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>> For Lydia Endobo and her family, the Cameroonian forest is now their home. They cross this river to the relative safety of the canopy. Fleeing clashes in Cameroon's English-speaking region between armed separatists and security forces accused of using scorched-earth tactics. Speaking in pidgin English, she described to Reuters the constant fighting in her village.
>> We were very afraid, especially because of the indiscriminate killings by soldiers. When they pass by and they find someone around, even if you're not a separatist fighter, you will be shot and killed.>> Lydia lives in the anglophone region of majority French-speaking Cameroon. Last year, people took to the streets in the City of Bamenda.
Protesting what they see as they marginalization by a
] dominated government. A military crackdown prompted the area's cessationist movement to symbolically declare independence for a breakaway state called Ambazonia. Since then, insurgents have abducted and killed soldiers. And witnesses told Reuters in February that Cameroonian soldiers responded by burning villages and firing on fleeing residents.
The army denies such accusations but says what it calls an anti-terrorist operation is necessary to restore peace. Amnesty International says up to 15,000 people like Lydia have been displaced within Cameroon, while 20,000 have fled to Nigeria. For two months, this shed, normally used by farmers to protect cocoa beans from the rain, has instead sheltered Lydia, her husband, and their eight children, a refuge from the violence but with its own challenges.
>> Our children are always getting sick, and it's so difficult to survive here in the forest without a place to buy or sell anything. We're really struggling.