78 kidnapped Cameroon students freed

07 November, 2018, 16:39 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Seventy-nine pupils were kidnapped in Cameroon

All 79 children and a driver kidnapped in west Cameroon have now been freed, but a principal and one teacher are still being held by the armed men that took them, a priest conducting negotiations has said.

The pupils had been enrolled at the Presbyterian Secondary School in Nkwen village.

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.

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

The men claiming to be the kidnappers say they will release the children only when they achieve what they want, telling them: "You will be going to school now here".

The area is now embroiled in an ugly dispute, with separatists fighting for a breakaway state. A major reason for this rise in violence can be attributed to the government crackdown against those protesting in the northwest and southwest regions, declaring that as the English-speaking minority they are deprecated by the French-speaking government.

Hundreds have been killed in the past year.

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Violence between armed separatists and the Cameroon military have increased over the previous year after a government crackdown against protesters who say they are marginalized by the French-speaking government.

"We hope and pray they release the kids and the teachers", he added.

"It is rather unfortunate that this is happening, that 79 of our children and three of their staff can be picked up by terrorists", Tchoffo said. "Whoever is responsible must release and return the victims immediately", said Ms Samira Daoud, the Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.

"How can he always talk of protection and security when our schools are torched every day, our children tortured and their teachers killed?" he said.
But Sunday's involved the largest number of people kidnapped at once, the AP reported. Neither the government nor the separatist groups provided evidence to substantiate their accusations.

Most English-speaking schools have closed, but some remain open, including the one where the students were taken, The Guardian reports.

Last week, separatist militants attacked workers on a state-run rubber plantation in southwestern Cameroon, allegedly chopping off their fingers because the men defied an order to stay away from the farms.

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