DOUALA, Aug 2 – Cocoa bean arrivals at Cameroon’s main port of Douala stood at 223,413 tonnes by May 31 from the start of the season in August, down 10 percent on last season owing to growing violence in its Anglophone region, the cocoa regulator said on Thursday.

In the same period of the 2016/17 season, 249,573 tonnes were delivered, official data shows.

Cameroon’s cocoa regulator, the CICC, attributed the fall to “non-evacuated volumes in crisis areas,” it said in a statement.

Cameroon has been gripped by worsening violence since November 2016, when government forces crushed a movement of Anglophone teachers and lawyers protesting against their perceived marginalisation by the French-speaking majority — a movement which then morphed into an insurgency.

Separatists seeking independence for the region — a small part of Cameroon that during colonial days was controlled by Britain, while the rest was controlled by France — have clashed with security forces most weeks. That has cut many Cameroonian buyers off from parts of the Southwest cocoa-growing region.

A lot of beans have been smuggled into neighbouring Nigeria, instead of going to Douala. (Reporting by Josiane Kouagheu Writing by Ange Aboa Editing by Tim Cocks, Kirsten Donovan and Alexandra Hudson)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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