Cameroon’s Ethno-Political Tensions and Facebook Are a Deadly Mix

People sit under campaign election posters of President Paul Biya, in Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 5. 2018 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).
People sit under campaign election posters of President Paul Biya, in Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 5. 2018 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

When at least 53 people died in Cameroon in late January after a bus collided with a fuel-laden truck—one of the worst road accidents in the country’s history—few observers would have expected that reactions to the tragedy would include ethnic slurs, mainly on Facebook. They were directed toward members of the Bamileke community, from which most of the victims appeared to originate. Cameroon has long prided itself on the relative harmony between the country’s approximately 250 ethnic groups, none of which dominates nationally—a diversity that many Cameroonians consider to be a safeguard against communal violence. But Cameroon now has to […]

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