By Eric Tataw – Wednesday February 27, 2019.
Unidentified gunmen have attacked at least two schools in North West, one of the two restive English-speaking regions of Cameroon, school sources have told National Telegraph.
An eyewitness who spoke on the condition that his identity is concealed said the unidentified gunmen invaded Longla Comprehensive College, a private college in Bamenda, where the Principal, his Vice, and some students were seized on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Another source has also told National Telegraph that another school still in the North West has been attacked. Government Bilingual High School (GBHS), a government-run institution was attacked Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
Our source went on that in Santa, no student nor teacher was kidnapped but for the rear windscreen of the Principal’s car was destroyed.
Instances of school abductions are increasing by the day. Over I70 students of St Augustine’s College, a Catholic secondary school in the town of Kumbo, Bui Division of the restive North West region of Cameroon were kidnapped early Saturday, February 16, 2019, armed men.
Though no group has claimed responsibility, inhabitants of Bamenda and Santa have been quick to liken hosts of controversial mass abductions since the start of an armed conflict in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, formerly British Southern Cameroons.
In October 2018, 82 students were abducted from Presbyterian Secondary School Nkwen, Bamenda III Sub-division, the chief town of the conflict-hit North West region and released two days later at Nsem Bafut, another war-torn town, many kilometers away from where they were kidnapped.
Many questioned how the huge number of students were successfully taken out of the school to an unknown destination without being spotted by security officers who are dotted everywhere in the area.
Moreover, the Region was under a dusk to dawn curfew and movements were restricted between 6 PM and 6 AM implying a near impossibility to transport that huge number of students without being tracked by the military.
Just after their abduction, the Governor of the North West Region, Adolphe Lele L’Afirque also banned movements from one Sub-division to another. It remains unclear how the students were later transported back to the place of rescue by their abductors
Some Cameroonians blamed security forces for staging the abduction to give the pro-independence fighters a bad name, while others hold the separatists (Amba Boys) are responsible since they called for school boycott.
Cameroon government has been highly criticized for choosing a military option instead of dialogue to solve the crisis that has led to several deaths and displaced over 160 000 both internally and externally according to the UN.
Hundreds of Cameroonians now live as refugees in Nigeria while many others are held in various detention centers across Cameroon, National Telegraph has been told.