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UN, EU Condemn Mass Kidnapping of Children From College in Cameroon

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Earlier in the week, media reported that about 80 people, most of them schoolchildren, had been abducted in the city of Bamenda in northwestern Cameroon on Monday.

Armed men broke into the college dormitory and took 78 students and two administration staff with them. The incident occurred in a region where the country's English-speaking minority lives. It is not yet known who is responsible for the kidnapping.

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The European Union and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned on Tuesday the mass kidnapping, calling for their immediate release without any conditions.

"The kidnapping of pupils and staff of a school in Bamenda constitutes a further increase of tension in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. Innocent children are made victims of a conflict for which they are in no way responsible. The European Union calls for them to be freed immediately and without conditions, and expresses its solidarity with the families of the kidnap victims," Maja Kocijancic, the European Commission's spokeswoman for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement.

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The UN Secretary-General also condemned the abduction of students and school staff, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

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"He calls for their immediate release and return to their homes and families. There can be no justification for these crimes against civilians, particularly minors," he added.

The criminal situation in Cameroon, including in its capital, has recently deteriorated due to an influx of refugees from different regions of the country. There is an increase of cases of banditry and robbery observed in areas previously considered prosperous, including in the vicinity of government agencies and diplomatic missions of foreign states.

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