Cameroon. According to countryaah, the current population of Cameroon is 26,545,874. The Nigerian Islamist rebel movement Boko Haram continued to spread terror among the people of northern Cameroon, although the number of attacks during the year was significantly lower than in previous years. In January, twelve people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge at a mosque in connection with the morning prayer. Later that month, more than 30 people were killed and more than 80 injured when at least three suicide bombers attacked a marketplace in the city of Bodo in the north of the country.
As a way to protect the population from attacks, the authorities equipped the Citizen Guard with motorcycles and regular bicycles to help with the border guard between Cameroon and Nigeria. According to thereligionfaqs, the extreme situation also led to acts of solidarity between Muslims and Christians, with members of various religious communities guarding outside mosques and churches during ongoing worship.
In July, Amnesty International accused the Cameroonian authorities of committing serious abuses in the fight against Boko Haram. In addition to arbitrary arrests, it appears, among other things, that people suspected of being in contact with that terrorist movement are being tortured.
In May, the environmental organization Greenpeace criticized Cameroon. According to the allegations, exports of illegally harvested forest to Europe and China will occur. The country’s rainforest areas are rich but threatened by deforestation. In June, a former government member and close associate of President Paul Biya was sentenced to 25 years in prison for embezzlement of about SEK 40 million.
Population, society and rights
The population of Cameroon is characterized by great ethnic and linguistic differences: there are more than 200 stocks surveyed. Political affiliation reflects ethnic fragmentation, and the attempts of the CPR to act as a unifying party have not borne much fruit; moreover, the different colonial past is still reflected today in the political and cultural divisions existing between the English-speaking regions (those on the western border with Nigeria, which demand greater decentralization and are crossed by secessionist movements) and the rest of the country, with a French-speaking prevalence.
If 40% of the population is Christian, the other half is divided between animists (40%) and Muslims (20%). The latter are mainly present in the northern regions. A high level of religious freedom is guaranteed in the country, despite the fact that there is no lack of tension between the different ethnic and religious groups. The population is constantly growing, with rates that in recent years have always exceeded 2%: in 2014, in fact, population growth was 2.5%. As in the case of many African states, urbanization has taken place without the necessary investments in infrastructure and has resulted in the proliferation of suburban and peripheral neighborhoods where daily life is particularly difficult. Energy supplies to households are inconsistent and only 53.7% of the population has access to electricity.
In Cameroon, freedom of association and opinion are severely limited: the country ranks 145 out of 197 for freedom of the press, and is classified as ‘not free’, despite efforts by the government to highlight progress towards democratic transition and the protection of civil rights.
Despite the great presidential campaign for transparency in bureaucracy and public administration, corruption and cronyism, often based on ethnicity, still remain endemic. Cameroon ranks 136 out of 175 for perceived corruption and 172 out of 189 in the Doing Business index. The dysfunctions in terms of governance are negatively reflected in the economic sphere: due to inadequate administration, disorganization and high taxation, the country is struggling to fully exploit the potential of the port of Douala.