Cameroon / by Lewis McKinnon

A recent study on Cameroon’s Independent Electoral Commission has revealed that it is not as ‘independent’ as its name would suggest to the casual observer. The weakness of Cameroon’s democratic institutions is a chronic problem, which may well be put to the test in 2018 presidential elections. Boko Haram violence escalated this month ahead of general elections in Nigeria, which were delayed in response. This month saw the insurgent group step up its cross-border attacks in northern Cameroon, as well as in neighbouring Niger and Chad. The UN Security Council has condemned the group’s actions and has called for greater regional cooperation in order to combat the terrorist threat. In this vein, Cameroon and Chad have both joined Nigeria in conducting a joint military offensive against Boko Haram. In possible retaliation for this move, Boko Haram launched a bloody attack on the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol, which killed 91 residents and wounded 500 more. This sort of sustained violence is likely to reap adverse economic consequences for Cameroon’s already fragile, undiversified economy.