Kidnapped school children released by gunmen in Cameroon
Kidnapped school children released by gunmen in Cameroon
Cameroon school kidnap: 81 students taken in Nkwen village swoop | Daily Star
08 November, 2018, 06:43
Forty-eight hours after the abduction of 79 children from a local school in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon's restive North West region, parents have been flooding the campus for any available information on their children.
A principal and a teacher who were abducted along with the children are still being held, Reuters reported.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for Monday's mass kidnapping. The separatists also have set fire to at least 100 schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds.
The school principal and a teacher are still being held captive, Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba, the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, told CNN.
But it remains unclear who the kidnappers were and why the children were taken.
Some parents have said on the social media that they recognised their children in the video, but separatist groups who had called for school boycott in the regions and promised severe consequences for defiance, have dissociated themselves from the kidnappers.
The Presbyterian boarding school with 700 students is closed because of the security situation.
Ongene said they were accused of defying instructions from the separatists not to go to work on the farms to protest President Biya's reelection and his expected inauguration on November 6. In the video, the kidnappers identified themselves as Amba boys and can be heard telling the children, "We shall only release you after the struggle".
"I was taken from school last night by the Amba boys", one said, while a heavily accented man shouted at him to "talk louder". In August the agro-industry said that more than 6,000 of its 20,000 workers had fled sporadic attacks, killings and kidnappings from armed separatists seeking an independent English-speaking state.
The separatist movement gathered pace in 2017 after a government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.
Cameroon has a majority of French speakers, with a significant minority of English speakers in the country's western portion.
Hundreds have been killed in the past year.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa, had this to say about the event: "These appalling abductions show just how the general population is paying the highest price as violence escalates in the Anglophone region", she shared with The Washington Post.
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