Separatists have abducted about 79 Christian schoolchildren, in Cameroon. Believers are urging for prayers as the abductors have announced these children will be released only after their demands are fulfilled. Those abducted also included 3 school teachers as well. These kids were abducted from a Christian school located in Nkwen village.
The abductees age between 11-17 and were shown in a social media video. The abductors who call themselves, “Amba Boys”, shared a video on social media conveying their demands and motives. This incident is being linked to their efforts for an independent state in Cameroon’s Anglophone North West and South West regions.
The video showed these kids being forced by the abductors to reveal their names along with their parents’ names. The abductors explain in the video that the kids won’t be released until their new independent state “Ambazonia” is created. “We shall only release you after the struggle. You will be going to school now here,” the abductors said.
In this regard, Governor of North West Region Mr. Deben Tchoffo stated: “It is rather unfortunate that this is happening, that 79 of our children and three of their staff can be picked up by terrorists. We have asked our military to do everything and bring back the kids alive.”
The Right Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, told BBC that he had tried to negotiate with the abductors. “They don’t want any ransom. All they want is for us to close the schools. We have promised to close down the schools.” He added, “We hope and pray they release the kids and the teachers”.
Separatists are making severe efforts in order to procure an independent state, on October 19 5 children were abducted from Atiela Bilingual High School. Separation demanding militias emerged in 2017 after the government started crackdown against protests related to the challenges English-speakers face in the North-West and South-West.
Samira Daoud, Regional Director of Amnesty International condemned these abductions saying: “These appalling abductions show just how the 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 are freed unharmed.”
“In a case with a chilling echo of the 2014 kidnappings of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria, it is vital that Cameroon’s government act swiftly and decisively to reunite these children with their loved ones,” she added, as she referred to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.