By Rodrigue Forku
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AA) - Cameroonians are observing a day of national mourning to pay homage to the victims of last week's deadly shooting at a school in Kumba.
The national flag was flown at half-mast throughout the Central African country.
The Cameroon Army also joined the nation to pay homage to the victims in a ceremony held at the Military Headquarters in the capital Yaounde.
At least seven children were killed and several seriously injured after a separatist group attacked the school in Kumba, South West Region -- one of the Anglophone regions of the country.
President Paul Biya condemned the attack and ‘’instructed that appropriate measures be taken diligently to ensure that the perpetrators of these despicable acts are apprehended by our Defence and Security Forces and brought to justice.’’
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “shocked’’ by the ‘’horrific attack.’’
Following the massacre, several opinion leaders took to social media with the hashtag, #EndAnglophoneCrisis, to denounce the attacks and urge the government and secessionists to solve the crisis which has affected hundreds of thousands.
The Central African country has been marred by protests and violence since 2016, with residents in English-speaking regions saying they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.
Violence in the Anglophone regions in the last three years has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and caused the displacement of more than 730,000 civilians, according to the Human Rights Watch.
The Norwegian Refugee Council said in June, for a second year running, Cameroon topped the list as the most neglected crisis on the planet in 2019.