Fighting between troops loyal to the Biya regime in Yaounde and Ambazonian Restoration Forces has forced pupils and students in Southern Cameroons to stay away. Most of the schools are now deserted. Some highly placed Anglophone officials serving with the Francophone government announced earlier that schools in Southern Cameroons will resume for the 2018/19 academic year. But shockingly Southern Cameroons parents found their streets in several towns and cities in the newly created Federal Republic of Ambazonia had been turned into a battle ground and thousands have fled bloody confrontations between Cameroon’s armed forces and the Ambazonian defense groups.
A senior government official in Buea told Cameroon Concord News that it will be impossible for the children to resume school. “People are suffering, the situation is bad” he said and sued for anonymity. Heads of academic institutions are advising students not to return to school. “I cannot advice any child to go to school in the North West and South West because it is dangerous,” an obviously scared Principal told our correspondent in Bamenda.
The 2018-2019 academic year has effectively started in Francophone Cameroun but uncertainty looms in Southern Cameroons. Those who strongly advocated for schools to resume in the Southern Zone met with a stone wall as Buea, the chief city recorded a massive ghost town operation with shops sealed and streets deserted. We gathered that there was a heavy exchange of fire on Sunday evening between gun men and Francophone security forces in Mile 16.
The ghost town operation put in place by the exiled Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia has swept through the entire Southern Cameroons. Fighting is intensifying in the Bamenda County with reports of a separatist attack on the Bafut gendarmerie brigade situated at Agyati.
Sporadic fighting was also reported in Bambili involving the some French Cameroun police officers stationed in the area. The story was the same in Bambui and Sabga.
By Sama Ernest and Rita Akana