By Tata Mbunwe
A band of suspected Amba fighters are reported to have set ablaze a classroom on the campus of Government Practising Primary School, GPS, Group I in Molyko Buea , Fako division in the South West region of Cameroon.
The incident is said have transpired around midday today. The class set on fire is said to be that of Class six pupils. Soldiers are said to have later stormed the area and stopped the fire from further spreading.
A teacher in the school told MMI that, at least 50 benches, four chairs , two tables ,books and other equipment were lost in the fire. The class six pupils are said to have been relocated to another classroom pending action from authorities.
A source said, only about 70 pupils were left on campus as others had escaped home following the incident. One of the teachers is said the school use to have at least 275 pupils on campus.
“It is thanks to the military who intervened to salvage the situation like other classrooms could have been burnt. We are living here in fear. We are scared. We do not know who is who now. But we leave everything to God,” another teacher said.
Today’s incident is the second attack on the school in just one week.
Last Wednesday, armed men attempted burning one of the classes with kerosene but did not succeed. The incident also comes barely three weeks since separatist fighters attacked a secondary school around the Bwitingi area in Buea where they stripped students naked.
Buea has been a safe haven for thousands of English-speaking Cameroonians. The town is relatively safer than most localities which have been suffering the brunt of the over five-year conflict.
Many schools in the town have witnessed an influx of students escaping violence associated with the conflict. Despite the recent incident at GPS Molyko Group I, pupils are said to be still determined to go to school. After the attack this afternoon, military trucks were spotted on campus, while children who remained in school were playing and laughing as though nothing was happening.
One of the teachers of the attacked school said: “Some of the children are tired of staying at home. You know some of them are coming from crisis areas where they have been at home for about four years”. Separatists have long declared war on schools in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.