from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – FIVE children are among 15 civilians killed after a suicide bomb attack in northern Cameroon.
The deceased minors are aged between three and 14 years old.
Six other children, aged 9 to 16, were gravely injured during this attack in the town of Mozogo.
The identity of the perpetrators could not be ascertained but the region is beset by the Boko Haram terror group from neighbouring Nigeria and local militants violently advocating for the independence of English-speaking areas of Cameroon.
The separatists allege marginalisation by the government of President Paul Biya, dominated by French speakers.
However, suicide bomb attacks are the trademark of Boko Haram.
Henrietta Fore, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, denounced the latest attack.
She called for the immediate cessation of attacks against children, their families and communities.
“There is absolutely no justification for the targeting or use of children to carry out attacks,” Fore said.
Ten envoy expressed concern at the increasing number of attacks against civilians in the Far North, North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. The rise in violence has worsened a national humanitarian crisis.
There are now an estimated 3,2 million children in need across the Central African country of an estimated 26 million people.
Mass school closures, disease outbreaks and the socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have worsened conditions for vulnerable children and families.
UNICEF and the government are battling to provide essential protection to affected communities.
“Additional support and engagement from the international community is urgently required to help us reach those most in need,” Fore said.
– CAJ News