The United Nations humanitarian agency says some 160,000 people have fled their homes in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking region since 2016.
The UNHCR’s most recent report on what is referred to as the “Anglophone Crisis” said: “The majority of the displaced have fled into the bush with little to survive on.”
The report reiterated that 20,000 plus people had crossed to neighbouring Nigeria. But Nigeria’s State Emergency Management Agency (Nema) puts the figure at over 34,000.
The Anglophone crisis has riled Cameroon’s north-west and south-west regions for the last few years. It was sparked largely by a growing feeling of discrimination by the minority English speaking population.
English speakers say they are excluded from top civil service jobs and that government documents are often only published in French, even though English is also an official language.
An armed separatist, the Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF) has been pushing for an independent state called Ambazonia.
The group has been accused of kidnapping officials and other French-speaking Cameroonians, while the army is accused of abuses and burning houses.