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  • School children, who were kidnapped by armed men and released, are helped to get into a truck by gendarmes in Bamenda, Cameroon Nov. 7, 2018.

    School children, who were kidnapped by armed men and released, are helped to get into a truck by gendarmes in Bamenda, Cameroon Nov. 7, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 March 2019

The identity and affiliation of the kidnappers remain unknown. Abductions in the conflict-riddled region have become more frequent.

Gunmen in the southwest Anglophone region of Cameroon abducted 15 students from the University of Buea Wednesday morning according to local media reports.

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Kidnappings have become increasingly frequent as tensions continue between Ambazonia separatists and the Cameroonian government security forces. On Tuesday, a football coach was kidnapped in Bamenda and later freed.

A member of the women's football team, Raisa Ajeba, said she was training on the same day the team was kidnapped. As soon as she heard of the abduction she said she ran home, BBC reported.

A Yong Sports Academy spokesperson in Bamenda said they did not know why coach Emmanuel Ndoumbe Bosso was kidnapped Tuesday.

"Coach Ndoumbe Bosso is loved here in Bamenda and we don't think anyone will want to hurt him," club chairman Yong Jacques told BBC Sport, adding that there was no ransom.

A former junior minister of justice, Emmanuel Ngafesen was also kidnapped in Bamenda at his Ntabessi residence and taken away with his car to an unknown location. Ngafesson is a retired civil servant who served in several capacities though perhaps most notably as Secretary of State in charge of Penitentiary Affairs. He has not been found yet.

Though it remains unclear who is behind the kidnappings, armed separatist fighters in the region have been accused of abductions in the two English-speaking regions of the country. The country’s North-West and South-West regions have been hit by a secessionist rebellion in recent years.

Last year the Cameroonian government accused separatists fighting for the creation of an independent state of Ambazonia and kidnapping nearly 80 schoolchildren.

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