04.11.2020 Europe

Up to eleven teachers kidnapped in troubled western Cameroon

LISTEN NOV 4, 2020

Up to eleven teachers have been kidnapped from a school in Kumbo, in a western region of Cameroon, according to local sources.

The incident took place in one of the regions of Cameroon at the heart of an armed campaign by Anglophone separatists.

Armed men raided the local Presbyterian primary and secondary school on Tuesday, taking away 11 teachers, according to the head of a local church and the leader of teachers' union PEATTU.

However, a local official said six teachers had been kidnapped.

Just days ago, on 24 October, seven schoolchildren were killed by separatist militants according to the government, who said they were “scaring off parents from sending their children to school.”

Nearly a million children without schooling in Anglophone regions

In 2019, the UN children's agency Unicef estimated that 855,000 children were without schooling in the Northwest Region and the neighbouring Southwest Region, where separatists declared an independent state in 2017.

The area is home to most of the Anglophone minority in the majority French-speaking country.

The declaration has not been recognized internationally but the move sparked a brutal conflict with security forces.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and at least 700,000 have fled their homes. Rights groups say crimes and abuses have been committed by both sides.

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