Prayers are being urged after 79 schoolchildren, along with three staff members, were kidnapped by separatists from a Presbyterian school in Cameroon.
The Associated Press reported that the students, aged between 11-17, have appeared in a video posted on social media by the abductors, who call themselves “Amba boys.”
The latest incident on Sunday in the English-speaking region of the country is apparently related to the separatists’ attempts to establish an independent state in Cameroon’s Anglophone North West and South West regions.
The video shows the boys being forced by the kidnappers to give their names and those of their parents.
The armed men in the video explain that the students will not be released until their new state “Ambazonia” is created.
“We shall only release you after the struggle. You will be going to school now here,” the men say.
The school is located in Nkwen, a village near the regional capital, Bamenda, not far from where U.S. missionary Charles Wesco was murdered in front of his wife and son last week.
“It is rather unfortunate that this is happening, that 79 of our children and three of their staff can be picked up by terrorists,” said North West Region Gov. Deben Tchoffo. “We have asked our military to do everything and bring back the kids alive.”
The Right Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, told BBC News that he had spoken with the kidnappers.
“They don’t want any ransom. All they want is for us to close the schools. We have promised to close down the schools,” Forba said.
“We hope and pray they release the kids and the teachers,” he added.
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Source: Christian Post