>> Cameroon's army is searching the area around the city of Bamenda after 79 children were kidnapped from a school. The abduction happened before dawn on Monday in the English speaking Northwest region where violence between Anglophone secessionists and government forces fled earlier this year. Officials say the children, their principal and a driver were taken into the bush outside the town.
Anglophone secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as a part of their protest against President
French speaking government. They say the English-speaking minority are marginalized. An armed spokesman said separatist militias were most likely responsible for the kidnapping. But a separatists spokesmen denied any involvement, instead blaming government soldiers.
On Monday the Governor of the region visited the school, and insisted he was doing everything he could to get the children back.>> Despite what happened here this state government will not surrender.>> The separatist movement gathered pace in 2017 after a government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations. One of the original gripes was that French-speaking teachers were being deployed to English-speaking schools.
Violence intensified this year, including during an army crackdown in which civilians were killed. Many people have fled Bamenda and other centers, to seek refuge in more peaceful Francophone regions.>>
> The kidnapping also comes as President Biya is sworn in. He's been in power for 36 years.
His election victory cementing his place as one of Africa's longest serving rulers.>> Looming over his reelection is the separatist issue, as well as allegations of ballot stuffing and intimidation.>> Country now