News Alerts

15 Jul 2020 | 03:23 AM UTC

Cameroon: Suspected separatists kidnap dozens in Southwest region July 13

Cameroon News Alert

Suspected separatists kidnap 60 people in Lebialem department (Southwest region) on July 13; maintain a heightened sense of vigilance

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/15/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Lebialem department (Southwest region)

Event

Suspected separatists kidnapped 60 people during a raid on Monday, July 13, in the Lebialem department of the restive Southwest region. Armed men reportedly entered into Mmouck Leteh village before kidnapping several dozen civilians. It is not clear whether anyone was injured in the incident, and the whereabouts of those kidnapped remains unknown as of Wednesday, July 15. Responsibility for the kidnapping has not been claimed as of Wednesday.

Security operations are possible across the Southwest region in the near term, and further attacks by separatists are possible in the restive English-speaking (Anglophone) regions of Northwest and Southwest Cameroon over the medium term.

Context

Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities are high in the Northwest and Southwest regions amid an ongoing separatist movement. Tensions have escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. The United Nations reported that at least 50,000 Cameroonians have fled the fighting to Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2016.

Advice

Individuals in Southwest province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. 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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