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Violent conflict has disrupted life in the anglophone regions of Cameroon since 2016. Thousands of people have been killed, over half a million Cameroonians have been displaced, distressing images of human rights abuses have emerged, many children no longer attend school, and market and farm life have significantly dwindled. Despite the severity of the violence and its effects, the Norwegian Refugee Council judges the Cameron conflict as the most neglected displacement crisis in the world.

The Cameroon Conflict Research Group is a research team within the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. The Group was established to investigate the conflict from a number of angles:

  • What are the causes of the conflict (both historical and recent)?
  • Who are its main parties?
  • What is the role of the international community in the conflict?
  • What are the perspectives of its stakeholders?
  • And what routes to resolution are promising?

 

Photos: Giles Clarke/UNOCHA

 


 

Publications

  • R Willis, 'A Comparative Analysis of Widow Dispossession in Francophone and Anglophone Cameroon' (2018) 62 Journal of African Law 147
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021855318000013
    Widows throughout sub-Saharan Africa may be at risk from dispossession when their husbands pass away. Whereas some scholars view widow dispossession as prevalent and global, others suggest that the issue is less common than claimed. This article contributes to understanding about the frequency of, and reasons for, widow dispossession through an empirical investigation of widowhood in Cameroon. By adopting a comparative method, working with similar groups in both francophone and anglophone regions, it presents preliminary findings. These findings include a higher awareness of widow dispossession in anglophone areas compared to francophone samples. Moreover, notably fewer marriages are legally registered in the anglophone dataset, compared to the francophone group, which may place anglophone widows at greater risk of dispossession. The article then assesses the impact of custom, religion, civil law and common law on the findings. In conclusion, it recommends the need for a holistic consideration of land rights.
  • Dr Roxana Willis , Dr James Angrove , Caroline Mbinkar and J.P.M. McAulay, ''We Remain Their Slaves': Voices from the Cameroon Conflict ' (2020) SSRN
    Violence has torn through the anglophone regions of Cameroon since 2016. Despite the severity of the conflict, international response has been conspicuously limited. This report offers new insights into the Cameroon conflict and suggests a strategy for action. Findings stem from an empirical piece of research conducted by the Cameroon Conflict Research Group, based in the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. The Group interviewed 32 individuals in the anglophone regions of Cameroon, from a range of backgrounds, to learn more about the causes and experiences of the conflict. The report is directly shaped by these collective voices and embraces a socio-historical framework which stemmed from the research participants themselves – that of slavery. Resulting from this study, the report shows that a root cause of the conflict is socioeconomic inequality, for which multiple international actors, as well as the Cameroon government, are responsible. Accordingly, the Group offers five recommendations for action. Ultimately, the Group advises that peaceful resolution requires multilateral efforts from all responsible parties, some of whom are named within.

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