Fears of mass student kidnapping in Cameroon

BY: bbc.com

Dozens of people are feared to have been kidnapped from a school in the west of Cameroon.

At least 79 people have been abducted in Bamenda, the capital of the North-West region, anonymous government and military sources have been quoted by news agencies as saying.

They were abducted by armed gunmen early on Monday, sources told the BBC.

Cameroon's North-West and South-West regions have been hit by a separatist rebellion in recent years.

Militias, who have been demanding the secession of the two English-speaking regions, have called for a school boycott.

Ghana News Headlines

For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page

But no group has said it carried out the kidnapping.

Separatist rebellion

The militias, who want to create a new state of Ambazonia, began to emerge in 2017 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.

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.

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.

Opposition parties allege that the poll was rigged, but legal attempts to overturn the result failed.