Children and schools in Cameroon’s English-speaking region have become common targets of the separatists fighting for secession. The separatists say the government in Yaounde has neglected the anglophone region in the majority French speaking country – and they have declared their own state. As DW’s Adrian Kriesch reports, they have attacked schools to pressure the government.
Four years ago, residents of predominantly English-speaking western Cameroon protested peacefully against the perceived neglect of the central government — which reacted violently. Since then, civil war has broken out — separatists are fighting for secession and their own state — Ambazonia.
To pressure the regime they are forcing schools to close. In November, this school was attacked and set on fire. Shortly before that, seven children in another school in Kumba were murdered.
In the meantime some schools have opened again – with lessons taught uneasily under military protection. Children are afraid of being kidnapped by separatists.
In the countryside, many schools have again closed – like in the village of Numba. But there is a glimmer of hope. Local priest Roland Are has built a youth center, where teenagers learn a trade and children are given an alternative school program three times a week.
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