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Paul Biya's inauguration on Tuesday for a seventh term as Cameroon's president is eclipsed by the search for 79 school pupils kidnapped by English-speaking separatists.

Forty-eight hours after the abduction of 79 children from a local school in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon's restive North West region, parents have been flooding the campus for any available information on their children.

A video purportedly of the kidnapped children has been released on social media by militants calling themselves the Amba Boys.

A six-minute video seen by AFP on Monday, but which could not be confirmed independently, showed 11 boys apparently aged about 15 giving their identity and name of the school in English, and adding that they were abducted by the "Amba Boys" - a name for anglophone separatists.

A video said to have been released by the kidnappers shows several young boy being forced to state their name to camera.

Separatists have vowed to destabilise the regions as part of the strategy for creating a breakaway state. A major reason for this rise in violence can be attributed to the government crackdown against those protesting in the northwest and southwest regions, declaring that as the English-speaking minority they are deprecated by the French-speaking government.

One of them shouted, how many times have we asked you not to work here again. "Whoever is responsible must release and return the victims immediately", said Ms Samira Daoud, the Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.

"I would like to send a strong message to the terrorists that, yes, they have provoked, they are raping, killing, looting, abducting but they are going to face a strong powerful reaction by the powers that be, not only here in Bamenda but elsewhere in the North region", said Governor Deben.

Hundreds have been killed in the past year. The separatists claim that they have been marginalised in Biya's regime.

A separatist spokesman denied involvement in the kidnapping.

He pleaded with the kidnappers to free the staff still held.

The church has also revealed that Sunday's kidnapping was the second such case at the same school in less than a week. They have mounted attacks against civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed. They also burned down at least 100 schools and removed students and teachers from others they took over, the AP said.


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