Cameroon parents anxious over lack of info on abducted children

Cameroon parents anxious over lack of info on abducted children

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon Rev. Samuel Fonki on Tuesday November 6 condemned the kidnap of the students and said students cannot go to school under uncertain security conditions.

Seventy-nine school pupils were abducted by gunmen earlier this week in a troubled region of Cameroon.

Violent separatists have since taken up arms to destabilize the Anglophone regions to win independence for the areas they want to declare a separate state, which they call Ambazonia.

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

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.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon's English-speaking regions in the past year, where violence between armed separatists and the military have increased since a government crackdown against protesters in the northwest and southwest regions who claim that as the English-speaking minority they are marginalised by the French-speaking government.

"Praise God 78 children and the driver have been released", said Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.

Cameroon, an English-speaking central African country, has been marred by a separatist rebellion in recent years, the BBC reports. The children said they were kidnapped late Sunday and didn't know where they were being held.

"We shall only release you after the struggle".

Ongene said they were accused of defying instructions from the separatists not to go to work on the farms to protest President Biya's reelection and his expected inauguration on November 6.

The priest did not say precisely when the children were freed, or whether any deal had been made with the kidnappers.

The church has also revealed that Sunday's kidnapping was the second such case at the same school in less than a week. They have attacked civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed.

After an intensive search, the students were released and returned to the school with their driver at 9:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, according to teacher Vumesegah Peter Kogah.

The children were taken from a Presbyterian school near the city of Bamenda, which is at the center of an Anglophone separatist movement.

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