CAMEROON – TRAGEDY : MISSING CHILDREN DURING YASSA DEMOLITION

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Four children have gone missing in Douala’s Yassa neighborhood following a demolition operation conducted on June 11, 2024.

The children, originally from the North West region, had relocated to Douala with their mother to escape the ongoing armed conflict in their home region. During the demolition, which targeted unauthorized structures, the children were separated from their mother amid the chaos and have not been found since.

Local authorities and community members have launched a search effort to locate the missing children. The police have been involved in the search, and announcements have been made in the local media to assist in finding the children. The mother of the children has been provided with temporary shelter and support as the search continues.

In response to the incident, government officials have assured the public that they are taking all necessary steps to locate the children and prevent similar occurrences in the future. “We are deeply concerned about the missing children and are working diligently with local authorities to find them and ensure their safety,” stated an official from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

“This situation highlights the urgent need for protective measures for displaced families and vulnerable groups during urban development projects,” said a representative from a local NGO.

The incident has sparked a broader discussion about the impact of urban redevelopment projects on displaced populations and the importance of safeguarding human rights. Advocates are calling for more comprehensive measures to protect families and children, including improved communication and support systems during demolitions.

As the search for the missing children continues, the incident serves as a reminder of the complexities and human costs associated with urban development in Cameroon.

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