The 11 teachers kidnapped and held hostage in Cameroon’s restive anglophone region have regained their freedom after several protests.
Presbyterian pastors and their followers staged daily protests at the camp where they were held captive by a separatist group since November 3rd when the teachers were abducted.
The teachers were kidnapped from the Presbyterian Primary and Secondary School in Kumbo city in the mainly English-speaking North-West by heavily armed men.
Reports said no ransom was paid for the release of the teachers.
The teacher’s abduction came on the heels of the killing of eight schoolchildren in Kumba in the neighbouring Southwest Region last month, which the government blamed on the separatists.
Anglophone separatists – the North-West and South-West Regions – have been demanding an independent state, saying they do not want to be part of French-speaking Cameroon and wished to secede to form a new country called Ambazonia.
The declaration, which has not been recognised internationally, sparked a brutal conflict with the country’s security forces.
More than 3,000 people have been killed and 700,000 fled their homes. Rights groups say crimes and abuses have been committed by both sides.
Schools and other institutions representing the Cameroonian state have been repeatedly targeted for attacks and kidnappings, often for ransom.
In November 2019, the UN children’s fund, UNICEF, estimated that 855,000 children were without schooling in the two anglophone regions.
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