Cameroon leader Paul Biya’s inauguration overshadowed by mass kidnapping

78 students kidnapped from Presbyterian school: Cameroon governor

Cameroon school kidnap: 81 students taken in Nkwen village swoop | Daily Star

A video purportedly of the kidnapped children was released on social media by a group who call themselves Amba boys, a reference to the state of Ambazonia that armed separatists have been trying to establish in Cameroon's northwest and southwest regions. The governor of North West Region said the kidnappers also seized the school's leader.

Cameroon, an English-speaking central African country, has been marred by a separatist rebellion in recent years, the BBC reports. They also burned down at least 100 schools and removed students and teachers from others they took over, the AP said.

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Separately, the Presbyterian Church, which runs the school, said that 11 other pupils were taken on October 31 but they have now been freed.

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

Mr Fonki begged the kidnappers to free the staff members still being held.

Dozens of school children who were taken hostage in Cameroon have been released, a church official has said.

The students were dropped off at another Presbyterian school in the town of Bafut, 12 miles from Bamenda where their school is based.

"We shall only release you after the struggle". In August the agro-industry said that more than 6,000 of its 20,000 workers had fled sporadic attacks, killings and kidnappings from armed separatists seeking an independent English-speaking state.

The students were abducted Sunday night in part of Cameroon that is beset by violence and instability by armed separatists who want to create a breakaway state called Ambazonia.

The conflict began as a peaceful protest for the use of English in anglophone courts and classrooms, and escalated when Cameroonian security forces launched a bloody crackdown.

Cameroon has a majority of French speakers, with a significant minority of English speakers in the country's western portion.

At least 400 "ordinary people" and more than 175 members of the security forces have been killed according to statistics by local and global groups that have been documenting abuses in the escalating violence, including AI.

The turmoil in Cameroon comes after President Paul Biya won a seventh term last month in an election the United States said was marked by irregularities. Biya will be inaugurated Tuesday, and many opposition supporters have said they will continue demonstrations until he leaves power.

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