges to the election filed by three opposition parties were dismissed by the Constitutional Council on 21 March. The representation of women is likely to slightly improve as 26 women won seats (up from 22 in the last election).
January 2023 | Prominent journalist Martinez Zogo abducted and murdered
Martinez Zogo, editor-in-chief and broadcaster at the radio station Amplitude FM, was reported to have been abducted on 17 January. His body was found five days later, and showed signs of torture. Zogo was known for reporting on allegations of corruption against prominent individuals in Cameroon. Several people were arrested in connection with Zogo’s murder in early February, including senior officials in the state security apparatus, and the owner of a different media organization. Despite the rapid progress of the investigation, Zogo’s murder may intimidate other journalists in the country. Zogo was the first journalist who was murdered since Samuel Wazizi was killed in 2019.