CAMEROONS: APLM & SOCADEF calls for immediate return of abducted school children
The Africa People’s Liberation Movement (APLM) and Southern Cameroons Defense Forces (SOCADEF) have in a statement called for an immediate and unconditional release of more than 70 school children were abducted from Bamenda, western Cameroon early on Monday the 5th of November, 2018.
No one immediately has claimed responsibility for the abduction in the violence-hit region where the people of Ambazonia are fighting to form a breakaway state.
The kidnapping, the gravest incident so far in 13 months of the unrest coincides with an upsurge of political tensions in the majority French-speaking country.
In recent months, many people have fled Bamenda and other centers to seek refuge in the more peaceful Francophone regions and also to neighboring Nigeria.
Read the full statement below
November 5, 2018
AFRICAN PEOPLES LIBERATION MOVEMENT (APLM)
SOUTHERN CAMEROONS DEFENSE FORCES (SOCADEF)
URGENT COMMUNIQUE ON THE ABDUCTION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN FROM BAMENDA
APLM and SOCADEF call for the immediate return of the more than 70 school children and school personnel reported abducted from Bamenda today. The individuals responsible for this act are criminals as there can be no circumstances justifying this action against innocent Ambazonian children. APLM and SOCADEF are working on the ground and with international human rights organizations to help secure the safe release of the children.
The recent escalation of targeted killings including missionaries from the United States and Ghana and the targeting of civilians and children are of grave concern. Just of recent, certain individuals have called for the implementation of Samuel Sam Boukarie’s (General Mosquito) decapitation techniques used during the avoidable civil war in Sierra Leone. And these calls have seen the brutal decapitation of the hands of teachers in and around the town of Mutengene and the fingers of workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC). APLM and SOCADEF do not target civilians and will oppose any faction that does so and will go further to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC) in holding such individuals and groups responsible for directly and indirectly abrogating the Rules of Engagement in times of Warfare, and working with the monstrous terrorist state of La Republique du Cameroun in “Boko-Haraming” our legitimate struggle for the restoration of the independence of our Homeland. The clear majority of these incidents, many of which are falsely attributed to Ambazonian freedom fighters, are the handiwork and signature of the regular armed forces of La Republique du Cameroun, in and out of uniform, in violation of international humanitarian law.
APLM and SOCADEF reiterate their call for adherence by all parties in the Ambazonian struggle to:
- Article 3 common to all four Geneva Conventions
- Article 19 of the 1954 Cultural Property Convention
- Protocol II to the Conventional Weapons Convention, on Prohibitions Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended on 3 May 1996
- The Ottawa landmines treaty of 1997
APLM and SOCADEF further recognize all relevant international treaties addressing the rights of the child including those stipulations forbidding the use of child labor, child soldiers, child marriage, and female genital mutilation etc.
Dr. Ebenezer Akwanga, Leader of the African People’s Liberation Movement (APLM) and Commander-In-Chief of the Southern Cameroons Defense Force (SOCADEF), the oldest Ambazonian self-defense force battling for the independence, has pledged full cooperation in the quest to return these children to their homes and apprehend the perpetrators. APLM and SOCADEF will not tolerate the revisiting of Rwanda 1984 in the Southern Cameroons.
For the APLM and SOCADEF
J. Taylor, PhD