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At least 78 children abducted in Cameroon

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/05/18, 11:34 am

Armed separatists in Cameroon’s restive Northwest Region kidnapped at least 78 students, their principal, and several teachers from a Presbyterian school in the village of Nkwen near Bamenda, the regional capital, regional Gov. Deben Tchoffo confirmed Monday. Cameroon’s Northwest is the center of clashes between security forces and English-speaking separatists who complain of marginalization and have declared the region an independent state named Ambazonia. The group gathered steam after the government violently cracked down on peaceful protests by English speakers in 2016. Last week, American missionary Charles Wesco died in Bamenda after he was caught in the crossfire between security forces and separatists.

In a video posted online by the separatists, who call themselves Amba boys after Ambazonia, some of the children identified themselves and said they didn’t know where their kidnappers were holding them. “We shall only release you after the struggle,” the men said to the boys in the video. “You will be going to school now here.” The leader of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, the Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba, told the BBC that he had spoken with the kidnappers. “All they want is for us to close the schools,” Forba said. “We hope and pray they release the kids and the teachers.”

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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    Posted: Mon, 11/05/2018 03:49 pm

    Dear World magazine and Ms. Ohikere,

    I am writing from Orlando Florida and am a subscriber to World magazine and I continue to be so grateful to God for your coverage of things going on in Africa. I serve with the Rafiki Foundation and we work in 10 countries in Africa and so I'm glad to see such good and varied press from World about the African continent.

    I am writing with a specific purpose in mind. I noticed that Ms. Ohikere works out of Abuja. And I was wondering if you have good journalistic sources in East Africa. If not, I would like to recommend someone who is a Christian and has a tremendous amount of experience in covering East African events. Mr. Okwi Okoh who is living in Nairobi, Kenya - he has worked with Reuters for many years and has been doing free lance work for a while in order to spend more time with his family.  His contract with a recent employer (Kweli TV) has ended and I thought of World magazine as a good place for him to serve and I believe you would benefit from and be very happy with his work.

    If you are interested in exploring this further, let me know and I'll put you in touch with him. My name is: Karen Elliott and I am the Executive Director of the Rafiki foundation.  We've been serving in Africa for over 30 years now and I've lived and served there for 28 of those 30.

    Bless you all for your accurate, honest, and  biblical coverage of the news.

    Karen Elliott