More than 100 university staff, lecturers kidnapped in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region since 2017

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Cameroon

Gunmen have kidnapped more than 100 university staff and lecturers since the start of an armed separatist conflict in 2017 in Cameroon’s English-speaking region of the Northwest, a trade union of university lecturers said Tuesday.

University of Bamenda Chapter of Cameroon National Union of Teachers of Higher Education (SYNES-UBa) said that the gunmen target mainly lecturers of the University of Bamenda, which is run by the government.

At least 100,000,000 xaf (approximately 176,537 U.S. dollars) has been paid as ransom since then, according to Michael Kpughe Lang, president of SYNES-UBa.

“The situation is alarming. Our lives are at risk. We cannot be lecturing in fear. We want this to stop,” Lang told reporters in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region.

In late October, the lecturers went on a 10-day strike to demand that authorities secure the university and its environs.

Abductions are common in Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatist fighters have been clashing with government forces since 2017 in a bid to create an independent nation they called “Ambazonia.”

On Monday, separatist fighters kidnapped at least 12 people in the Southwest region whom they blamed for disobeying a sit-at-home order. Enditem

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