The 20 players of the University of Buea football club, including some from the General Hospital Buea, who were kidnapped on Wednesday by separatist fighters, have been reunited with their families, 24 hours after they were abducted in the troubled Anglophone region in Cameroon.
”They were set free just after 8 PM this Thursday evening, but they are in an unstable health situation,” Nicolas Asongu coach of the football team told kick442.
“Some of the students have sustain injuries, some are psychologically unstable and need support. They are 20 students in number, Some of the students are at the General Hospital in Buea.
“We thank God they are back with us,it has been the most difficult 24 hours for me,but I pray God heal this children fast for them to continue with their normal life,” the distraught coach added.
In a video circulated online, the separatists threatened the footballers who are all students of the University of Buea, to respect their instructions, which is boycott schools, and take a televised pledge to the yet-to-exist nation they seek to establish from Cameroon’s North West and South West regions.
The boys who were severely tortured and left with serious bruises on their skin were forced to acknowledge that they were “Ambazonians” and will support the “mission” of the separatist. Earlier, the government announced that they had arrested seven in relation to the kidnapping of the students.
The students were taken away during a training session on campus. The incident occurred at the main football stadium of the University of Buea popularly known as “Wembley”.
Reports say the footballers were seized during their regular training around 9:00 am on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. We gathered that players were training ahead of this year’s University games billed for Dschang in the weeks ahead.
The various armed groupings of Cameroon separatist movement have come under repeated fire for their inhumane activities. International organizations continue to condemn their treatment of children who snob their calls for school boycott. They have also been blamed for the burning of numerous educational establishments.
“Separatist fighters need to stop using school children as shield and bargaining chips. They should leave children to go to school and keep them out of politics,” a human rights advocate in Cameroon commented on the matter.
Earlier this month, the US Department of State in its Human Rights report on Cameroon condemn the excesses of separatist fighters who have joined pro-government forces to rain havoc on the local population.