Students in Cameroon Massacred – Attackers storm Cameroon school, kill several children Kumba Masacre
Several others wounded after attackers, armed with guns and machetes, stormed school in city of Kumba, Southwest Region.
At least eight children were killed and a dozen wounded after attackers stormed a faculty in southwestern Cameroon with guns and machetes, the United Nations said.
Arriving on motorbikes and in civilian clothes, the lads attacked the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy within the city of Kumba, within the country’s Southwest Region, at around midday on Saturday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, described by the UN as “the worst atrocity” since the resumption of the varsity year earlier this month.
It was not clear if the attack was linked to a unbroken struggle between government forces and armed groups within the English-speaking west seeking to make a breakaway state.
“At least eight children were killed as a results of gunshots and attack with machetes. Another twelve were wounded and brought to local hospitals,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said during a statement.
Some children were reportedly injured jumping from second-storey windows. Videos circulating on social media filmed by local journalists seemed to show adults rushing from the varsity with children in their arms, surrounded by wailing onlookers.
One photo verified by the Reuters press agency showed the within of a classroom, where a pile of dried blood had pooled on the ground near some scattered flip-flops.
“They found the youngsters in school and that they opened fire on them,” city sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters.
Isabel Dione saw the varsity to look for her 12-year-old daughter when she heard about the shooting. She found her on the ground of a classroom, bleeding from the stomach.
“She was helpless and she or he was shouting ‘mum please help me’, and that i told her ‘only your God can prevent now’,” Dione told Reuters. The girl was rushed to hospital where she is undergoing treatment for a gunshot wound.
Local education official Ahhim Abanaw Obase confirmed six deaths of youngsters aged between 12 and 14 and added that another eight had been taken to hospital.
Prominent separatist leader Ayuk Tabe described the attack as “inhumane” during a Twitter post and said “anyone liable for these atrocities must be delivered to book.”
Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions – the Northwest and Southwest Regions – are home to an outsized minority of English speakers during a country where French speakers are the overwhelming majority – a situation that’s the legacy of the decolonisation of western Africa by France and Britain quite 60 years ago.
In late 2016, long-standing complaints of political and economic discrimination against English speakers by the central government spilled over when lawyers, students and teachers began calling for reforms.
The government’s lethal response to the protests provoked rebels to declare in 2017 independence for a neighborhood they call “Ambazonia”, triggering a stronger crackdown by the authorities.
Both sides have since been accused of committing atrocities during a conflict that has killed some 3,000 people and made many thousands of individuals from their homes.
William Lawrence, senior adjunct professorial lecturer at the American University in Washington DC, US, called Saturday’s attack an “escalation that we’ve not yet seen within the anglophone crisis in Cameroon”.
“Think about it symbolically – we’ve a bilingual school that represents a united Cameroon being attacked and youngsters being the victim of something that wasn’t their fault in the least ,” he told Al Jazeera. “It’s horrific and it’s gruesome.”
Anglophone separatists have imposed curfews and closed schools as a part of their protest against President Paul Biya’s government.
Last year, officials blamed separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren, charges they denied.
Anougou and another official blamed Saturday’s attack on the separatists but didn’t offer evidence.
Sources: Aljazeera, Twitter, Youtube
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