Presbyterian School Students Kidnapped at Gun Point in Cameroon

Presbyterian School Students Kidnapped at Gun Point in Cameroon

Separatists have vowed to destabilise the regions as part of the strategy for creating a breakaway state.

The video is believed to have been taken by the Amba boys, a group whose name is in reference to the state of Ambazonia that armed separatists are attempting to enact in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon.

"How can he always talk of protection and security when our schools are torched every day, our children tortured and their teachers killed?" he said.

Biya has promised to pursue policies of decentralisation to address "frustrations and aspirations" in English-speaking regions. "That 79 of our children and three of their staff can be picked up by terrorists", Tchoffo said.

The group was abducted on Monday in Bamenda, a commercial hub of Cameroon's restive English-speaking region, according to military and government sources.

Fonki and the Cameroonian military have accused anglophone separatists of carrying out the kidnappings, but a separatist spokesman denied involvement.

Reports from the North West region say parents have gathered at the gate of the Presbyterian Secondary School to collect their children after hearing the news.

The AP said the video shows the kidnappers forcing several boys to say their names and the names of their parents. Neither the government nor the separatist groups provided evidence to substantiate their accusations.

How were the children freed?

The men claiming to be the kidnappers say they will release the children only when they achieve what they want, telling them: "You will be going to school now here".

"We shall only release you after the struggle".

"The abduction of schoolchildren and teachers can never be justified", said Samira Daoud, the organization's deputy regional director for West and Central Africa. They have attacked civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed. Witnesses described being beaten, slapped and lectured on the living conditions at the school, before the attackers left with the principal, a teacher, a driver and the students. 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. President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982.

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