The Montagnards, made up of around 15 distinct groups also known as ‘Kirdi’, a pejorative term adopted as a marker of ethnic pride, live in the highlands of northern Cameroon. Once enslaved by the Peuhl, they were forced to give up some of their lands to escape Islamization and were reportedly marginalized under the Ahidjo regime.
Montagnards reportedly face ongoing discrimination. The UN Independent Expert on minority issues expressed concern following a 2013 country visit that some Montagnards undergo exploitative labour practices amounting to bonded labour or forced servitude; have little or no decision-making power in their communities; and suffer from lack of access to services.
Minorities and indigenous peoples in