Nigerian refugees return to school as Boko Haram worries fade

Posted by Moki Edwin Kindzeka | 25 September 2018 | 980 times

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•Teacher in a class at Minawao, Sept. 24, 2018.

Nigerian refugee children have returned to schools on Cameroon’s northern border as the threat of attacks from Boko Haram Islamist militants has reduced. But some feel it is still not safe enough to return home.

On a bright Monday morning at the government primary school in the Minawao Refugee Camp, thousands of children gather for their morning assembly.

They pray and listen to news about their school, the camp, their host country Cameroon, and their country of origin — Nigeria.

They are among some 75,000 Nigerians, most of them women and children, who fled Boko Haram Islamists to live along Cameroon’s northern border.


But even inside the refugee camp, the fear of Boko Haram attacks kept school enrollment last year to around 10,000 children. Many students were too traumatized to study while security forces also worried the militants could infiltrate the schools.

In the last year, Boko Haram attacks have drastically reduced. And, since the school year began on September 3, the children at the camp’s schools has nearly doubled to 20,000.

Teacher Lawrence Nyamnjo says with only 190 teachers, they are now more concerned about resources than suicide bombers.

The United Nations Children's Fund representative in Cameroon, Jacques Boyer, visited the refugee camp schools along with the Korean ambassador. He says they noticed a positive change in the children.

"Four months ago, I was in this same place, these children were sad, traumatized," he said. "What we have witnessed with her excellency the ambassador of Korea is smiles on their faces. Children, four months ago were drawing people with weapons and drones, now they are drawing flowers, houses, so for us it is important on the psychological aspect that this change occur."

The Boko Haram conflict has displaced about 200,000 people in northern Cameroon (VOA)


Source: News Express

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