Africa anglophone conflict Human rights/war crimes Nigeria News

School children slaughtered as the Cameroonian conflict continues

By | Rachel Brooks
October 26, 2020

Incident occured on October 24. Above, courtesy of locals, this image shows the scene when the school children’s bodies were arranged for their families to collect. 

WARNING: The enclosed media is extremely graphic and may be unsuitable for some viewers. 
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The school is filled with children, but empty of their souls. As horrified parents entered the school, they were confronted immediately with the remains of a child who had received a brutalizing fatal head wound. The child was found face down with a portion of their school removed, and the brain matter exposed.

A woman runs into the scene,
“Oh my God, who did this!” she cries in plain English, amid an indiscernible chatter of local dialects.

As she moves to observe the rest of the scene, the room becomes more visible. Beside the child nearest the door, another little one lays. She and the first child are turned toward each other, but in death, their bodies are twisted on the floor, as they died in great pain. Near them lies a pair of discarded shoes. The little girl’s hair trails in her blood and a textbook that has fallen perfectly open near her little head, which is broken by cruelty.

As the cameraman and the family go further into the school, the horrors continue. Some are sitting in horror or injury. The camera’s shaking does not confirm. It spins and spins, revealing school desks where blood has been trampled underfoot, an angry red in the blurry ruin of the scene.

A voice is heard distinctly, shrill above the chaos, a child crying out for another who is lost:

“My sister!”

There she lay. Her hands are curled about her head, in a pose that highlights her beauty, even in her death. She wears the clothes of any teenaged school child, a black shirt with the emoji of smiling lips on it now stained with dirt, a bright pink skirt that offsets the ashen blurring colors of the nauseous scene. Beside the dear girl’s head are scattered shoes and papers where children attempted to flee the scene.

Some children were still at the scene, injured and reaching for adults as they flooded the school, in horror at what they found. One child, in a striped blue and white shirt, had likewise fallen beneath the school desks in death throes. A child reaches up above the desk she had fallen under, holding the body of another.
In another rash of violence against civilians as the Cameroonian conflict persists.

Citing France24, this attack took place on Saturday, October 24, at a school in southwestern Cameroon. The school was a bilingual school in Kumba. The area has been caught in the crossfire of the Anglophone separatists. For the last three years, Anglophone separatists have motioned to secede from the Francophone controlled government. Recent updates on the conflict show an escalation of violence against locals.

In the hours that followed the incident, there was some conflicting media regarding the number of fatalities. Republic Underground’s team is working to confirm the precise number of fatalities.

Quartz Africa noted on October 25 that locals marched with signs reading “Children’s Lives Matter” in the wake of the brutality.

They have been at odds with government forces for the last three years. The school children were attacked by machetes and guns. This is citing the United Nations.

The Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy told France 24 that at least eight children had been killed in this attack.

In recent developments, the Cameroonian Prime Minister condemned the “acts of wickedness” carried out on the school children in the name of a political secessionist movement. WRAL.com quoted Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute as saying that nine children had been killed in the attacks.

“I bow before the memory of those innocent kids,”tweeted Ngute, as quoted by WRAL on Sunday.

Republic Underground is working closely with local news teams to develop this story.