YAOUNDE, Cameroon

Cameroon late Wednesday condemned recent attacks by separatist rebels on schools in the country’s two Anglophone regions.  

Attacks were carried on Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 in the North-West and South-West regions in the towns of Bamenda, Kumbo and Limbe, said Communications Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi. 

Sadi addressed the entire education community in general and students, teachers and parents, saying victims of terrorist attacks have the support of President Paul Biya. 

Separatists on motorcycles opened fire on Longla Comprehensive College in the city of Bamenda in the North-West Region. 

In Kumbo in the North-West Region, they attacked the Presbyterian Nursery and Primary School and abducted six teachers and 10 students. The 10 students have been freed by security forces but the teachers are still in the hands of the rebels.

On Wednesday, a group of armed men with machetes and guns broke into a school in the coastal city of Limbe in the South-West Region, local media reported.

This created a wave of panic among students and teachers as well as parents living in the vicinity who came to the rescue of their children. 

“By any standard, the government of the Republic condemns in the strongest possible terms these odious and cowardly acts committed against innocent young people and their trainers with the aim of dissuading parents from sending their children to school and creating psychosis within the educational community,” he added.

The Central African country has been marred by protests and violence since 2017, with residents in English-speaking regions saying they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

Violence in the Anglophone regions over the last three years has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and caused the displacement of over 730,000 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch.

In June, the Norwegian Refugee Council said that for a second year running, Cameroon topped its annual list of the world’s most neglected displacement crises in 2019.

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