Home / English / Freed Cameroon pupils ‘look tired, psychologically tortured’, says church official

Freed Cameroon pupils ‘look tired, psychologically tortured’, says church official

News24 | The 79 school children kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from a school in Cameroon have been released, but two of the three staff members abducted are still being held, said a church official.

“They were brought last night to one of our churches … near Bamenda (the regional capital). They look tired and psychologically tortured,” said the moderator of the country’s Presbyterian Church, Fonki Samuel Forba. The students are between 11 and 17 years old.

He pleaded with the kidnappers to “free the staff still in their keeping.”

The church leader said he had asked parents and guardians to take home all their children.

“It is unfortunate we have to close the school and send home 700 children,” he said. “Their security is not assured by the state and armed groups constantly attack and kidnap them.”

He said the school previously had some students kidnapped which was resolved when the church paid a ransom of 2.5 million francs (about $4 000) to the armed gang. “We can no longer continue,” he said.

Cameroon’s northwest and southwest areas are beset by instability caused by English-speaking separatists. Fighting between the military and separatists increased after the government clamped down on peaceful demonstrations by English-speaking teachers and lawyers protesting what they said was their marginalisation by Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.

Hundreds have been killed in the past year and the separatists have vowed to destabilise the regions as part of the strategy for creating a breakaway state, which they say will be called Ambazonia. They have attacked civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed.

There have been kidnappings at other schools, but the group taken Sunday was the largest number abducted at one time in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. The separatists also have set fire to at least 100 schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds.

The North West region governor Deben Tchoffo said this week that the government is providing adequate security for schools.

“I must insist that we have taken enough measures to protect schools, but we also need the assistance of all,” said Tchoffo. “People should inform the military whenever they see strange faces in their villages.”

Tah Pascal, father of one of the kidnapped students, said he does not trust what the governor has said.

“How can he always talk of protection and security when our schools are torched every day, our children tortured and their teachers killed,” said Pascal. “This is done in spite of the presence of the military.”

Parents interviewed said they were relocating their children to safer areas.

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15 comments

  1. thank goodness for their release… and what a red carpet reception they received…the typical camerounese way…Bread and Sardine… Their testimonies will illuminate the mystery surrounding their tragedy.

    • That’s 700 more Students in La republic schools ?. Ambazonia should are so stupid! Theyll go school in Yaoundé and Douala now

  2. SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

    The so-called “one and indivisible” LRC is a sh*thole country held hostage by the most corrupt, dishonest, faithless, deceitful, arrogant and insensitive crime syndicate on planet earth in particular and in the universe in general.
    This evil crime syndicate kidnap school children, steal election victories, murder men of God, embezzle taxpayers money, etc.

    Southern Cameroonians have said with one voice that they do not want to be part of this failed state.

    Dictator Biya and his crime syndicate cannot prevent the exit of SC from this ISLAND OF EVIL

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      **** BREAKING NEWS ****

      Cameroun – Nécrologie: Le ministre Hamadjoda Adjoudji est mort !

      Minus one embezzler of public funds.

    • SEPARATIST aka SECESSIONIST

      “The United States expresses grave concern over the burgeoning Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions. We urge an immediate halt to the indiscriminate targeting of civilians and burning of houses by Cameroonian government forces and to attacks perpetrated by both Anglophone separatists against security forces and civilians. The systematic intimidation based on ethnic and religious affiliation, including in Yaoundé and Douala, must stop. In memory of American missionary Charles Wesco and all others who have lost their lives in the Anglophone Crisis, we urge all sides to end the violence and enter into broad-based reconciliatory dialogue without preconditions.”

      Press Statement
      Heather Nauert
      Department Spokesperson
      Washington, DC
      November 6, 2018

  3. When a society makes secrets deals in the dark to keep men above 85yrs in power, declare war on its citizens, use the military as a political machine to promote including kidnapping children to label others as terrorist.
    The staged release of these boys happened as predicted, all this was just to generate international propaganda to hide the genocide on Anglophones today!
    Real terrorist Boko Haram still has chicbok girls, the Nigerians, Europeans or Cameroonians have not been able to free them.
    There is no free Anglophone in Cameroon, who can ask the hard questions and remain alive?
    1-How can terrorist remove 80boys from a school in the middle of a militarized city and walk them on foot to an undisclosed location?
    This is a staged event! Government gone rogue!
    Who is fooling who?

    • Nya Lum,

      Go cook mi pikim dem achu instead fo di run you mop here!

    • You na here say your buoy friend, chatty-chatty mouth Eric Tataw claim it already ma? It’s all on Youtube. You try send da you criminal dem again fo harass mi pikin dem, na me and you go wear on foot trouser.

  4. At the end of the day, we can all see this so-called ambazombians are just a bunch of bandits.
    This is now a police issue not the army.
    Good investigative intelligence by the police involving the local populace will solve these bandits issues.
    It was clear from the beginning this was just a case of some lost souls, not the majority of the population in the NW and SW regions.
    Kamerun is one and indivisible

  5. Kids enjoying bread and sardines in the Republic of Sardinavia where 1 loaf of bread+1can of sardines=7 years. Hahaha. Sardinavians are actually happy enjoying bread and sardaines, well happens to be their national dish.

  6. What a coincidence that the colonial Governor issues a curfew within the district of Bamenda and school children are kidnapped. Shame, shame misogyny plans and acts of this murders club of LRC. The plan was to use the roads freely and transport the children from one district to another without being seen by the people of Bamenda. Having done that, the colonial governor lifted the curfew! What a stupide act of desperation. Everyone now knows that about Mr. Atanga Nji”s criminal plans he learned from Nigeria.

  7. Terrorists are against all form of education they are in short of manpower students want peace…

  8. Amba boys may be brave, very braved indeed. But I am willing to bet my last devalued CFA franc that those brave boys could not possibly risk their lives, undertake the nocturnal journey past so many check points and controls to go an abduct 82 PSS students, repeat the bravado and proceed to an unknown destination undetected and unchallenged by the regular military.

    Whenever a thing does not make sense, IT IS NOT TRUE. Some half-baked idea is at work here!

  9. Whoever kidnapped the students, would have asked for a very heavy ransome,
    so the parents and the church, should learn the simple lesson of obedience.
    Because they have been freed out of sympathy, more nonsence is going to
    happen again.

  10. @ LUM, you declared war on them. You proclaimed yourself a “sovereign” state and vowed to fight for the right to be one. Don’t try to revise or re-write history. It is still too recent.

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