On Saturday, witnesses reported that armed men stormed a school in Cameroon and started firing at children. About eight children sustained severe injuries, while six succumbed. The men arrived in the school at around noon, dressed in civilian clothes when they launched the attack. It was sad as children lay in their pool of blood crying for help. Parents who had come to collect their children were wailing as they sought immediate aid.
Some of these children suffered injuries after jumping from high storey buildings to escape the bullets and machetes. The incident was unfortunate, especially as children had recently resumed their learning sessions.
“They found the children in a class and they opened fire on them,” city sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters.
Cameroon Strong Enmity
Although investigations are ongoing, no one knows exactly who plotted the atrocity. Nonetheless, it’s either the Ambazonia, an English uprising in western Cameroon, or the army. These two groups have had differences for a very long time. Then conflict between the majority of French speakers and minority English speakers in the country has degenerated over the years to mayhem.
These attacks have been surging. Many have lost their homes to live like displaced persons. Thousands have also died amid terrible confrontations. Cameroon has become insecure and unsafe. The stronger the two groups grow apart, the worse the situation gets. Many times government military has clashed with Ambazonia during strikes, causing chaos. Amid these strikes, many public and private businesses have toppled. Rights groups have documented lots of atrocities these groups have committed on innocent civilians. Last year the officials accused the separatists of abducting school children.
Isabel Dione, a mother of a 12-year-old, rushed to the school when she heard of the shooting. She broke down in tears when she saw her little girl’s with pain in her blood, asking for help. Her daughter was bleeding from the stomach when she called her mum and started shouting her name.
“She was helpless, and she was shouting, ‘Mum, please help me’, and I told her ‘only your God can save you now’,” Dione told Reuters.
An emergency team rushed the girl to a hospital where she is currently receiving medical attention.
The United Nations Humanitarian Affairs stated that some children died from machete cuts while 12 had severe injuries. Videos of the incident were circulating all over social media, leaving citizens outraged. The classrooms were covered in piles of dry blood. Parents were moving in and out of the building, trying to rescue their children while bystanders wailed.
Ahhim Abanaw Obase, an official for local education in the region, stated that the six children who died were of 12 and 14 years. It was so sad as their lives suddenly ended. Anougou, who is also an official, alleged the secessionists were responsible for the massacre. However, he did not have any evidence to support his suspicion. Meanwhile, a prominent separatist leader, who kept his identity a secret promised to release a statement to express their disgust at the attack.
The English-speaking minority in Cameroon has been opposing President Biya’s government since months ago. They have imposed a curfew and closed schools as opposed to the government legislations.