UNICEF condemns attacks on teachers in Kaga-Bandoro, Central African Republic
UNICEF, October 12, 2016
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 October 2016 – Three teachers in training and the director of the Regional Pedagogical Centre were violently killed in Kaga-Bandoro on Wednesday the 12th of October, according to accounts by the Ministry of Education. The Vice President of the Association of Parents was also killed.
According to witnesses reporting to UNICEF, armed men attacked the secondary school while a teachers training was underway. The training was part of a UNICEF program funded by the European Union to strengthen the education system in CAR in partnership with and the NGO InterSOS.
“These men have committed unacceptable violence against civilians, even attacking displaced persons,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s Representative in Central African Republic. “We are deeply shocked by these developments and saddened that teachers have been targeted, people who were working tirelessly for the education of children in the Central African Republic.”
The city of Kaga-Bandoro has been on edge for the past month following multiple violent incidents, with attacks and crimes against humanitarian organisations, who’ve already reduced their staff levels in the region and cut back their activities. The start of the school year, which was scheduled for the 19th of September, has been delayed in Kaga-Bandoro because of ongoing security concerns.
Throughout the Central African Republic, several thousand children are deprived of education because their schools have been looted or are occupied and controlled by armed groups.
“Schools and educational facilities should never be targets by any armed groups,” said Mohamed Malick Fall. “All children have the right to learn in the safety of their schools and of course teachers needs that same security to be effective educators and mentor.”
UNICEF stressed that attacks against schools are a serious violation of international humanitarian law and called on all parties to honor their obligations and cease attacks on educational institutions.