Schoolchildren have become pawns in the fierce conflict between Cameroon's mainly French-speaking government and separatist fighters demanding independence for the country's English-speaking heartlands.
The separatists are enforcing a lockdown across cities, towns and villages in the North-West and South-West regions to ensure schools remain shut for a fourth academic year in a row.
The regions are heavily militarised, with troops battling insurgents who use hit-and-run tactics.
Schools were due to open on 2 September – instead parents and children have been fleeing their homes in their thousands as they fear an escalation of the conflict.
Children abductedMost schools in the two regions – including in villages – have been empty for three years, with buildings covered by long grass.
In some areas, the government deployed troops to guard classrooms but with the army being the main enemy of the separatists, this increased the risk of attacks..