The Francophone dominated army on Wednesday said it had killed three Southern Cameroonian citizens in Bamenda. The French Cameroun army spokesman revealed that the killings took place on the same day that the education minister visited the capital of the Northern Zone, with tensions spiking as children return to school.
Didier Badjeck opined that those killed were separatist fighters operating in the Mezam County. He further pointed out that the three Ambazonians were in a car planning to assassinate the Minister of Education. The exiled Southern Cameroons government says the education system marginalises Anglophone pupils and has decreed a boycott of schools in the areas they lay claim to.
Numerous shots were heard Tuesday around the hotel where Education Minister Youssouf Adidja Alim was staying during a visit to the city to coincide with the reopening of schools. AFP reported that a source close to Minister Alim said the occupants of the vehicle had been “spotted and repelled” before they could reach the minister.
The war in Southern Cameroons has left more than 2000 Ambazonians dead and displaced about 200,000 people since late 2016. Years of resentment at perceived discrimination at the hands of Cameroon’s majority French speakers have led to almost daily acts of violence and retribution, triggering an army crackdown.
On Monday seven pupils and a headmaster were kidnapped by armed men at a school in Bafut, near Bamenda. Two students and the school head were freed on Tuesday, according to information obtained by AFP.
The Ambazonian Interim Government has said on social media that they could not guarantee the security of children who returned to school in defiance of the boycott.
Reported with files and extracts from AFP