The New Humanitarian reports that armed separatist rebels and government forces have stepped up arrests, abductions and deadly attacks in Cameroon’s north-west and south-west regions ahead of parliamentary and municipal elections on Sunday. Aid workers, residents and experts warn that the conflict risks entering a new and more dangerous phase, and that civilians are increasingly caught in the crossfire. The UN has recorded a significant increase in incidents against civilians since December, including killings and burnings of houses and villages. In a report released on Thursday,
Amnesty International also documented a surge in violence and new displacement. Separatists have threatened further violence and death to anyone, including aid workers, who does not observe a six day “lockdown” in the two regions that begins today. Meanwhile, military raids carried out since the new year have reportedly resulted in dozens of deaths and thousands of people fleeing into the bush.