Disruption Of Schools: Government Condemns Atrocities in North West, South West
Below is a press release from the Ministry of Communication.
“The Minister of Communication wishes to inform the national and international community that terrorists claiming to be secessionist, have since September 1, 2018, perpetrate a series of criminal acts obviously aimed at disrupting the smooth start of the 2018- 2019 school year in certain localities of the North-West and South-West Regions. It is in this way that during the night of September 1 to 2, 2018, the Headmaster of the Bamali Primary School in the Ngoketunjia Division, North-West Region, was cold-bloodedly murdered.
On Monday, September 3, 2018, six students from the Presbyterian Girls Secondary School in the Bafut locality in the Mezam Division, North-West Region, were abducted at the same time as the Principal of the college. On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, at around 2 p.m. a dozen individuals stormed the High School of Melim in the town of Kumbo, Bui Division of the North West Region, and vandalized the offices of the administrative staff, causing the flight of teachers and students present in the High school.
On the same day, an attack on St Joseph’s College in Sasse, Fako Division of the South- West Region, was repelled by the Defence Forces. At the same time, the bursar of the Government Technical College Roberta of Kumbo in Bui Division of the North-West Region, who was heading to his place of duty, was attacked and his belongings carried away by the attackers.
Immediately informed of the abductions in Bafut, the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya, prescribed emergency measures to find and release the victims of these unspeakable acts. The search carried out by the Defence and Security Forces has already resulted in the release of two of the students and the Principal of the Presbyterian Girls Secondary School, abducted on September 03, 2018 in Bafut. It should be noted that the Principal of this college has suffered severe physical abuse including the amputation of two fingers and horrific facial injuries.
The search is still underway to track down the perpetrators of these various crimes and bring them to book. The Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya strongly condemns these atrocities and stands against these serious violations to the right to education and life. These are barbaric terrorist acts that are characteristic of the enemies of the Republic and their supporters, which constitute imprescriptible crimes that no cause can justify.
The Government of the Republic calls on the international community to witness and expresses its astonishment at the silence of international NGOs and human rights organizations who are often so quick to stigmatize Cameroonian authorities as well as our Defence and Security Forces in their fight for a return to normalcy in the North-West and South-West Regions. The Government of the Republic calls on the national political class, opinion leaders from all leanings, the civil society as well as religious and traditional authorities to condemn, in clear terms, the secessionist ideology and the use of violence against innocent populations and the Defence and Security Forces. They are further called on to take a firm stance against such acts.
The President of the Republic reiterates to the Government the pressing need to spare no effort to guarantee the effective start of school throughout the national territory. In this regard, the Head of State, Commander- In-Chief of the Army urges Defence and Security Forces to relentlessly continue, in keeping with the laws and regulations of the Republic, the fight they are leading against the enemies of peace, wherever they may be.
The Head of State expresses his heartfelt compassion to the populations of the North- West and South-West Regions, who are suffering the atrocities and extends his condolences to the families of the victims.
He wishes a speedy recovery to those who have suffered physical abuse and other physical maltreatment, while reassuring them of the unflinching support of the entire Cameroonian people. The Head of State reassures the populations of the North-West and South-West, victims of atrocities committed by those criminal groups, of the full support of the Nation as a whole.
Moreover, the Head of State avails himself of this opportunity to congratulate the populations who, in a solidarity and empathy move, have been hosting students and teachers fleeing violence in troubled areas, in search of a more serene environment for their training and the exercise of their profession.
The Head of State also commends the efforts of the vigilante committees that decisively support the Defence and Security Forces in their fight against terrorist hordes in the North-West and South-West Regions. The President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya hails the commitment of the Cameroonian People that is ever dedicated to promoting a united, democratic and prosperous Cameroon where the values of tolerance and living together prevail.