Officials in Cameroon say 81 students from a Presbyterian school in restive northwest region have been kidnapped by gunmen.
The governor of the region, Governor Deben Tchoffo confirmed the reports of the abduction on Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Local media reports that kidnapping took place in the in Nkwen village of the northwest region on Sunday.
“In total 81 people were kidnapped including the [school] principal. They were taken to the bush,” a military source told Reuters.
A video purportedly of the kidnapped children has been released on social media. The gunmen who abducted the students call themselves Amba boys.
The kidnappers are part of armed separatists are trying to establish in Cameroon’s northwest and southwest regions an independent state.
The Amba boys want to establish what they call the state of Ambazonia. That struggle for independence has come with a lot of violence.
In the video in circulation the Amba boys told the kidnapped students “We shall only release you after the struggle. You will be going to school now here”.
There is so much chaos and tension in Cameroon especially in the Anglo-phone regions where soldiers continue to clash with separatists.
The crisis has been compounded by the recent election of 85 year old long-time ruler, Paul Biya. he is due to be sworn in on Tuesday.