A School Cameroon Photo: BBC

Cameroon shuts schools as Boko Haram bombings heighten insecurity

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Subsequent to continued insecurity of lives and property in the country, Cameroon says it has closed more than 60 schools on its Northern border with Nigeria in order to save both children and teaching staff from Boko Haram attacks.

The Central African country has deployed its military to teach displaced children in locations they considered to be safe, reports VOA.

Boko Haram is increasingly using suicide bombers, as the military has drastically reduced the terrorist group’s firepower,

Ousmanou Garga, Cameroonian Basic Education official on the Northern border with Nigeria, disclosed that recent Boko Haram attacks have made many schools unsafe.

Garga discloses that several dozen schools in Cameroon’s Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga and Logone and Chari administrative units that border Nigeria’s Borno State, the epicenter of Boko Haram, no longer function, according to report.

He said: “Sixty-two schools have been closed. The children have to be either scholarised [educated] in other schools very far from their own villages or to abandon schools. Thirty-four-thousand-and-fifty-four students have been registered as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).

“We have the students of the host communities; we have even refugee students.”

The teachers in all the affected schools fled with the children they teach, stated the official.

Cameroon’s military has been reporting at least three Boko Haram attacks every week since January 2020.

The military explained that most of the attackers are suicide bombers, mainly women and children.

The terrorist group has torched 13 schools within the past two months, held at least 200 people for ransom and abducted an unknown number of civilians, military authorities said.

Col. Ndikum Azeh, Commander of Cameroonian troops fighting Boko Haram in the Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga and Logone and Chari administrative units, stated the military has been deployed to protect civilians in the area.

Azeh maintained that some troops have also been deployed to teach displaced students in safer areas less susceptible to Boko Haram attacks.

He said: “Ashigashia (a border town) has for long been a target for Boko Haram assault as early as (since) 2014.

“The hierarchy (military) thinks that to sustain a good security situation, it is through the youths and the best process is through their education.”

Nongovernmental organizations, rights and humanitarian groups have been calling on Boko Haram to respect the intergovernmental Safe School Declaration.

Desire Fouda of the NGO School First says the declaration should be observed to protect students and ensure they are able to obtain an education.

Fouda said: “We sensitise different actors in education to respect those guidelines on safe schools declaration so that all the different actors should contribute to help those children to have access to education.”

Boko Haram terrorists have been fighting for 11 years to create an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

The fighting has spread to Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin, with regular killings, abductions and burnings of mosques, churches, markets and schools, report said.

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