By Eric Tataw – Thursday March 21, 2019.
All twenty (20) kidnapped students of the University of Buea, one of Cameroon’s eight state-owned universities in Buea, a capital of the restive South West Region have been released, National Telegraph has confirmed.
The students were released at about 9 PM GMT, Thursday March 21, 2019, just after first pictures, videos and details of the students were leaked to and published by National Telegraph.
The students to a Human Rights Group by the Ambazonia Fighters after a brief talk, our source said. Reports say the Rights group peacefully transported the students in their bus to Bulu Blind Centre, a precinct in Buea where they have all gone to their respective homes.
The students were released after sending a message in a recorded video to Tibor Nagy, stating that Diplomats wanting to talk about or resolve the armed conflict in the North West and South West shouldn’t only come and end in Yaounde.
The students opined that Yaounde would never tell any visiting diplomat or mediator the truth of the matter. They went on that Governors and Ministers protect themselves with bulletproof vests while going about their duties but want local officials to do same without protection.
The US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, met with Paul Biya at the Unity Palace, the official residence and offices of the Cameroonian President on Monday March 18, 2019, accompanied by Peter Henry Barlerin, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon a source has confirmed to National Telegraph.
The two officials according to our source, discussed trade and bilateral relationship between Washington and Yaounde. Also top on the agenda was the political situation in the French-speaking regions and the deteriorating armed conflict in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon, but Nagy didn’t visit the war-torn regions
Tibor Nagy arrived the Central African country of Cameroon on Saturday March 16, 2019 and held a first meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Douala on Sunday March 17, 2019 to discuss how to increase trade and investment between the United States and Cameroon, the US Embassy in Cameroon said in a statement.
The Assistant Secretary for African Affairs also visited Crelicam, an Ebony Processor owned by American guitar maker Taylor Guitars. The diplomat ended his visit to Cameroon, Tuesday March 19, 2019 with high level talks with the US Ambassador to Cameroon and other US Embassy staff in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.
A National Telegraph stringer from Buea says the 20 students kidnapped at about 9 AM, Wednesday, March 20, 2019 are students of the University’s Football Team.
They were training at Wembley, the University’s field ahead of the University Games this May in Dschang, another Cameroonian town in the West Region before they were picked up and ferried to an unidentified location, says the stringer.
A spokesman of the group who carried out the act speaking from Limbe, a city close to Buea insisted the students weren’t kidnapped but arrested for violating the Laws of Ambazonia by training to participate in a Game in French Cameroon that isn’t authorized in Ambazonia, he added.
In some of the pictures, videos and details leaked to National Telegraph late Thursday March 21, 2019 before their release, the students looked relatively calm and were singing the Ambazonia Anthem.
While condemning the Cameroonian Government in the video for failing to protect them but instead lying that there’s security when they do things in complete uncertainty, they lamented that only three Ambazonian Fighters picked them up, pointing at the weakness of the Cameroonian Army and officials.
A spokesman of the students said the “Struggle is real”, saying that the government can’t guarantee their protection. The students also cautioned their colleagues and other students to stay home until the Anglophone Crisis is resolved.
Unrest in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of the North West and South West began in October 2016 as a disagreement in language but government mismanaged it, turning it into a demand by majority of Anglophones for a separate state called Ambazonia.
Gun battles have ensued and the government has been accused of numerous Human Rights violation, including targeted killings. Insecurity has increased and life is near hell in these two regions.
On Tuesday March 19, 2019, Emmanuel Ndoumbe Bosco, the Coach of Yong Sports Academy (YOSA), a football team in Bamenda, a restive town in the North West was kidnapped by unidentified men and later released.
A former Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice in charge of Penitentiary Administration was also kidnapped. Dr. Ngafesson Emmanuel Bantar was kidnapped late Monday March 18, 2019 in Bamenda, says a National Telegraph reporter in the city.