All 78 children and a driver who were abducted from Cameroon’s Bamenda on Monday were released on Wednesday, Reuters reported. A school principal and one teacher who were also abducted from a boarding school are still being held captive by the armed men, a priest conducting negotiations with the abductors said.
Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, had earlier said 79 children were kidnapped but revised the number to clarify that a teacher was among the victims. “Praise God 78 children and the driver have been released,” Fonki said. “The principal and one teacher are still with the kidnappers. Let us keep praying.”
The government and separatists in the region have blamed each other for the abduction.
At the time of the abduction, the separatists had imposed curfews and shut down schools in protest against President Paul Biya’s Francophone government. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction yet.
The separatist movement gathered momentum in 2017 after a government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations. Many people have fled Bamenda and other cities and have moved to French-speaking regions.