11 abducted school staff freed in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

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Cameroon
Cameroon

Some 11 school staff members who were kidnapped on Tuesday in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region of Northwest were released Thursday evening, according to local authorities.

All the kidnapees of Presbyterian Primary School Kumbo were released after “intense negotiations” with armed separatists who kidnapped them, the school authorities said.

Armed separatists stormed the school premises and kidnapped teachers and other members of the management staff on Tuesday while students were studying.

Some pupils kidnapped alongside the staff members were immediately released following pressure from the local population, according to government officials.

Schools resumed in the majority French-speaking Cameroon in October, but some armed separatists have threatened on social media to paralyse school activities.

They claimed that only “inclusive dialogue and ceasefire” will assure the safety of schools in the two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest where they have been clashing with government forces since 2017 in a bid to create a new nation they call “Ambazonia.”

On Thursday, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Cameroon condemned the repeated attacks on education in the regions, stressing that everyone must respect international human rights law and refrain from inciting violence against schools.

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