The government of Cameroon has condemned the killing of children at a school in Kumba, South West Reegion, on Saturday, October 24 by unidentified gunmen.
At least seven children were killed and over a dozen others injured when gunmen stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Primary and Secondary School in Kumba prompting widespread condemnation.
Below is a statement from the the Minister of Communication in reaction to the killings;
The Government of the Republic hereby informs the national and international community, that a terrorist act of unbearable cruelty and barbarism, was perpetrated today, October 24, 2020, in the restive town of Kumba, at about 11 am. This gruesome act was perpetrated by armed separatist terrorist group, in a school located in the “Fiango” neighborhood, Kumba 2 Sub-division, Mémé Division, in the South-West Region. In fact, a group of over ten terrorists, armed with war weapons, and dressed-up in real commando style, aboard three motorcycles, stormed the premises of the “Mother Fancisca International Bilingual Academy” and unfeelingly opened fire on the students that were in classrooms.
The first assessment report of this terrorist attack reveals as follows:
– Six (06) students shot dead, notably, five girls and one (01) boy;
– Thirteen (13) injured, notably, ten (10) girls and three (03) boys, with seven in a very critical condition.
It should however be noted with regret that the “Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy,” only launched its activities at the start of the 2020/2021 school year, without the knowledge of the competent administrative authorities and could not benefit from the same security measures enjoyed by other schools in the Mémé Division.
Informed of this tragic incidence, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, HIS EXCELLENCY PAUL BIYA, ordered that the injured should be taken care of, and were as such rushed to the appropriate health facilities in Kumba, Buea and Mutengene.
In the same vein, the local administrative authorities, who are fully mobilized, have ensured the transfer of the mortal remains of the deceased to the mortuary of the Kumba District Hospital. In addition, in terms of security, special units of the Cameroonian Armed Force have undertaken to secure the town of Kumba.
The Government of the Republic, shocked and deeply outraged, condemns in the strongest terms the acts carried out by the perpetrators of this odious, coward and abominable act against innocent young
The Government is of the opinion that no cause in the world can justify or legitimize such systematic attacks on the life of human beings, not to talk of the lives of innocent children, pupils, or students, who should attend school, college, high school, university, be educated and be able to look after themselves, and be able to conveniently take over from their elders tomorrow!
The Government of the Republic, wishes to once again take the entire Cameroonian people as witness, and firmly denounces all these fellow citizens, who, lurking in the shadows abroad, in their host countries, mastermind these unspeakable assassinations and fuel the climate of insecurity in the North-West and SouthWest Regions.
The Government wishes to appeal once again on the active and frank collaboration of friendly countries, harbouring the sponsors of this armed rebellion, as well as that of the international organizations, who are deeply attached to the defence of Human Rights, to help track down these armed groups, so as to ease and consolidate the pacification process of the North-West and South West Regions.
In addition, the Government strongly refutes these false allegations as well as the subterfuge and other maneuvers of the said armed bands, who are unscrupulously tending to push the blame of all sort of atrocities against the populations of the North-West and South-West Regions, like the horrific attack of today, on the Cameroonian Armed Forces, through endless campaigns of false propaganda through social media.
As it is, there is no doubt that the terrorist attack committed in Kumba this day, reflects the disarray and rout of these separatist armed bands, as to the resolve of the educational community, notably, the parents, and students, to defy their threats and slogans, in deciding to resume classes in their respective localities, in accordance with the recommendations and prescriptions of the Government of the Republic.
That is to say, in other words, that the objective of these separatists is to break the fresh impetus observed in the resumption of classes as part of the start of the 2020/2021 school year in the North-West and South-West Regions, and to thereby dissuade parents from sending their children to school.
The Government intends on its part, to reaffirm its resolve to carry out all necessary measures to address all the intimidation threats by creating and preserving the conditions that would allow for the pursuit of the back-to school campaign and the security of the educational community of the concerned regions as a whole.
Allow me on behalf of the Government to present to the deeply bereaved families the sincere condolences of the HEAD OF STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY PAUL BIYA, as well as the deep sympathy of the entire Nation.
In a nutshell, with regard to this tragic situation, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, has, on the Very High Instructions of THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, decided this day, to urgently dispatch an interministerial delegation to Kumba to present the comfort, solidarity and support of the entire Cameroonian people to the bereaved families.
In addition, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic, in charge of Defence, has been instructed, in collaboration with the other relevant services, to initiate an investigation in order to determine the exact circumstances of this attack, and to actively search for the culprits, for them to be brought to book before competent court.
Thank you for your kind attention. /.