Cameroon: The last abductees in Bamenda are also free

Pictured is a teacher from the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. (Symbol image, photo Mission 21)

On the night of November 5, more than 80 students and teachers were abducted from the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda in northwestern Cameroon. A few days later, most of them were released, but some people remained missing. Now the last four people have also been released. The German press agency dpa reports the release, citing Samuel Fonki Forba, president of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon (PCC). The principal and a teacher, as well as two students aged 11 and 17, who were apparently also still in the kidnappers' custody, are now safe, Fonki told the agency.

Lumumba Mukong, coordinator of Mission 21 on the ground, is relieved that the last abductees are now free. However, the identity of the kidnappers is still unknown. The authorities suspect separatists from Cameroon's English-speaking minority to be behind the kidnapping. They have been fighting violently for a year for the independence of the English-speaking regions as a separate state called Ambazonia. Government troops are also using massive force.

There are strong doubts in the country about the official version of this kidnapping. The suspicion is that it was a provocation aimed at discrediting the separatists. 

Over 800 people have been killed in the conflict so far. Over 400,000 are on the run. Mission 21 has launched an emergency aid and reconstruction program to help the suffering population together with its partner church PCC.

► On the project for emergency aid and reconstruction in Cameroon



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