Cameroon is an ethnically diverse country with about 250 groups. Some of the groups are interrelated while others have been assimilated into other groups through years of interaction. These ethnic groups mainly fall under the Bantu, Semitic, and Nilotic language groups. Cameroon’s ethnic community has been known to coexist in peace, and no particular group had political influence over the affairs of the country. These groups contribute to the cultural diversity of the country. (Sawe, Benjamin Elisha. "Ethnic Groups of Cameroon." WorldAtlas, Jun. 7, 2018,

Insecurity is increasing in the country, due to terrorism and the resurgence of separatist impulses in the two Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions. This situation contributes to increasing the tension between the main ethnic groups and between francophones and anglophones. Since July 2013, the North and Far North regions of Cameroon have been living in a psychosis due to the attacks perpetrated by the Islamist sect Boko Haram (B H). Following Paul Biya election in 2018, Cameroon’s political situation has deteriorated dramatically.

Public hatred and socio-ethnic stigma are taking on alarming proportions. The phenomenon took on such alarming proportions that the government decided to present a bill to the National Assembly to punish the contempt of the incitement to tribal hatred. The bishops of Cameroon sent a pastoral letter on December 9, 2019 to noting the escalation of violence in all its forms "and of the" growing and highly worrying deterioration of the social climate ".

An astronomical quantity of intolerant and hateful messages is now exchanged by young Cameroonians on social networks, thus contributing to exacerbate tensions between ethnic groups, endangering national unity, and making it difficult to negotiate peace to end the civil war. Hate speech relies on tensions, which it seeks to re-produce and amplify. Such speech unites and divides at the same time. It creates “us” and “them”. Indeed, while statistics offering a global overview of the phenomenon are not available, organizations against hate speech have recognized that hateful messages disseminated online by Cameroonians against Cameroonians are increasingly common and have elicited unprecedented attention to develop adequate responses. In Cameroon, hate speech lies in a complex nexus with freedom of expression, individual, group and minority rights, as well as concepts of dignity, liberty, and equality.

Empirical observation shows the permanence, itinerancy, anonymity, and cross-jurisdictional character of hate speech online. Hate speech online is situated at the intersection of multiple tensions: it is the expression of conflicts between different groups within and across society. The character of hate speech online and its relation to offline speech and action in Cameroon are poorly understood. These topics are widely talked about by politicians, activists, and academics but the debates tend to be removed from systematic empirical evidence. According to UNESCO, statistics offering a global overview of the phenomenon are not available, both government and civil society organizations have recognized that hateful messages disseminated online are increasingly common and have elicited unprecedented attention to develop adequate responses.

The scope of hate speech in Cameroon takes on its full meaning with regard to the statistics on the use of social networks in the country. Official statistics indicate that over 6 million Cameroonian Internet users. Either a 25% penetration for the start of 2019; more than 50% are active on social networks (3.6 million). The most interesting is the 3.4 million that are active on mobile devices. 3.5 million Cameroonians are connected to Facebook, 58.8% are men, compared to 41.2% women. The WhatsApp application has become essential in the daily life of Cameroonians. The audience also declared, at 30%, to open the application at least 50 times a day (Chedjou Kamdem,

The WATCH SPEECH project is an initiative launched with the aim of countering the spread of hate speech and acts, by strengthening capacity of countering hate speech, and intercultural skills of 500 young people. The method used will integrate History Circles and media education.