Cameroon parents anxious over lack of info on abducted children

Leroy Wright
November 7, 2018

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.

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.

"They say I have to close the school".

The church leader said he had asked parents and guardians to take home all their children.

Dozens of people, a lot of them children, have been kidnapped from a school in the city of Bamenda in Cameroon's northwestern Anglophone region, which is struggling with a separatist insurgency.

The separatists, who are protesting against President Paul Biya's French-speaking government, have imposed strict curfews, shuttered schools, and killed government soldiers and policemen in guerilla raids.

The government has also accused separatists of taking the children, but a separatist spokesman has denied involvement.

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Ramos is accused of strangling his mother Thursday night after she confronted him about a D he received in one of his classes. Deputies also have Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, both 17, in custody and they are facing several criminal charges.

The students were abducted along with their principal, a teacher and a driver, the official said, as a source at the school confirmed the kidnapping of the pupils.

The video reportedly shows some of the boys being forced to state their names and those of their parents.

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

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.

"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".

Some 79 students were held by gunmen after being seized on Sunday near Bamenda, the capital of the English-speaking northwest region of the country. "The abduction of schoolchildren and teachers can never be justified".

Last week separatist militants attacked workers on a state-run rubber plantation in southwestern Cameroon, chopping off their fingers because the men had defied an order to stay away from the farms. Last week, an American missionary was fatally shot in the head while in his vehicle, apparently caught in crossfire between government soldiers and armed separatists in Bamenda. Biya, who has been in office since 1982, is set to be inaugurated tomorrow.

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