Election-related gatherings, unrest, and bouts of violence are possible across Cameroon in the run-up to and immediately following the nation's Dec. 6 local elections. Given that the vote will be the first of its kind in the country, authorities will likely deploy thousands of additional security personnel as a precaution. The tighter controls will probably focus on large cities and urban centers such as Yaounde, Douala, Buea, and Bamenda; however, an increased security presence is also likely in the restive anglophone North West and South West regions, where militant groups plan to stage opposition actions and shutdown strikes Dec. 5-7.
Clashes could occur between demonstrators and security personnel, as well as among rival groups of activists. Acts of targeted violence against specific individuals or small groups are also possible at campaign rallies. Police will almost certainly respond swiftly to any violent incidents that may materialize. Sustained violence could prompt authorities to impose certain restrictions, such as curfews or road closures. Given that many opposition groups have opposed the polls due to allegations of opaque election practices, unrest could occur when the official results are announced, particularly if claims of voter fraud are raised.
Advice Liaise with trusted in-country contacts and monitor the situation closely. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation, if operating in Cameroon through election day. Avoid all protests, election-related gatherings, or areas where violence has recently occurred. Plan for potential ground travel or business disruptions. Do not drive through protester roadblocks. Reconfirm all business appointments. Heed the instructions of local security personnel. Plan for potential freight transport delays and consider alternative routes through mid-December.