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22.01.2020 16:27 News >> Cameroon: Army Frees School Kids Held By 'Separatists'

Cameroon: Army Frees School Kids Held By 'Separatists'

Operation conducted in English speaking region in southwest Cameroon, neutralizing 2 alleged separatists, says news report.

Cameroonian security and military forces have rescued at least 20 school children after they were kidnapped by alleged separatists in a town located in the country's southern English-speaking region, the journal du cameroun news website reported Wednesday.
During the rescue operation that took place Tuesday in Kumba town of the country's southwestern Meme region, two of the kidnappers were "neutralized," according to the website.
The report said the kidnappers were thought to be armed separatists advocating for the carving out of an independent country in the country's English-speaking regions.
In the country composed of an English-speaking and French-speaking region, English-speaking Cameroonians frequently complain of exclusion from top civil service jobs and the use of French in government institutions, although the constitution gives both languages official status.
French-speaking Cameroon gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1961, a federal state was set up when English-speaking Cameroon gained its independence from Great Britain and joined French-speaking Cameroon.
The federal state was, however, dissolved in favor of a unitary state in 1972.
Since then Anglophones say they are being marginalized and forced to use French in public institutions and schools, and also use the French-speaking Cameroon legal system in courts.
Over the dispute, tens of thousands of people have reportedly fled and crossed into neighboring Nigeria, according to a report by the UN Refugee Agency in 2018.
Meanwhile, dozens of military and police officers have also been killed since the protests started in October 2016. -



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