More than 75 students and their headmaster kidnapped in Cameroon
Armed men have kidnapped at least 78 students and their headmaster from a Presbyterian school in the Nkwen village in Cameroon, a governor said.
According to Governor Deben Tchoffo, the late Sunday kidnapping took place near Bamenda, the capital of the troubled English-speaking region.
A video allegedly reported by the kidnapped children was published on social media about men who call themselves Amba boys. This is an indication of the state of Ambazonia, where armed separatists are trying to establish themselves in northwest and southwestern Cameroon.
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In the video, the kidnappers force about six of the children to give their names and the names of their parents.
The children said they were kidnapped late Sunday and do not know where they are being held.
The men who identify themselves as kidnappers said they would only release the children if they achieve what they want.
"We will not release you until after the fight, you will go to school now," the men say.
While the video could not be independently verified, parents responded to social media and said they recognize their children in the video.
Hundreds of people have been killed in Cameroon's English-speaking regions last year, where violence between armed separatists and the military has increased – ever since the government cracked down on protesters in the northwest and southwest, claiming they are marginalized by the French-speaking government ,
Violent separatists attacked the weapons to destabilize the Anglophone regions in order to gain independence for the territories they want to declare their own state, which they call Ambazonia.
Last week, separatist activists attacked workers on a state rubber plantation in troubled southwestern Cameroon and cut off their fingers because the men had resisted an order to stay away from the farms.
An American missionary died in the northwestern region of Bamenda after being shot in the head between armed separatists and soldiers in northwestern Cameroon.
The turmoil in Cameroon comes when President Paul Biya, who has taken the lead since 1982, easily won a seventh term last month in an election that, in the United States' view, was marked by irregularities.
The government lifted a few years ago the presidential term restrictions. This is part of a trend in Africa that has affected many.