News Alerts

22 Nov 2018 | 10:40 AM UTC

Cameroon: Nine kidnapped students freed in Southwest region Nov. 21 /update 4

Cameroon News Alert

Nine students and one teacher freed November 21 after being kidnapped; avoid nonessential travel to Anglophone regions

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/22/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/23/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Cameroon

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Event

Nine students and one teacher from Lords bilingual school in Kumba (Southwest region) were kidnapped on November 20 and freed in a military operation the following day. Four Anglophone separatists suspected of being behind the kidnappings were killed and their camp destroyed, according to military spokesperson. Further such incidents are possible in the near term as tensions between Anglophone separatists and the government have become increasingly violent in recent months.

Context

Around 80 students were abducted by suspected Anglophone separatists in Bamenda (Northwest region) on October 31 and November 4.

All of the victims were released by mid-November. Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities are high in the Northwest and Southwest regions amid an ongoing separatist movement. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and 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.

Separatists have called for a boycott of all schools in the two regions since the beginning of the conflict.

Advice

Individuals in 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.

 

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