Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

More than 80 people kidnapped in Cameroon

More than 80 people kidnapped in Cameroon

In the video, the kidnappers force about six of the children to give their names and the names of their parents.

The boys also said they were taken by the armed men late Sunday and didn't know where they were being held. The footage could not be immediately verified, but parents have reportedly been reacting to images of their children on social media, according to AP.

A separatist spokesman denied involvement in the kidnapping.

Violent separatists took up arms to destabilise the Anglophone regions to win independence for the areas they want to declare a separate state, which they call Ambazonia.

There have been other kidnappings from schools in the region, but this is the largest number kidnapped at once.

Armed separatists have kidnapped almost 80 people, the majority of them students, in an English-speaking region of Cameroon witnessing an armed campaign for independence, a governor has said.

The 79 students abducted Sunday night are aged 11-17.

"The search for the hostages has been launched - every man has been called in", the government source said, speaking after a crisis meeting. The following year, the British-ruled Southern Cameroons was amalgamated into it, giving rise to the north-west and south-west regions.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon's Anglophone regions in the past year, where violence between armed separatists and the military has increased since a government crackdown against protesters in the northwest and southwest regions.

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An American missionary also died in the northwest region around Bamenda when he was shot in the head amid fighting between separatists and soldiers.

He takes his oath of office on Tuesday.

At the end of a video believed to show some of the kidnapped students, the kidnapper turns the camera on himself.

More than 300,000 people have fled the violence, many of them living hand-to-mouth in the forests, and some across the border into Nigeria.

President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, was recently re-elected for a seventh term with more than 70% of the vote.

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Around a fifth of Cameroon's 22 million people speak English, a minority whose presence dates back to the colonial period.

A report claimed 78 students, a driver and another teacher were among those kidnapped.

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