Cameroon: Statement by Humanitarian Coordinator on Killing of school children in Kumba, South West Region
24 October 2020
Mr. Matthias Z. Naab strongly condemns the attack against Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon
Yaoundé, 24 October 2020 – The Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, Mr. Matthias Z. Naab, strongly condemns the attack against Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, in the South West region of Cameroon in which it is reported that at least eight children were killed and another twelve wounded.
“I am shocked and outraged by the killing of innocent school children which were attending school to get an education. On behalf of the United Nations and the wider humanitarian community in Cameroon, I extend our deepest condolences to the families of the children killed and our support to the wounded and their families and to all the community”, said Mr. Naab.
On 24 October, a group of armed men attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba. At least eight children were killed as a result of gunshots and attack with machetes. Another twelve were wounded and taken to local hospitals.
The World Health Organization has provided medical supplies to the district hospital and Médecins sans Frontières is supporting the hospital with medical supplies and personnel. The United Nations will continue to support efforts by the Government and non-Governmental organizations to provide necessary medical assistance to the wounded.
The attack against school children is the worst atrocity since the resumption of the school year on 5 October 2020 in which more students enrolled in the North-West and South-West regions than in recent years.
“Children have a right to education. Violence against schools and innocent school children is not acceptable under any circumstances and can constitute a crime against humanity if proven in a court of law. I call on the competent authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this tragedy”, reiterated Mr. Naab.
Mr. Naab reiterated the United Nations’ call for all armed actors to refrain from any attacks against children and other civilians, and ensure that schools, medical facilities and their personnel are not subjected to violence or threats in any way.
development practitioner in international cooperation and development, and advisory services,
working with UNDP, United Nations in West Africa and New York. Before retiring in early 2023,
he served as Resident Coordinator in Senegal. Prior to that, he served as UN Resident Coordinator
in Benin (2016-2020). Previously, he was the Deputy Resident Representative
Programme/Operations in Togo (2014-2016). He also served, as Country Advisor in UNDP
Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA, 2011-2014) – New York. Before that, he was a Team Leader of
MDG Support Team in the UNDP Regional Service Centre in Dakar -Senegal (2008-2011). Prior
to that, he worked as a National Economist and Programme Manager in UNDP Cote d’Ivoire (2000-
2005) and MDG Policy Advisor, RBA New York (2006-2008).
Before Joining the United Nations, Siaka worked for 14 years in Cote d’Ivoire as, Chief of
Cabinet in the Ministry of Planning and Development (1996-2000), Economist-Chargé de
Mission in the Prime Minister’s Office (1993-1996), Economist-Planner with the National
Bureau of Technical and Development Studies - Presidency of Republic (BNETD 1989-1993),
and Planning Specialist in the Ministry of Construction and Urbanization (1986).
Mr. Siaka holds a Master’s degree in development and economic planning from State
University of Antwerpen in Belgium – a Master’s in Public Finance and Management (1988)
from the State University of Antwerp, Belgium – et and Maitrise in Applied Economics and
Business Economics from the National University of Abidjan (1984), Côte d'Ivoire