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855,000 Children In Cameroon Out Of School Due To Conflict In Northwest, Southwest- UN

A woman stands outside a damaged school dormitory after it was set on fire in Bafut, in the northwest English-speaking region of Cameroon, Nov. 15, 2017. The military says it is helping clean up towns in efforts to implement new peace resolutions.

Xinhua  | Some 855,000 children are out of school in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon as a result of three years of violence and instability, a UN spokesperson said Tuesday.

Two months into the new school year, about 90 percent of the regions’ public primary schools and 77 percent of public secondary schools are closed or non-operational, said Stephane Dujarric, citing figures from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

He said without urgent action and without a commitment from all parties to the conflict to protect education, the future of these children is at risk.

In the meantime, he said, UNICEF has initiated community-run learning. “They are also procuring learning materials and will use radio to disseminate literacy and numeracy lessons to help children while they cannot attend school.”

Majority French-speaking Cameroon is facing a prolonged separatist conflict in its English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest, where separatists want to create an independent nation.

The conflict that started in 2017 has displaced over 530,000 people in the country, according to the United Nations.

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