Suspected separatists released a former government minister in Northwest region on Saturday, March 30, after holding him for almost two weeks. Emmanuel Ngafeson, the former Secretary of State for Prison Administration, was abducted from his home in the Ntabesi area of Bamenda on March 19. It is unclear if Ngafeson was released after a ransom was paid. According to Ngafeson, he was treated well and was never harmed during his captivity.
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 and 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.
Cameroon's English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions remains tense due to an ongoing separatist movement and conflict between armed groups and the government. Strikes, unrest, and violence has been common since November 2016 and has escalated since October 2017 following a unilateral proclamation of independence.
Individuals in Cameroon are advised to monitor local developments to the security situation, report suspicious objects and behavior to the police, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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