Anglophone crisis: Schools still under threat

Anglophone crisis: Schools still under threat

N Melo
by N Melo
September 6, 2022 0

Anglophone crisis: Schools still under threat

Human rights organizations want to see government authorities strengthen measures to secure schools.

This September 5, 2022 was the day of the start of the 2022/2023 school year in Cameroon. While most schools have opened their doors to students, we continue to observe that in the North-West and South-West, several schools remain closed due to the security crisis that has reigned for six years.

According to a report published by the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (Chrda), on August 22, 2022, the PSS Mankon campus in Mezam department was invaded and set on fire by unknown gunmen, while on August 29, 2022, the Prefect of Boyo, Tegha Fidele, signed a decree of prefectural order, prohibiting the existence of 27 community and clandestine schools, some of which are church-owned missionary schools and others were created and managed by separatist armed groups.

The Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (Chrda), notes that over the past six years, educational institutions have remained closed in English-speaking regions as non-state armed separatist groups have imposed a ban on the operation of schools and in the areas where schools have managed to operate, insecurity reigns due to deadly skirmishes on these schools and this has continued to scare off most parents from sending their children to school. ‘school.

During the 2021/2022 academic year, Fonyuy Dora, a schoolgirl from St. Theresa Primary School, lost her life in an attack between armed separatist fighters and government forces at her school in Kumbo, Bui department. , North West Region, May 24, 2022. The murder of Fonyuy Dora was preceded by a series of other attacks on schoolchildren and places of learning, including the IED attack at Amphitheater 600 the University of Buea by one of the separatist armed groups, the murder of Carolaise Enondiale in Buea and the Murder of Tataw Brandy in Bamenda by a gendarme and a policeman respectively, the attack on the high school of Ekondo Titi, leading to the death of a teacher and three students,and the arson of the “Queen of the Rosary College Okoyong” in Mamfe on February 11, 2022 by separatist armed groups.

These attacks on schools underscore the fact that educational institutions have remained a target in the Anglophone crisis, since it began in 2016. As the crisis deepened, some groups of armed separatist fighters have imposed a form of school ban in areas where the security situation allows them, while others insisted on the creation of “community schools” run by separatist armed groups or a complete closure of all schools.

In order to guarantee education, which remains a fundamental right for children living in crisis regions, the Chrda calls on armed groups to stop attacks on schools. This NGO headed by Me Agbor Balla, wants to see the government authorities take measures to strengthen security in schools in the North West and South West regions. Since the outbreak of the Anglophone crisis in 2016, several other UN organizations like UNICEF have continued to denounce attacks by armed groups in schools.

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