Terrorism & Insurgency

Increased kidnapping attacks on education sector in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions highlight developing strategies of separatist militants

13 February 2019

Key Points

  • JTIC recorded a significant increase in attacks on the education sector in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions between 2017 and 2018, which was increasingly characterised by kidnappings.
  • Although attribution is difficult, these attacks represent opportunities for separatists to garner funding and greater exposure for their cause.
  • The increases in kidnappings and other attacks on education in 2018 indicate a new element in separatist militants’ strategy which, alongside the increase in attacks on security forces and state symbols, point to a deepening of the Anglophone crisis.

Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC) has recorded an increase in the tempo of militancy in Cameroon’s Anglophone Nord-Ouest and Sud-Ouest regions, as well as the neighbouring Littoral Region, between 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2019. Only 22 attacks were recorded in these regions in 2017, compared to 178 in 2018 – a 709.1% increase – illustrating the rapidly expanding crisis there. Indeed, the frequency of militant violence increased from an average of 0.4 attacks per day in the first half of 2018 to 0.6 attacks per day in the second half of the year. Within this drastic increase in attacks was an uptick in attacks on the education sector.

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