Separatists have kidnapped ten teachers from a school for disabled children in northwest Yaounde, Cameroon.
In a video that emerged online, a group of ten teachers were seen pleading for their lives to armed assailants.
The victims, including nine women and one man, teach at a school for disabled children in Ngomham, a neighborhood in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West region.
Capo Daniel, Deputy Defence Chief of the rebel group Ambazonia Defense Forces, said they were punishing the teachers for not closing the Government school.
He said; “We have asked for help to create alternative educational institutions to give our children the right of education, including the handicap Ambazonia children, but what we cannot allow is Cameroon setting up schools within Ambazonia territory and anybody that collaborates with the Cameroonian government will be considered a traitor.”
The Cameroonian Government have condemned the latest incident, describing it as an ‘attack on education, while also noting that investigations have commenced.
Five years ago, angry protests against Francophone dominance in Cameroon escalated, and soon led to armed clashes between various Anglophone separatist groups and the central government
Since 2017, rebels in Cameroon’s western regions have been battling to carve out an independent state they call “Ambazonia” from the country’s French-speaking majority.
In 2016, the Ambazonia movement turned violent when government security forces cracked down on teachers and lawyers protesting the marginalization of Anglophone Cameroonians in a majority Francophone country.
It should be recalled that in April 2021, Cho Ayaba, the leader of the Ambazonia Governing Council, one of two major Anglophone separatist factions, and Nnamdi Kanu, the well-known Biafran leader, appeared in a livestreamed press conference to proclaim a strategic and military partnership.
Violence in the regions has since displaced over 700,000 people and resulted in at least 4,000 civilian deaths, according to the United Nations and the International Crisis Group
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