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US News Cameroon: at least eight schoolchildren killed in an attack in the English-speaking zone

12:35  25 october  2020
12:35  25 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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Attackers armed with guns and machetes killed at least eight children Saturday in a raid on a school in southwestern Cameroon, the United Nations said. Murdering children is to attack the very foundations of our nation," said Cameroon Public Health Minister Malachie Manaouda.

Some children were injured when they jumped from second floor in an attempt to escape. Gunmen have stormed a private school in a restive area of Cameroon killing at least six Anglophone activists say the country's French-speaking majority is marginalising the English - speaking minority.

  Cameroun : au moins huit écoliers tués dans une attaque en zone anglophone © Supplied by Le Point

Eight children were killed and a dozen others injured on Saturday in the attack on their classroom in Anglophone Cameroon, in conflict for nearly three years, a "horrible" crime strongly condemned by the Cameroonian political class and the African Union.

The attack took place in Kumba, in the South West region, where "at least eight children were killed by gunfire and machete attacks. Twelve others were injured and taken to local hospitals ", said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (OCHA) in Cameroon in a statement.

Around 11:00 am local time, "a group of nine terrorist attackers" broke into the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy college, before opening fire on the students in the classroom, aged 9 to 12, according to a report. source close to the police.

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Gunmen have stormed a private school in a restive area of Cameroon killing at least six children and wounding a dozen others, officials say. A security force crackdown led to some English - speaking civilians taking up arms against the government, led by the French-speaking President Paul Biya.

Attackers armed with guns and machetes killed at least eight children Saturday in a raid on a school in southwestern Cameroon, the United Nations said. No group claimed responsibility for the attack on the bilingual school in Kumba, but the area has been caught up in violence between Anglophone

Maurice Kamto, leader of the opposition, spoke of "absolute horror". "How many deaths do it take for a political solution to bring peace to the NOSO (North West and South West, the two English-speaking regions)?" He reacted, while the Cameroonian Prime Minister was organizing an emergency meeting after the attack.

For nearly three years, separatist groups and the army have been clashing in the two Cameroonian regions of the North-West and the South-West, where most of the English-speaking minority live, some of whom consider themselves marginalized by the French-speaking majority in the country.

"There are no words for grief or condemnation strong enough to express all my horror at the brutal attack which targeted primary school children (...) while they were sitting, in learning, in their classroom, "tweeted Moussa Faki Mahamat, president of the African Union.

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At least eight children were killed after attackers armed with gun and machetes stormed a school in southwestern Cameroon on Saturday. It was also unclear if the attack was linked to an ongoing struggle between the army and groups seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the

opened fire indiscriminately, killing at least six children and wounding about eight more in a region where separatist insurgents operate, officials and parents said. Arriving on motorcycles and in civilian clothes, the attackers hit the school around midday in the city of Kumba in South West Region

"Acts of barbarism"

"I unreservedly condemn the acts of barbarism committed today in Kumba. Murdering children who are going to learn is attacking the very foundations of our Nation" for his part reacted the minister of Cameroonian public health, Malachie Manaouda.

"The boycott of schools was a strategy of the separatists in recent years. About 700,000 young people were outside the school system because of the conflict," Arrey Elvis Ntui, senior analyst for the International Crisis group in Cameroon, told AFP.

"The government and Anglophone civil society have put a lot of pressure on separatist groups to return their children to school, and schools that had been closed for years have started to reopen," he continued.

Schools had been a target in the recent past, but had never experienced a massacre of such magnitude. In mid-May, a teacher at the University of Bamenda (North-West) was notably shot dead by separatists because he refused to stop teaching, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Child murders in Kumba: President Biya criticized for his late reaction

 Child murders in Kumba: President Biya criticized for his late reaction © Ludovic MARIN / AFP Cameroonian President Paul Biya in Lyon, October 10, 2019. The Cameroonian President finally expressed his condolences, via Twitter, to the victims of the massacre of Saturday, October 24 at a school in Kumba, in the English-speaking southwest, in which seven students aged 9 to 12 were killed. With our correspondent in Yaoundé, Polycarpe Essomba His silence made more than cringe. It had become heavy and heavy, even incomprehensible for many Cameroonians.

Some children were injured jumping from second storey windows. It was unclear if the attack was linked to an ongoing struggle between the army and groups seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the English - speaking west. But it was a grim new low in a region that since 2017 has

Some children were injured jumping from second storey windows. It was unclear if the attack was linked to an ongoing struggle between the army and groups seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the English - speaking west. But it was a grim new low in a region that since 2017 has

The attack on Kumba has not yet been claimed and the attackers have not yet been officially identified by the authorities.

"These people (the attackers) will be caught by all means. I mean by all means", nevertheless warned Chamberlin Ntou'ou Ndong, prefect of the department of Mémé, affected by the attack.

He also insisted that the school was "undeclared" and that he was going to issue instructions that "all schools in the Grandma Department be declared" for security reasons.

The fighting in English-speaking Cameroon, but also the atrocities and murders of civilians by the two camps, according to numerous NGOs, have left more than 3,000 dead and forced more than 700,000 people to flee their homes.

"The security forces and armed separatists have each on several occasions attacked hospitals and medical personnel" in recent months, the NGO HRW said in July.

Accusations of abuses by the army have also increased in recent years.

In June, three Cameroonian soldiers were notably charged with the "murder" in February of civilians, including 10 children, in the English-speaking part of Cameroon.

25/10/2020 09:22:37 - Yaoundé (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

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This is interesting!