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Cameroon: Tunisian nationals kidnapped in Southwest March 18

Two Tunisian nationals kidnapped in Southwest region of Cameroon on March 18

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/19/2018, 12:00 AM until 3/26/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Southwest region
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Event

Two Tunisian nationals were kidnapped by a group of armed men in the Southwest region on March 18. According to the Tunisian government, the individuals were employed by a Tunisian company working on a construction project. Information surrounding the incident remains limited and no group has claimed responsibility.

An increase in security operations against separatist militants is possible in the Southwest and Northwest regions in the near-term in response to regional security concerns.

Context

There have been a number of incidents of kidnapping and hostage taking in Cameroon over recent years. On  March 17, the Ambazonian Defense Forces (ADF), a group of Anglophone separatist militants, reportedly kidnapped 40 people from a passenger bus in the village of Alou (Southwest region). A week earlier ADF claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the region’s head of social affairs. The official was abducted in the town of Batibo in late February.

Tensions between the English-speaking community and the national authorities in the Northwest and Southwest regions remain high following a wave of violence in recent weeks and months.

Advice

Individuals in Cameroon are advised to remain aware of the threat of kidnapping and hostage taking for ransom, and take adequate precautionary measures.

Due to ongoing sociopolitical violence, individuals in Southwest and Northwest regions are also advised to closely monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities (particularly curfews), and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.

On a separate note, some Western governments advise against travel to the Far North region as well as other areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic; travel to these areas should only be considered with appropriate security protocols in place.

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