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Exclusive: “I don’t know when I will go back home” – Cameroon unrest renders many homeless

A female teacher in PSS Bafut was in her home at the PSS/PSST Bafut Campus of in Northwest Cameroon on September 3 when men in uniform entered her house and told her and her kids, “we will be back”.

After they left her house they went to the chaplain’s house and at gun point he took the men in uniform to the principal of PSST Bafut’s house. The principal was later taken away with ten PSST students. He was tortured and two of his fingers were cut, then they let him and the students go.

Why PSST Bafut?

“I think those who attacked the campus that night know the school very well. Both schools share one campus, but if you are not within you will never know that they share the same campus.”

“At about 5:30 am on that unfortunate day they got into my house, I was at home with the kids. They were looking for the principal. They didn’t ask us to leave, but they told us they will be back.”

“After what they did to the principal I couldn’t remain there, the village became dead. No one will go about with their activities as before. Then it dawned on me that I had to relocate.”

“We didn’t have anywhere else to go, I have been in Bafut for three years, it is my home. Now I am homeless.”

“I stayed with my son and daughter in fear two weeks after in a parking store in the house, before moving to a relatives house in Douala. Others were leaving, what if they came back and found us there.”

Immediately after the attack in Bafut, the students in PSS Bafut were sent home. The teachers too had to leave the campus, and they haven’t had salaries since June/July, it is difficult for them to survive.

The Bafut incident, corroborated by other witnesses, echoes near identical operations by unknown gunmen in schools in the anglophone regions of Cameroon.

Many schools have been shut down, in other schools students have been sent back to their parents. After elections schools might open their doors again to students who have had a very unfriendly education environment for the past 3 years.

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