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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | April 25, 2019

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Schoolchildren “constantly” kidnapped in Cameroon

After the  latest kidnapping of 79 children and three staff from a Christian school in north west Cameroon, near Bamenda, all except two staff members have been released.

It is thought that the suspects are members of a separatist movement which wants independence for the English-speaking areas of Cameroon.

The students, aged between 11 and 17, were brought to a church near the regional capital
of Bamenda, said Fonki Samuel Forba, moderator of the country’s Presbyterian Church.

“They look tired and psychologically tortured,” he said. Forba pleaded with the kidnappers tocaptives.

“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.”

A previous kidnapping from the school 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.

In a separate incident, an American missionary was killed in Bamenda.