On Wednesday, March 20, gunmen abducted at least 15 students from the University of Buea (Southwest region). The abducted students were members of the university football team who were conducting their regular training exercises. Reports indicate that the military has started to conduct a search mission and tensions are increasing in Buea (Southwest region). The identities of the gunmen were not immediately reported.
Increased security measures and heightened tensions may be expected in the coming weeks. Additional kidnappings are also likely.
The scale of kidnappings has reached an alarming rate in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon over the past two years. Kidnappers frequently demand ransoms. Those abducted are sometimes tortured and killed. Many of the kidnappings in the Anglophone regions are attributed to the separatist fighters, also known as the Amba boys, who began claiming responsibility for the abductions in earlier cases.
On March 19, former Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Emmanuel Ngafeeson, was kidnapped from his Ntabessi residence in Bamenda (North West region), a district in the center of Bamenda III. Security sources attributed his abduction to secessionist fighters operating in English-speaking areas. Bamenda's Yong Sport Academy coach, Emmanuel Ndoumbe Booso, was also reportedly kidnapped in the morning of Tuesday, March 19, and then later released that evening.
Individuals in Cameroon are advised to monitor local developments to the security situation, adhere to instructions by local authorities, and anticipate possible disruptions to travel due to increased security measures.
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