Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

Thousands of children have not been going to school in some parts of the Anglophone regions since the crisis escalated in 2017

Cameroon: Separatist Leaders warm up to School Resumption

September 30, 2020

The four-year school boycott has left more than 800,000 children out of school, according to the UN children’s fund UNICEF.

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

For the past four years, children of school-going ages in the South West and North West Regions have either been going to school in fear, not going to school at all, or going to school out of the Anglophone Regions due to the ongoing squabbles between government forces and non-state armed groups.

Separatists enforced a school boycott leaving children in the two regions out of school with students and school authorities sometimes kidnapped as a deterrent. In as much as school boycott is counter-productive as it undermines the future of thousands of children, observers say.

Since 2017, a silent humanitarian catastrophe has been unfolding in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon as a result of the ongoing war between the military and separatist fighters. The education sector has been severely affected as almost 700.000 children are out of school.

Many of these separatist leaders, some of whom are in the Diaspora took to social media to show their support for school resumption, though still acknowledging their struggle and the shortcomings of “La Republic”.

“School boycott is no longer a weapon of our struggle for independence. Thus, where possible Ambazonia forces (armed separatists) should allow education and even encourage schools going,” Mark Bareta, one of the separatist leaders who spearheaded the boycott, said in a tweet.

Eric Tataw, another prominent separatist leader tweeted: “Weighing on the convictions of parents to ascertain the security guarantees of their children, I’m unapologetically asking all Ambazonia fighters and activists join me in the crusade to allow school resumption.”

“Knowledge is power”. As a people we cannot sacrifice the future of our children,” Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, while the Cameroun military commits genocide in Southern Cameroons,” a prominent separatist tweeted. We must continue to resist them and protect our people especially our children as they return to school come October 5, 2020.”

Separatists enforced a school boycott leaving children in the two regions out of school with students and school authorities sometimes kidnapped as a deterrent. In as much as school boycott is counter-productive as it undermines the future of thousands of children, observers say.

It is left to be seen if these calls from the separatist leaders will be honoured by the fighters on the ground. Earlier, some separatist fighters had called for school resumption but on strict terms. Parents were called upon to send their children to “community schools” (in replacement of the government schools), while the private institutions were called upon to do everything to secure these children, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2016, lawyers and teachers in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon organized a strike against perceived attempts by the government of Cameroon to assimilate the legal and educational systems practised in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Thousands of children have not been going to school in some parts of the Anglophone regions since the crisis escalated in 2017
Thousands of children have not been going to school in some parts of the Anglophone regions since the crisis escalated in 2017

Rising demands by some Anglophones for the independence of these regions emerged and now separatist groups are fighting against the government forces with civilians caught in the crossfire. The military has been accused by rights groups of razing entire villages and extrajudicial killings.

1+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *