Few days ago, several schoolchildren were killed by raving gunmen who stormed into a school located in the small village of Kumba in the Anglophone region of Cameroon and started shooting sporadically. To what end?
Well, if you are an avid Twitter user, the hashtag #endanglophonecrisis is definitely not new. However so many people do not know or understand the root cause of the violence in Cameroon.
There have been ongoing movements which advocate a separation between English-speaking Cameroon from the French-speaking part of the country. Separatists in Anglophone regions have been fighting with government forces and government-backed militias for several years.
Both sides stand accused of violence against civilians, which began in 2016 after residents in the country’s Anglophone provinces, where 20% of Cameroon’s population live, protested the government led by French speakers.
The Anglophone conflict has internally displaced more than 670,000 people in affected areas, while 60,000 Cameroonians have fled escalating violence to neighboring Nigeria, according to the United Nations’ estimates in February.
A 2019 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, revealed an estimated 855,000 children have been out of school in Cameroon’s northwest and southwest regions, where government forces have been battling with separatist fighters for close to four years.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said it was another “disturbing reminder of the [conflict’s] heavy toll on civilians, including children, many of whom have been deprived of their right to education.”