YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – A university taking pictures on Oct. 24 that remaining at the very least 7 little ones is the “darkest and saddest day” in the ongoing Anglophone disaster influencing western Cameroon, claims Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba.
Attackers armed with guns and machetes stormed Mother Francisca Memorial Faculty in Kumba, killing the students and wounding a dozen some others.
Govt officials blamed Anglophone separatists for the attack, even though they denied duty.
The Anglophone crisis started in 2017, following academics and lawyers went on strike in excess of perceived makes an attempt by the central govt to assimilate the widespread legislation and English education techniques Cameroon’s Anglophone regions inherited from their earlier British colonial government. The rest of Cameroon is Francophone, and inherited France’s civil code lawful procedure, and French instructional procedure.
The strikes ended up violently suppressed, providing increase to a separatist motion making an attempt to establish an impartial state to be identified as Ambazonia.
At minimum 3000 people have been killed in the conflict, and additional than a million forced from their properties.
The separatists have also insisted that all schools in the Anglophone locations keep on being closed, and have been imposing their decree by burning universities and kidnapping instructors and students from any establishment that defies them.
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“Saturday Oct. 24, 2020, Kumba – the Green City – identified for its peace and hospitality has been stricken by the grief of the murder of her little ones right before midday,” Nfon claimed at a protest march on Sunday.
The father of a single of the murdered youngsters was at the protest and recalled becoming explained to about the attack when a little girl ran to his house to tell him his son, Victory, had been killed.
“I rushed to the faculty and saw him lying there: Lifeless. He was one particular of the 3 kids who died on the spot,” he explained to Crux.
Nfon attempted to converse to the grief of the neighborhood.
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“We are crying and asking why our children were being murdered? What did they do incorrect? Is it mainly because they went to school? Ended up they not permitted to go to college by those who earlier restricted them for the past 4 many years? How could they ask little ones to go to faculty and turn around to massacre them? Who then could have finished these a grotesque act?”
The bishop drew parallels between Saturday’s assault and the Feb. 14 massacre in Ngarbuh, when the military killed 22 folks, which includes children and expecting women.
“We are mourning and pondering in our agonizing hearts, is enough not ample? Was Ngarbuh not more than enough? How a lot of the blood of our young children need to be shed in advance of a little something concrete and quick is accomplished? How long will the powers that be and are capable of restoring peace and tranquility in the distressed Northwest and Southwest Area sit and wait? How lengthy will the authorities anxious observe and see? Will all our young children die right before some thing is done?”
In a statement despatched to Crux, Archbishop Jean Mbarga of Yaoundé termed the murdered young children “martyrs,” since they were being killed when satisfying their civic obligations.
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“This awful murder plunges our state and the full earth in huge discomfort and unhappiness,” Mbarga claimed. “It’s criminal! It’s cruel! And this carries no concept apart from that of the absurd and murderous insanity, of the barbarism and the indignation it arouses.”
The archbishop noted the small children ended up killed “with their pencils, their publications, their faculty baggage in their palms.”
“They ended up persecuted in the area of their civic and human responsibilities. They are martyrs they are innocent saints in the eyes of God as in the eyes of adult males,” he claimed.
Matthias Z. Naab, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator in Cameroon, stated he was “shocked and outraged” by the assault on the school.
“Children have a correct to instruction. Violence in opposition to faculties and harmless college children is not satisfactory under any situations and can constitute a crime from humanity if proven in a court of legislation. I phone on the skilled authorities to conduct a complete investigation into this tragedy,” he mentioned.
Nfon will celebrate a memorial mass for the victims on Oct. 30 in Kumba’s Sacred Coronary heart Cathedral.