Cameroon insurgency sends 600k children out-of-school

Cameroon insurgency reaches three (3) years causing enforced school closure. According to UNICEF (United Nations Children Emergency Fund), six hundred thousand (600,000) students have had their education stopped, with eighty percent (80%) of the schools in the state shut down.   

From ensuring schools remain closed and making the cities, towns, and villages inhabitable, the separatists are gradually achieving their aim. The separatists aim to stop the government from making children the next generation of English-speaking Cameroonians.

Parents are reluctant to send their children to schools following the violence in the region, especially, the North West and South West regions.

This feud started in 2016, and has escalated to unmanageable heights. The root of this discord comes from the decision of the Cameroon government to promote speaking of the French language in schools.

Separatists ensure discontinuation of schools

The government decision sparked up a mass protest, but the military was used to disperse the unrest in the area. The preceding year, the same civilians who protested against the government decision took up weapons to defend their cause.       

The separatist disagreement with this move by the government fueled their mandate for an independent country, Ambazonia. Hence, ever since 2016, the group has engaged in various violent means to achieve its purpose.

School children used as tools of insurgency for 3 years

The target of the separatist is the children. They believe children are the soft spot, so hitting on activities that affect the children will thwart the plan of the government. Aside from school building destruction, and the unrest in the cities and villages, the separatists, have recruited children, soldiers, to fight as well.      

Even though the Cameroon government had made frantic efforts to normalize the state and encourage children to return to schools, there are still fears of sudden attacks.       

The British and French troops colonized Cameroon after they dislodged the Germans from the area. The English and French-speaking nations had Cameroon sections they controlled, which brought about the English and French-speaking Cameroonians.

Three years later, 80% of Cameroon became French-speaking Cameroonians while 20% are the English-speaking part of Cameroon.        

Separatists’ movement crippled economy

In August 2019, the leader of the separatist, Sisiku Ayuk and nine of his followers were captured from Nigerian and sentenced to life in imprisonment. This move by the Cameroon government only aggravated the followers of the leader, and they further insisted on the actualization of the independent state of Ambazonia, as the only settlement they require from the government.  

This feud between the two parties have further crippled economic activities in the state and also led to more displaced persons in the country. The violence has left children without parents and worsened the humanitarian crises. Hopes are yet to be restored to the masses concerning the feud.