Armed separatists kidnap 79 pupils in Cameroon

78 students kidnapped from Presbyterian school: Cameroon governor

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Rev. Samuel Fonki on Tuesday November 6 condemned the kidnap of the students and said students cannot go to school under uncertain security conditions.

Some 80 people, mostly school children, were kidnapped in the city of Bamenda in northwest Cameroon early on Monday, government and military sources told Reuters.

A video allegedly of the abductees has been released on the social media by men who call themselves the Amba Boys, an armed group that has been fighting for the secession of the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest, and the creation of a new state called Ambazonia.

A six-minute video seen by AFP on Monday, but which could not be confirmed independently, showed 11 boys apparently aged about 15 giving their identity and name of the school in English, and adding that they were abducted by the "Amba Boys" - a name for anglophone separatists.

In the video, the kidnappers force several young male students to give their names and the names of their parents.

Separatist groups had vowed on social media to make the English speaking regions of Cameroon ungovernable.




The kidnapping late Sunday took place near Bamenda, capital of the troubled English-speaking region, according to Governor Deben Tchoffo.

The turmoil in Cameroon comes as President Paul Biya, who has led since 1982, easily won a seventh term last month in an election that the United States says was marked by irregularities.

Hundreds have been killed in violence in the country in the past year, the AP reports. You will be going to school now here, " the men said on the video.

A church official in Cameroon says that the 79 students kidnapped by unidentified gunmen have been released, but two of the three staff members abducted are still being held. The demonstrators claim that as the English-speaking minority, they are marginalized by the French-speaking government. Armed separatists have also killed teachers who disobeyed orders to keep schools closed. Witnesses described being beaten, slapped and lectured on the living conditions at the school, before the attackers left with the principal, a teacher, a driver and the students.

How were the children freed?

The separatists also have set fire to at least 100 schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds. Global actors - especially the African Union, the United Nations, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States - should unanimously condemn violence against civilians and make clear that no political objective justifies tampering with the right to education and abducting sleeping schoolchildren from their beds.

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