KAMBELE, EASTERN CAMEROON – Authorities in Cameroon say they are attempting to remove thousands of children working in gold mines along the country’s eastern border. Some of the children were displaced from the Central African Republic because of violence there and dropped out of school to mine gold for survival.
The 2021-2022 school year in Cameroon started Monday, and Cameroon’s Ministry of Basic Education says thousands of children have not returned to class in areas along the border with the Central African Republic.
The government says many of the children prefer working in gold mines. Auberlin d’Abou Mbelessa is mayor of Batouri, a town on the border.
Mbelessa said his district wants all children to immediately leave gold mining sites and go to schools. He said village chiefs and religious leaders in Batouri have been asked to visit all houses, markets, farms, churches, mosques and mining sites to tell everyone that without education the future of children looks barren.
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