Unknown gunmen reportedly assaulted a school in Kumbo (Northwest region) in the morning (local time) of Saturday, February 16, kidnapping a large number of students and teachers. Reports vary, though as many as 200 people may have been abducted. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though separatist groups have previously demanded the closure of all schools.
Cameroon's English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions remains tense due to an ongoing separatist movement and conflict between armed groups and the government. Strikes, unrest, and violence has been common since November 2016 and has escalated since October 2017 following a unilateral proclamation of independence.
This is the second mass kidnapping in Anglophone Cameroon since January 2019.
Individuals in Northwest and Southwest regions, and Cameroon more broadly, are advised to take precautions against kidnapping, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, avoid public demonstrations as a precaution, and remain vigilant for militant activity.
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