The lawyers condemn “the gruesome and barbaric” school attack which has left seven dead and 12 others injured.
“The incident qualifies as heinous and a War Crime against humanity. It appears to be a pre-meditated act that was carefully planned and neatly executed which presupposes the handwork of experts,” read a statement co-signed by MELA President, Barrister Asu Alfred, and Secretary-General, Barrister Ebolloh Emmanuel.
The lawyers further averred as follows: “That the deceased and injured kids were Unarmed Civilians found sipping knowledge from the fountain of an Educational Establishment- Mother Francisca International Memorial College Fiango-Kumba.
“That the 4 Geneva Conventions of 1949 protects and excludes the Civilian Population and Facilities like Schools, Hospitals and Churches from any attack by Combatants during an Armed Conflict.
“That it is added in superfluity that Women and Children are ‘endangered and protected Species’ that should not be attacked during an Armed Conflict by Combatants.”
Meme Lawyers went on to condemn in very strong terms the perpetration of such heinous, sacrilegious, barbaric and inhuman action that violate the fundamental right for children to be educated and the right to life.
“We call on ALL warring factions to lay down their arms and engage in a broad-base and meaningful dialogue in a bid to resolving the ongoing Anglophone Crisis,” they said. “We further call for the creation of an International Fact-Finding Commission to conduct an independent and impartial investigation with a view of establishing Responsibilities and Culpabilities.”
Cameroon-Info.Net recalls that around noon on Saturday, gunmen attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy Fiango, Kumba. State authorities say they opened fire on no fewer than 19 students, killed at least six, and badly wounded about 13 others.
In the classroom where the Form One students were killed lies the brain of one of the victims. It is believed she was shot on the head at close range. The floor is all covered with coagulated blood just like the walls and blackboard are stained with blood.
“I saw some of their shoes on the floor. One left behind a red Mickey Mouse jacket. Then, at the center of the class, I saw a water bottle and a food container standing lonely on a desk,” said journalist Blaise Eyong. “Most of the victims were girls. Authorities told me the students were between the ages of 12 and 14. This was their first year in secondary school and they had only studied for two weeks.”
The Divisional Officer for Kumba I, Ali Anougu, the Senior Divisional Officer for Meme Division, Chamberlain Ntou’ou Ndong, and the Minister of Communication, Emmanuel Rene Sadi blame armed separatists for the attack.
The students killed include 11-year-old Victory Camibon Ngameni, 12-year-old Anamgim Jenifer, 12-year-old Ngemone Princess, Che Telma Nchangnwi, 9-year-old Zakame Rema, Chema Syndi, and 12-year-old Renny Ngwane who died in hospital Sunday morning.
According to one of the children who cheated death in the attack, they were in class attending French lessons when they heard three gunshots outside and they all went on the ground, and the French teacher fled for his life – probably knowing he was the target. It is only after the gunmen had left that they discovered three children had died on the spot, the child is quoted as saying.