The Environment and Rural Development Foundation dedicated Friday 30th October, 2020 to 7 school children that were brutally murdered on Saturday 24 October 2020 at Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, Kumba, Cameroon by armed men. “Black Friday for Victims of the Kumba School Massacre” as the days was christened, ERuDeF staff, dressed in black outfits, paid homage to the slain children.
In a press conference held at the Head Office of ERuDeF in Buea, Southwest, Cameroon, the chief executive officer of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi condemned the killings that took place at Mother Francisca international Bilingual Academy in Kumba, terming it barbaric and inhumane. The CEO of ERuDeF used the opportunity to call on the national and international communities to put hands on deck to solve the rather overdue crisis. “we see the dead of these children as ours. we condemn in the strongest words such barbaric acts from whatever side they are coming from. We are asking the government to come out strongly not just to look for those who are behind this act but to end the conflict throughout the entire Anglophone Regions”, Mr Nkembi Said.
He recounted instances where innocents people had lost their lives as the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon keep escalating. To him, the government has all it takes to end the crisis once and for all. Hear him “The government has the knife and the yam. The killings that happened in Kumba are just a symptom of a bigger problem. Even if we succeed to fish out those who are behind the killings, it wouldn’t prevent another one from surfacing in Mamfe, Nkambe or Mankon. This means that there is a root cause and the government of Cameroon is at the center of this. The government has the power, the political will together with all her partners around the globe to end this crisis.”
Mr. Louis Nkembi warned that if the root causes of this crisis are not tackled there will be more bloodshed in the future “If the problem is not tackled from the root cause we should be expecting more killings in the months and years ahead” He regrets the fact that the president of Cameroon, Paul Biya has chosen to manage the crisis from the background. To him the president should always be on the ground when incidents like the killing of school children in Kumba happens. “I think this is the time for our leaders to stand up and say enough is enough; not by using a military solution, not by making speeches but by sitting on the table and talking with those who are involved. He regrets the fact that the United Nations and other international bodies are not doing enough to solve the crisis. “Like the government of Cameroon”, the CEO of ERuDeF laments, “these international bodies keep focusing rather on the symptoms than the real problem”.
He further proposed that the entire Civil Society in the two Anglophone regions should come together as a unit and make a peaceful protest match to pressurize the government of Cameroon to go back to the dialogue table with Anglophone leadership.
The Mr. Nkembi used this opportunity to announce the institution of Black Friday that will hence forth be observed by all ERuDeF staff members and friends on every Fridays of the week in memory of the all those killed during the Anglophone crisis.