Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Anglophone Crisis: nearly 600 children out of schools in Noso

Human Rights Watch reports that only 19% of primary and secondary schools are open in the North West and South West Regions because of separatist armed groups who are forcing a boycott of education in order to put pressure on the government.

Going to school in the South West and North West Cameroon, which has been experiencing a security crisis since 2016, is an obstacle course for young learners. This, because of the multiple attacks of the Separatist groups which sow terror in these two regions, deplores the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report published on Thursday March 12, 2020. This international organization underlines that since 2017, these Separatists impose a boycott of education in these two English-speaking regions, in their obstinate attempt to pressure the government to obtain better political recognition. 

These attacks are directed as much against schools, as against pupils and teachers. Serious acts, which considerably affect education in these areas. According to the United Nations, reports HRW, nearly 600,000 children can no longer go to class since 2016. Worse still, only 19% of primary and secondary schools are open in the North West and South West. In addition, government forces were involved in an arson attack on a school, according to independent investigators.

“They punished me because they found textbooks in my bag. They wanted to cut a finger off my right hand, so that I could no longer write. But I begged them not to, so they cut my index finger with my left hand. ", Testifies a victim met by this organization, kidnapped on January 30, 2020 in the Southwest and released after the payment of a ransom, on February 3 with another student of 19 years, also mutilated. 

Indeed, these armed groups, baptized the "Ambazonians", established their headquarters in schools, in which, or near which, they torture people and hold them hostage. Actions that deprive a whole generation of children of their fundamental right to education. 

Therefore, this organization calls on the leaders of the separatist movement to immediately order their fighters and supporters to stop interfering with the education of children. For HRW, Cameroon, which announced in September 2018 that it supports the declaration on safety in schools, must make more efforts, to ensure that children can return to school in safety and promote forms of alternative education, including via radio, Internet or television, for students who cannot yet return.