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Old 01-14-2009, 09:45 PM
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Default Further Elements on Cameroon

Cameroon - Security Information
Conflict History [1]
The independence years were marked by a revolt of the Bamileke, which was finally suppressed in the early 1970s with the help of French troops. In 1982 Paul Biya took over the presidency from Ahmadou Ahidjo, who resigned due to ill-health, and was re-elected as president in 1984. An unsuccessful attempt by an army faction to overthrow the government in 1984 temporarily destabilised the Biya regime. In the following months, however, he moved quickly to reassert control. He was re-elected as president in 1988, 1992 and again in 1997. During the 1990s pressure for the introduction of a multi-party system increased, and was accompanied by intense unrest and instability. The 1997 legislative and presidential elections were accompanied by widespread violence. In 1998 several people were killed in ethnic clashes in north-western Cameroon.
Security Situation [2]
Relations with neighbouring countries are generally harmonious. The exceptions are a simmering border dispute with Nigeria (the Bakassi Dispute), and with Equatorial Guinea over territorial waters. Both Cameroon and Nigeria are reinforcing their military presence in the Bakassi peninsula. Influxes of Cameroonians into Equatorial Guinea, in the hope of benefiting form its new-found oil wealth, has strained relations. In 1999 the governments of Cameroon, Equitorial Guinea, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, the DRC and Angola established a Gulf of Guinea Commission to help prevent and settle conflicts, especially border disputes, in the Gulf.
Security-Related Budget [3]
The defence budget for 2001 was US$160 million (up from US$155 in 2000). Defence expenditure in 1999 was US$156 million, equal to 1.5 % of GDP.
Political Oversight [4]
President and Commander-in-Chief: Paul Biya
Prime Minister: Peter Mafany Musonge
Minister of State, Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence: Amadou Ali
Minister of State in charge of External Relations: Augustin Kontchou Kouemeg
Secretary of State for Defence in charge of Gendarmerie: Remy Ze Meka
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces: Paul Biya
International Treaties/ Protocols/ Alliances [5]
Cameroon is a member of the UN, WTO, the Commonwealth, OAU, ADB, OIC, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and an ACP member of the ACP-EU relationship.
International Community Involvement [6]
Apart from rotating French Legionnaires there appear to be no permanent foreign forces on Cameroon territory.

Cameroon Armed Forces

Senior Personnel

Structure [7]
The army is very much under the personal control of president Paul Biya who takes a day-to-day interest in all matters military. The army (strength 11500) has a military presence in Cameroon’s eight military regions that correspond to the national administrative areas.
Army bases are thought to be located in or near major towns and cities as per administrative districts. Air force bases are located at Batouri, Douala, Garouda and Yaounde. Naval bases are located at Douala (HQ), Kribi and Limbe.
Defence Budget
The defence budget for 2001 was US$160 million (up from US$155 in 2000).
Doctrine [8]
Very little accurate information is available. French methods and procedures appear logical.
Strength [9]
Total strength: 22100 (including gendarmerie). Army: 11500; Navy: estimated 1300; Air Force: 300; Gendarmerie: 9000.
Composition [10]
The order of battle is as follows:

Field Army (HQ Yaounde)
1 Presidential Guard battalion
1 guard batallion
1 armoured reconnaissance battalion
1 airborne/commando battalion
1 artillery battalion
5 infantry battalions
1 anti-aircraft battalion
1 engineer battalion
1 armed forces training battalion
Yaounde logistic support base
In addition to the three service wings, there is a gendarmerie of 9000 who appear to be in the army chain of command (and certainly directly responsible to the president). The gendarmerie have large detachments in all the regional administrative areas and are equipped with light weapons and light armoured vehicles.
Training [11]
It is assumed that local training is undertaken with the French, with higher subjects being studied at various military schools in France.
Defence Equipment: 2001 [12]

Type Detail Number
M-8 Recce 8
V-150 8
V-150 Commando AIFV 14
V-150 Commando APC 21
M-3 Halftrack 12
M-116 pack Towed Artillery 6
M-101 16
Type-59 12
1l 4
BM-21 MRL 122 mm 20
Brandt Mortar 120 mm 16
Milan ATGW
LRAC RL 89 mm
PRC Type-52 RCL 57 mm 13
M-40A2 RCL 106 mm 40
PRC Type-58 AD Gun 18
GDF-002 18
PRC Type-63 18

Bakassi (Fr P-48) PCC 1
L’Audacieux (Fr P-48) 1
Quartier PCI 1

Air Force
CM-170 FGA 5
MB-326 6
Do-128D-6 MR 2
SA-342L (with HOT)Attack Heli 4
C-130H/-H-30 (3), DHC-4 (1), DHC-5D (4), IAI-201 (1), PA-23 (2), Gulfstream III (1), Do-128 (1), Boeing 707 (1) Transport (Aircraft)
Bell 206 (3), SE-3131 (3), SA-318 (1), SA-319 (3), AS-332 (2), SA-365 (1) Transport (Helicopter)

Latest Procurement [13]
There is broad agreement among military observers that Cameroon’s regional environment and its disagreements with Nigeria will generate a spate of military procurement and that money will be found to support such purchases. However, the modernisation and enlargement of the Cameroon armed forces will be an ambitious and expensive project. In the meantime, it received four 155 mm pieces of artillery from Israel in 1997 and another four the following year.
Rebel Forces [14]
There are a wide number of potential insurgent threats to Cameroon.
English Speaking Secessionists
Many English speaking Cameroonians feel they have been marginalised by the French speaking majority and wish to exert more control over their own affairs in the west of the country. The call for independence has long been ignored by the mainly French speaking authorities. Armed attacks on the gendarmerie and other targets left 11 dead in 1997, at such places as Jakiri, Kumbo, Bumenda, and other localities in western Cameroon. People suspected of belonging to the Southern Cameroon National Council were arrested in connection with the attacks. Their trial commenced in 1999.
The Bagyeli Pygmies
The Bagyeli pygmies are thought likely to oppose government and World Bank plans to build a 1100 km long pipeline between the Doba oilfields of Chad and the Atlantic coast of Cameroon.

1. Africa South of the Sahara 2001; EIU Country Profile 2001
2. Africa South of the Sahara 2001; Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, Jan-June 2001
3. Human Development Report 2001, UNDP; The Military Balance 2001-2992
4. Africa South of the Sahara 2001
5. The Statesman’s Yearbook 2002
6. Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, January-June 2001
7. Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, January-June 2001
8. Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, January-June 2001
9. The Military Balance 2001-2002, IISS
10. Jane’s World Armies, Issue Seven, June 2000
11. Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, January-June 2001
12. The Military Balance 2001-2002
13. Jane’s World Armies, Issue Seven; The Military Balance 2001-2002.
14. Jane’s Sentinel– Central Africa, Jan-June 2001
Cameroon - Natural Resources and the Environment
Largely because of highly varied ecology and environment, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa - agricultural conditions are favourable, it has abundant forest reserves and substantial mineral and oil reserves
Mineral resources
Petroleum, bauxite, iron ore
Water resources
Hydropower. Annual internal renewable water resources: 18,711 cu m Per Capita (1998); Sector withdrawals - domestic 46%; Industrial 19%; Agricultural 35%
Land - Refer to table/s
Key Environmental Concerns
Water-borne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; over-fishing. Cameroon's tropical forest is the second largest in the world but it is being exploited at a faster rate than is sustainable. Concessions to exploit the forests are awarded through a bidding system, with companies winning by offering high inducements to the officials. There is little monitoring of forest management. As the forests have become more accessible, poachers are shooting antelope, chimpanzees and gorillas, and selling them.
Environmental policy and manifestation
International agreements - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
Natural hazards
Recent volcanic activity with release of poisonous gases
Cameroon - Population
Ethnically and linguistically diverse with more than 200 languages, three broad groupings dominate: Fulani, Kirdi and other groups dominate the Muslim north; the Bamiléké dominate in the western regions, while in coastal areas the Grand Sawa dominate.

An important religious and social divide lies across the country. While the people of the south and west have been profoundly influenced by Christianity, the people of the north are either Muslim or animist and have largely retained their traditional modes of life. One other major contrast in the social geography of Cameroon is between anglophone north-west and south-west Cameroon, and the much larger, more populous francophone area of former East Cameroon. The contrasting influences of British and French rule remain evident in many spheres of life.

The UN population fund estimated the population at some 15.2m at mid-2001, and the growth rate for the period 1995-2000 at 2.7%. Poverty levels are high - according to a 1996 survey over 50% of the population fell below the poverty line, and almost a quarter lived in extreme poverty. Almost all of these live in the rural areas. The two main centres, Douala the port and commercial centre, and Yaoundé the capital, each have over a 1m inhabitants.

There has been a significant deterioration in the education and health systems since 1990, a result of the economic crisis of the early 1990s. In an effort to redress the declining standards, the government increased spending on health and education in the 2000/01 fiscal year by 19% and 48% respectively.
Refugees and IDPs
Cameroon is host to close to 44,000 refugees, mainly Chadian refugees. Of the 8,000 urban refugees, some 65% live in the cities of Douala and Yaounde.
Poorly maintained infrastructure and services - a consequence of budget cuts since the early 1990s - have led to sharp increases in infant and child mortality rates and a decline in life expectancy.
UN estimates of infection rates are put at 7%, while unofficial sources estimate the HIV prevalence to be closer to 11%. This rate is one of the highest in Central Africa. In an effort to fight HIV/AIDS the government has negotiated a reduced cost for imported anti-retroviral medicines, and has an extensive public campaign of education and training.
Education was hit hard by the financial constraints faced by the government in the early 1990s. Primary school enrolments, which were nearly 100% in the early 1980s, had dropped to some 62% in 1997. Nevertheless, adult literacy levels at some 75% are high, a reflection of the marked progress made during the 1970s and 1980s
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