Bomb-man, never approach pupils

Drawing on a blue base, a rainbow in the upper left corner and two hands that clasp in the upper right corner
Photo by Chiara Conserva

If the Covid-19 pandemic spares the children (they are bound to be the least affected all over the globe), nevertheless they are hit by guns, as it has just happened in the city of Kumba, in the South-Western province of Cameroon, the scene of four years of independence claims by the Anglophone population bordering Nigeria. An attack on children at school, right there.

Attack on children at school in Cameroon

Saturday September, 24, 2020, Mother Francisca Institute. Children in class are suddenly assaulted by a group of men arriving on motorcycles, in civilian clothes, and not better identified. The attack takes place around noon with weapons and machetes. The children try to run away, some even by jumping from the second floor of the building getting fractured but saved. At least eight injured, at least six dead, all at the age of 12-14.

There is no evidence that separatist groups are responsible for the massacre of those innocent human beings. The same luck of evidence is worth, as well, as far as the long series of kidnappings of children that have been hitting that region since 2017. We are only sure about the fact that the Anglophone-speaking secessionists have also imposed to close the schools, as a demonstration against the president Paul Biya and his pro-French government, so protesting for the marginalization of their linguistic minority.

Attack on children at school in Afghanistan

Massacres in Afghanistan, too, in Kabul. On the same day, a suicide attack in a West of the city district, Dasht-e-Barchi, near an education centre. At least eighteen schoolchildren killed. The facts show a well-known practice: a bomb-man blew himself up as soon as he was prevented from entering the center where the students carried out their activities.

The attack has not been claimed by the Taliban, in spite of the fight they have waged, since 2018, against Shia minorities (Hindu and Sick) over which many other young people died at gunpoint. They were students close to the end of the school cycle, close to university, probably dreaming of getting out of the tunnel of death in their country.

The education denied

Two massacres that have in common the fight against knowledge. Actually, education is scarying because it determinates critical thinking, allowing the formation of free opinions and ideas. At the same time it brings hunger and thirst for pluralism and often leads to the desire to escape from the often oppressed places of birth.

What’s more, the UNESCO 2020 Report ( warns that easily in some sub-Saharan countries eleven million girls will not return to school in 2020. They are countries in which education is already a difficult matter for cultural and logistic problems, and such condition now got worse because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


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