For about a month now, there has been more than ever before an intense campaign for school resumption in September. The local Ambazonian media have been given millions to join the campaign. CDC workers have been paid a month’s salary out of some one year of arrears owed them to ‘prepare for school resumption’.
Prominent Southern Cameroonians and social groups have also been paid huge amounts of money to plead to parents to send their children to school. Some French Cameroun government ministers who hail from Southern Cameroons like the Kupe Manueguba thug, Elong Paul Che and fraudster, Paul Tasong of Lebialem have also mobilized CPDM elite of their constituencies and accompanied by tight security, braved it to Southern Cameroons to hold meetings with parents.
The principal reason for the frenzied campaign is to prove to the world before the United Nations Security Council meets in September that school resumption is evidence that the situation in Southern Cameroons has ‘normalized’. The Biya Francophone regime is planning to use a successful back to school to oppose any possible United Nations intervention.
Ironically, it is the government itself making it impossible for effective resumption of schools. Several schools in Southern Cameroons have been transformed into French Cameroun military barracks. Many others have been burnt by Francophone Beti-Ewondo army soldiers while most teachers in Ambazonia have vamoosed into safety areas in La Republique du Cameroun.
A visit to the Kumba market by our Cameroon Concord News Group Meme County correspondent last week indicated that parents are not preparing for the traditional “back to school”. Unlike in the past when markets at this time of the year were clustered with school bags, uniforms, books and other didactic materials and parents hustling to buy, there is no such scenario. Kumba market is not an exception as reported by our correspondents across the entire Southern Cameroons.
Field reports by our reporters also indicated that both the Southern and Northern Zones of the now Federal Republic of Ambazonia are for the most part controlled by the Ambazonia Self Defense Forces with military jeeps plying occasionally. In the Southern Zone, only Kumba central, Limbe, Mutengene, Tiko and part of Buea are in the control of the French Cameroun government in Yaoundé.
It is because of the insecurity in Buea that the renowned Sasse college on the periphery of the Ambazonia historic headquarters has been moved to Tiko which is relatively save and children there who braved it to school last academic year did so without wearing their uniforms.
In the Northern Zone, the Ambazonia Restoration Forces are in command with the exclusion of Nkambe Central and Bamenda. Educational officials in the territory say over 80 percent of colleges have been closed down and teachers afraid to be kidnapped are nowhere to be found.
Schools that have not been burnt or destroyed are covered in grass one month to resumption and no teachers are there doing the enrolment. The military are still camping in many others. The war is flaring up and who is that parent who will send their kids to learn under such perilous conditions? Cameroon Concord News Group has challenged those doing the campaign for school resumption including Barrister Agbor Balla, Minister Elong Paul and Minister Paul Tasong to set an example by openly enrolling their kids in institutions in Southern Cameroons. No one has done that.
In that light, back to school in Southern Cameroons shall just be another fiasco of the Biya regime, like the botch hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations. For effective school resumption in their so-called one and indivisible Cameroon, President Biya who declared the war against his own people should call a ceasefire and convene an inclusive dialogue with all issues on the table as nations; international organizations and people of goodwill have been telling him. Or the UN should send in peace keeping force as it meets in September to prevent the barbaric violations of human rights driving refugees and asylum seekers into neighboring countries including Europe and America.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai
Cameroon Concord News Group