Yesterday, Saturday, at least 8 children were killed and 12 wounded in an attack on a school in Kumba, southwest of Cameroon, according to the United Nations.
Cameroonian officials and parents told Reuters that gunmen killed and wounded a number of children with random bullets and stabbed machetes yesterday evening in a school in an area where a separatist movement is active.
The sources said that the attack occurred when gunmen arrived on motorcycles and entered the school in the city of Kumba in the southwestern English-speaking region.
Several other children were injured when they jumped from second floor windows in an attempt to escape.
It was not clear if this attack was linked to the ongoing conflict between the army and groups seeking to establish a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the English-speaking western region.
Local education official Ahim Abanao Obasi blamed the attack on the separatists, but did not provide evidence.
But a prominent separatist leader, Ayuk Tab, described the attack on Twitter as “inhuman”, and said, “Those responsible for these atrocities must be prosecuted.”
However, many armed splinter groups have emerged from within the separatist movement since 2017, and they rarely speak for one group.
Separatists in the English-speaking West imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against the French-speaking government of President Paul Biya and what they see as the marginalization of the English-speaking minority, and human rights groups have documented violations by both sides against civilians.
Officials last year blamed the separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren, a claim the separatist leaders denied.
Since 2017, the region has witnessed violence and clashes between English-speaking separatists in two western states and government security forces, which left more than 3 thousand people dead.
In early September, the army launched a military operation against separatists in the English-speaking region in the northwest of the country, which complains with the southwest of the country of discrimination, which it says is practiced by the French-speaking majority.