Seventy-nine children who were kidnapped from a school in Cameroon on Sunday have now been returned, but Presbyterian Church officials say they appear to have been tortured.
“They were brought last night to one of our churches … near Bamenda (the regional capital). They look tired and psychologically tortured,” said Fonki Samuel Forba, moderator of the country’s Presbyterian Church, according to The Associated Press.
While the children were released, two staff members remain in captivity. Forba has plead for the kidnappers to “free the staff still in their keeping.”
What is more, the Presbyterian school has said that it will close, as it cannot guarantee the students’ safety.
“It is unfortunate we have to close the school and send home 700 children,” Forba said. “Their security is not assured by the state and armed groups constantly attack and kidnap them.”
The children, aged between 11–17, were taken on Sunday by separatist abductors who are seeking to establish an independent state in Cameroon’s Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions.
Hundreds have been killed in clashes and other kidnappings have taken place. The separatists say that English-speakers are being oppressed in the African country.
Issa Bakary Tchiroma, Cameroon’s communications minister, confirmed in an interview with AFP on Wednesday that all 79 pupils have been released.
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SOURCE: Christian Post