Yaunde, Nov 6: At least 78 school children and three others have been abducted from their school in Bamenda city of north western Cameroon.
Armed separatists group, Amba Boys, which kidnapped the children, later, released the video purportedly of the kidnapped children trapped in a tiny room. , BBC said in a report. Regional governor Adolphe Lele L'Afrique blamed separatist militias.
While expressing concern on the recent kidnappings, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Deputy regional director for West and Central Africa said, “These appalling abductions show just how general population is paying the highest price as violence escalates in the Anglophone region. The abduction of schoolchildren and teachers can never be justified. Whoever is responsible must release and return the victims immediately. We express solidarity with the families of these children and demand that the Cameroon authorities do everything in their power to ensure all the pupils and school staff is freed unharmed.”
Violence and unrest in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions escalated in late 2016 after a security force crackdown on mass protests led by lawyers and teachers, over the government's alleged failure to give enough recognition to the English legal and education systems in the North-West and South-West region and was viewed as ongoing discrimination against Anglophones. The government was accused of relying heavily on people trained in the French legal and educational tradition to work in key posts and generally marginalising Cameroon's English-speaking minority, who make up about 20% of the population.
They have since become a fertile ground for horrific human rights abuses on an almost daily basis. Armed separatists burned down schools and attacked teachers, while security forces have tortured people, open fired on crowds and destroyed villages in an ever-worsening spiral of violence.