Roxana Willis has been awarded a grant by the University's Global Challenges Research Fund for her project 'Voices from the Civil Conflict in Cameroon: Creating a network and developing a research project to investigate the anglophone crisis'. The grant will go towards funding a full-time researcher to work on the project.


Cameroon is in the midst of a civil conflict, which is worryingly under-investigated. Since independence from colonial rule in 1961, the minority anglophone population of Cameroon has been subjected to discriminatory treatment by the francophone majority. This has included several cases of torture confirmed by the United Nations. In 2016, these issues erupted into the current civil conflict. A strike by anglophone teachers and lawyers over the marginalisation of anglophone professionals led to a military response from the Cameroonian government. Since then, activities in the anglophone regions, such as attendance at school, legal hearings, and local markets, have been severely restricted. Harrowing photographs of human rights abuses and reports of state violence are emerging regularly. To date, 530,000 anglophone Cameroonians are estimated to have been displaced by ongoing violence between the state and separatist movements. 

Despite the severity of the conflict, limited international attention has been afforded to these events, and many of the human rights abuses occurring are undocumented. Accordingly, we intend to develop a research team and co-develop a project that will impartially investigate the conflict and draw international attention to the events taking place. Barrister Mbinkar Caroline will be involved throughout the lifetime of the project and present in Oxford in Hilary term 2020. The research team will use this pilot project as the basis for developing a larger GCRF bid in 2020.