Dozens of students kidnapped from Presbyterian school in Cameroon

80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

"We shall only release you after the struggle. You will be going to school here now".

Separatists have imposed curfews and closed down schools as part of their protest.

"In total 81 people were kidnapped including the school principal".

Armed separatists have kidnapped almost 80 people, the majority of them students, in an English-speaking region of Cameroon witnessing an armed campaign for independence, a governor has said.

A separatist spokesman denied involvement in the kidnapping and blamed government soldiers.

Conflict began in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon in 2016 when teachers and lawyers complained of discrimination from the French-speaking majority in education and the justice system.

The separatist movement gathered pace in 2017 after a government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

Violent separatists took up arms to destabilise the Anglophone regions to win independence for the areas they want to declare a separate state, which they call Ambazonia.

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Last week an American missionary was killed after he was caught in the crossfire between separatist fighters and security forces.

At the end of a video believed to show some of the kidnapped students, the kidnapper turns the camera on himself.

In an October presidential election, opposition candidate Maurice Kamto declared victory against Biya, who has ruled since 1982, but Biya's ruling party dismissed claims of defeat and accused Kamto of breaking the law.

More than 300,000 people have fled the violence, many of them living hand-to-mouth in the forests, and some across the border into Nigeria.

While the video could not be independently verified, The Associated Press said parents have been reacting on social media saying they recognize their children in the video.

They also repeat the phrase: "I was taken from school last night by the Amba boys, I don't know where I am".

The government was accused of relying heavily on people trained in the French legal and educational tradition to work in key posts and generally marginalising Cameroon's English-speaking minority, who make up about 20% of the population. The separatists also have torched at least a hundred schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds. All they want is for us to close the schools.

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