Cameroon

Statement: Cameroon school shooting

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Plan International is saddened by the tragic shooting incident at the Mother Francisca Bilingual Academy in Kumba, Southwest Region of Cameroon that left a number of young children dead and wounded on Saturday, 24 October.

This is a senseless and cold-blooded act of terror directed against children. We strongly condemn it as being outrageous and unacceptable. The murder of innocent girls and boys as deliberate targets in a conflict is deplorable and intolerable.

VIOLATION OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

Attacks on schools, which are meant to provide a safe learning environment, are a grave violation of children's rights in situations of armed conflict. The United Nations Secretary-General has now deemed Cameroon a 'Situation of Concern' through the UN Security Council's Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) mandate, which carries significant implications for perpetrators of grave violations against children in conflict.

Plan International strives for a just world where girls and boys have the opportunity to learn in a safe and protective environment. We believe that education is critical for enabling children to grow up and become citizens who contribute to building a just and equal world.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CHILDREN'S EDUCATION IN CAMEROON

In Cameroon, the work we do with children and their communities illustrates widely our commitment and contributions to our purpose. Making children deliberate and strategic targets of any party involved in the conflict is an atrocity and a fundamental injustice.

Plan International is overwhelmed by the terrible event and we offer our deepest condolences to the families and hope for a speedy recovery of the injured, while supporting the children who are survivors of such atrocities. We call on all actors and the international community to protect and safeguard children in every sphere of life, including during times of fragility and crisis.