Cameroon : separatist leaders acknowledge school boycott as failed strategy, call for school resumpt
Ahead of school resumption in Cameroon scheduled for October 5 2020, some key separatist leaders have called for an effective opening of schools in the two Anglophone regions, acknowledging that school boycott is a failed strategy. Schools in most parts of these two restive NW/SW regions of Cameroon have remained closed since 2016 in a crisis which turned into an armed conflict in 2017.
Mancho Bibixy, commonly known as the ‘’Coffin Revolutionary leader’’ and currently serving jail term under charges of acts of terrorism since 2017 posted his opinion ‘’ I think all Ambas in the diaspora should keep their kids out of school in solidarity with the children back home ...’’. that is to say, while those in the diaspora are calling for school boycott in the two regions, their own children are happily going to school.
While, Mark Bareta, a key separatist leader who spearheaded the school boycott is quoted as saying, “School boycott is no longer a weapon of our struggle for independence. Thus, where possible Ambazonia forces (armed separatists) should allow education and even encourage school going.’’ Another separatist leader, Eric Tataw twitted as follows, “Weighing on the convictions of parents to ascertain the security guarantees of their children, I’m unapologetically asking all Ambazonia fighters and activists to join me in the crusade to allow school resumption.’’
The clarion call for school resumption by these separatist leaders comes after that of the chairman of the SDF - Ni John Fru Ndi, during a televised interview on Afrique media. The chairman had called on the leaders of the different separatist factions on the ground and in the diaspora to allow children in these two regions to go to school. Fru Ndi accused the leaders of taking hostage the education of the poor masses while their own children have been moved to other towns or are schooling undisturbed out of the country.
The school boycott was imposed in 2016 to protest against what they described as the marginalization of the English minority. In a UNICEF report, the school boycott that spans for over four years now has kept more than 800.000 children out of school.
It however remains unclear how effectively schools will resume in these two regions as several school premises have either been burned down, dilapidated or have become bushes and harbours for animals.