An abandoned classroom in Cameroon (Giles Clarke for United Nations)

School Shooting Highlights Escalating Tensions in Cameroon

On October 24, a group of armed men attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, in Cameroon’s restive South-West region. They killed eight children and wounded 12 others. According to local reports, the victims were aged between 12 and 14. 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on Cameroonian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. 

He also called for a ceasefire, reiterating the availability of the United Nations to support an inclusive dialogue process leading to a resolution of the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon.

Protests over the increasing use of French in courts and schools in Cameroon’s English-speaking North-West and South-West regions turned violent in 2017, a trend that has continued with the violence only escalating after security forces were tasked with bringing the protests under control.

The unrest in parts of Cameroon has affected school enrolment and access to education. Some schools in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have only recently reopened following years of shutdown due to threats from separatists. Officials in Kumba have reportedly blamed Anglophone secessionists for the attack.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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