Almost 80 children kidnapped in Cameroon released but two teachers still held

Seventy-nine pupils were kidnapped in Cameroon

Armed men kidnapped 79 children from a school in western Cameroon on Monday and a local pastor said separatist militias were responsible.

Dozens of pupils kidnapped from a Presbyterian boarding school in Cameroon three days ago have been released, according to school and church authorities.

Amba is a reference to the state of Ambazonia, an area armed separatists are trying to establish in Cameroon's northwest and southwest regions.

In the video, men who identified themselves as the kidnappers forced several boys to state their names and the names of their parents. Government forces have fought separatists in Cameroon's North West and South West regions.

Biya has promised to pursue policies of decentralisation to address "frustrations and aspirations" in English-speaking regions.

The students are aged 11-17 and the school principal was among the staff members abducted, he said.

Utah mayor killed during military service in Afghanistan
North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor has died while serving in the Utah National Guard in Afghanistan , North Ogden officials say. He said Taylor and others were taking part in some sort of foot patrol when Saturday's incident occurred.

One of them shouted, how many times have we asked you not to work here again.

Today, President Paul Biya will be sworn in for a seventh term in office despite mass accusations of voter fraud during the election.

The crisis started as an industrial strike by lawyers and teachers in 2016, but snowballed into an internal armed conflict since previous year when separatists joined and symbolically declared the independence of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. The video could not be independently verified, but parents said on social media they recognised their children in the recording.

Some separatists said the government had carried out the kidnappings and framed them to make them look bad. They have mounted attacks against civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed.

A government source confirmed that 79 students were abducted along with their principal, a teacher and a driver in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon's English-speaking northwest region. Neither the government nor the separatist groups provided evidence to substantiate their accusations.

There have been kidnappings at other schools, but this is group of children is the largest. Global actors - especially the African Union, the United Nations, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States - should unanimously condemn violence against civilians and make clear that no political objective justifies tampering with the right to education and abducting sleeping schoolchildren from their beds.

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