Cameroon Elections: Biya's Win to Deepen Crisis, Analysts.

If President Paul Biya, 85, extends his 35-year rule in upcoming elections, the crisis is expected to deepen, according to analysts.

"Cameroon sits at the crossroads of West and Central Africa, a strategically important position from a geopolitical standpoint," says Nwanze, the researcher at SBM Intelligence.

"On all of its international boundaries - Boko Haram in Nigeria, ethnic militias in Chad and sectarian fighters in the Central African Republic - instability abounds. A further escalation of the violence into more open and defined conflict will have repercussions that extend beyond its borders."

Back in Agbokim Waterfalls village, hundreds of refugees pour into an aid centre. More than 1,000 people wait outside, plastic bowls and cups in their hands.
Paul Biya's Win will Deepen Crisis 

They gather like this whenever food and other items come in from the Anglophone diaspora, or local people and churches. Inside the centre, there are grains, vegetable oil, salt and tins of tomatoes.

Quarrels simmer over how to ration out the supply. It is in moments such as this that Stella Obi, the widowed mother of six who works the vegetable fields, remembers home.

"Soldiers burned our homes, clothes, property, bags of cocoa - just everything, so what is the point of returning?" she asks.

"My children ask me 'where is our father?' every day." Cameroon has a population of nearly 24 million people. An estimated 20 percent live in the Anglophone regions. Eight out of the country's 10 administrative provinces are Francophone.

Many in the Anglophone community feel marginalised by the French-speaking government in Yaounde, citing a lack of political representation, job opportunities and resources and the imposition of French in schools, official documents and courts.

More than half of Cameroon's gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the Anglophone regions, according to estimates.

"The bulk of Cameroon's industrial output, including its only refinery, is in the [Anglophone] Southwest Region, a fact which may partly explain the central government's urgency in moving to quell secessionist elements," says Cheta Nwanze, head of research at Lagos-based geopolitical risk consultancy firm, SBM Intelligence.

"What it unintentionally accomplished, however, was to inflame the feeling of discontent and disillusionment among large sections of English-speaking Cameroonians, which has seen the ranks of the separatist fighters increase."

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