Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Almost 80 children abducted from a school in Cameroon

Almost 80 children abducted from a school in Cameroon

Each boy was made to say his name, parents' names, school and year into the camera, and each said his kidnappers were "Amba boys" - separatists fighting for the secession of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

The pupils, aged 10 to 14, were abducted from a Presbyterian secondary school near Bamenda, capital of the restive western region.

In the video, men who identified themselves as the kidnappers forced several boys to give their names and those of their parents.

The men in the video said they would only release the students once the goal of creating a new state is achieved.

Meanwhile government has accused separatists who are now fighting an armed campaign for independence in the English speaking side of the country where the kidnappings occurred.

Cameroon is split between majority French and minority English speaking regions - a legacy of the United Kingdom and France dividing the country between them after the First World War defeat of the original colonial power Germany.

Rev. Forba said security officers visited the school on Tuesday and took away the vice principal and another member of staff for interrogation.

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

Today, President Paul Biya will be sworn in for a seventh term in office despite mass accusations of voter fraud during the election.

Hundreds of people have been killed during clashes between the protesters and the military.

One of the workers, 27-year old Christopher Ongene said armed men attacked them Saturday evening. The separatists claim that they have been marginalised in Biya's regime.

"A widely followed boycott of schools was in place since late 2016, but since early 2017, school administrators and teachers perceived as not enforcing the boycott have faced increasing attacks by individuals and groups of individuals, acting on their own or in support of self-proclaimed armed separatist groups".

On 19 October, five students of the Atiela Bilingual High School were taken by unidentified gunmen.

He pleaded with the kidnappers to free the staff still held.

A separatist spokesman denied involvement in the kidnapping. Worldwide 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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