Alertes de sécurité

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07 nov. 2018 | 13h16 UTC

Cameroon: 90 kidnapped students released in Bamenda November 6 /update 1

Cameroon Alerte de sécurité

90 students released November 6 after being kidnapped; avoid nonessential travel to Anglophone regions

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/11/2018, 12h00 until 9/11/2018, 11h59 (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Bamenda

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Event

Ninety students from Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda (Northwest region) who had been kidnapped on October 31 and November 4 were released on Tuesday, November 6. Anglophone separatists are suspected of being behind the kidnappings. According to one of the school directors, the assailants requested the closure of the school, which has been closed until further notice. 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

Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities remain 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.

Since the beginning of the conflict, separatists have called for a boycott of all schools in the two regions.

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.

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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