“The principal and one teacher are still with the kidnappers. Let us keep praying,” said Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon who negotiated to free 78 children, adding that one child had escaped independently.
The freed children were unharmed although their clothes were dirty and they appeared exhausted,
Cameroon Army spokesperson Didier Badjeck said the kidnappers released the children after the military found out their location. Two other children were still missing, along with the principal and teacher, he confirmed.
The number of Cameroonian refugees fleeing violence and seeking refuge in Nigeria crossed the 30,000 mark this week, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report. Refugees fleeing the South-West and North-West Regions of Cameroon have been arriving since September 2017. Almost 600 arrived in refugee settlements in the last two weeks.
Boko Haram militants released 91 of 110 schoolgirls they abducted in February, however they have issued a warning that the children must not return to education.
The Nigerian government said in a statement that 91 released students had been documented so far, adding that the release of more girls was ongoing.
But witnesses said fighters had returned the girls “out of pity”, leaving them with a chilling note to parents that “this is a warning to you all”.
The fighters returned the girls in the early hours of the morning, sources said, saying “don’t you ever put your daughters in school again”.