On Monday, September 3, suspected separatist militants attacked a school in Bafut (Northwest region), abducting seven students and the director of the school. As of Wednesday, September 5, five students are still missing, while the others were released; the director is reportedly severely injured. Some separatist militants have called for a back-to-school boycott, warning that they would not guarantee the security of the children. Additional attacks are expected in the near-term.
Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities in the Northwest and Southwest regions remain high. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of all English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and sporadic violence. These tensions have escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. The fighting has forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee over the border into Nigeria.
Due to ongoing sociopolitical violence, individuals in the Northwest and Southwest regions are advised to closely monitor the situation, follow all instructions issued by the local authorities (particularly curfews), and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence. On a separate note, some Western governments advise against travel to the Far North region as well as other areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic (CAR); travel to these areas should only be considered with appropriate security protocols in place.
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