Understanding the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon using NLP

Local Chapter Cameroon Chapter

Coordinated by Cameroon ,

Project background.

On October 6, 2016, the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, an organization composed of lawyers’ and teachers’ unions in Anglophone regions, called a strike to protest the appointment of Francophone judges in Anglophone regions. They saw this as a threat to the common law system in Anglophone regions and part of the overall marginalization of Anglophones. The strikes were supported by peaceful protests in the cities of Bamenda, Buea, and Limbe. The activists demanded the protection of the legal system of the Anglophone regions and opposed the civil law system used by the Francophone magistrate, which has replaced the common law system. They demanded that several laws be translated into English and that the common law system be taught at the University of Buea and the University of Bamenda. The Cameroonian government deployed security forces to crack down on the protests. Protesters were attacked with tear gas and, along with lawyers, were allegedly assaulted by soldiers. Throughout November 2016, thousands of teachers in Anglophone regions joined the lawyers’ strike. All schools in Anglophone regions were closed. The crisis drew international reaction. More than 13,000 Anglophone Cameroonians living in Maryland protested the Cameroonian government’s crackdown. On June 27, U.S. Congressman Anthony G. Brown submitted a petition to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging the Cameroonian government to immediately address and resolve the ongoing crises.
Unfortunately, the crisis is still ongoing and continues to take a heavy toll on Cameroonian civilians. The Anglophone crisis has had a devastating impact on poverty in the region. In addition, the crisis has destroyed livelihoods and caused numerous civilian casualties. At least 4,000 civilians have died as a result of the Anglophone crisis, and the number of displaced is far higher. Throughout the region, citizens have witnessed burning buildings, the abduction of their neighbors, and the destruction of homes. Those who survive flee into the jungle or seek refuge in neighboring countries, often living with little or no food, water, or money. As of May 2019, 530,000 people were internally displaced and 35,000 had fled to Nigeria. As of June 2019, UNICEF, 1.3 million people in Anglophone regions are in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict has severely damaged local economies. In July 2018, the Cameroonian nongovernmental organisation Human Is Right reported that the war has led to a 70 percent increase in unemployment in the agricultural sector. By 2019, annual tax revenues in Anglophone regions had dropped from $800,000 to $1,000, and by 2020, nearly all tax officials had fled their posts on the Nigerian border. The conflict has triggered an exodus of Nigerian businessmen from southern Cameroon, as well as Nigerian traders who used to operate the main markets. Thousands of displaced people have fled to protected areas, endangering wildlife. Read more here.

Project plan.

  • Week 1

    Tools preparation for data extraction + Data pre-processing
    Output: Data

  • Week 2

    Analysis + NLP Model construction and Training
    Output: Data visualization of Keys topics

  • Week 3

    Analysis + Knowledge Graph construction Output: Influential actors and Key Communities

  • Week 4

    Dashboard Output: Visualize Dynamic network

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