Unidentified gunmen kidnapped eleven teachers from a school in Kumbo in the restive Northwest Region on Tuesday, November 3. Initially, twelve teachers were kidnapped but one managed to escape. The teachers were reportedly kidnapped in front of their students; however, there were no immediate reports of casualties in the incident, and no suggestion of students being kidnapped. The identity of the gunmen was not immediately clear, but local government authorities are blaming English-speaking separatists for the kidnapping.
The incident comes after seven children were killed in an attack on a private school in Kumba (Northwest Region) on Saturday, October 24.
Similar incidents are possible in the Northwest Region over the near term.
Tensions between Cameroon's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities remain high in the Northwest and Southwest regions, where a separatist movement has transformed into a low-level armed insurgency. The situation has deteriorated considerably since September 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. The United Nations estimates that at least 50,000 Cameroonians have fled the fighting to Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict, with more than 675,000 others believed to have been internally displaced.
Those in Cameroon are advised to remain vigilant, vary daily schedules and itineraries, and refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer resistance, and adopt a cooperative attitude. Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (e.g. accepted offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, etc.).
The security situation in Cameroon remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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