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Cameroon Alerte de sécurité

Cameroon: Separatists kidnap 40 people in Southwest March 17

Separatist militants kidnap 40 people in Southwest region on March 17

20 mars 00h01 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 19/3/2018, 12h00 until 26/3/2018, 11h59 (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Southwest region
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Event

On Saturday, 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). According to a video released by the ADF, the group is demanding a ransom of CFA 100 million Francs (USD 188,000) for the release of the hostages. 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

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.

Simmering resentment dating back to the period of independence has resurfaced within the minority English-speaking community in Cameroon's Northwest and Southwest regions in recent years. The period since November 2016 has been marked by the closure of all English-speaking schools, strikes, unrest, and sporadic violence. Tensions between English- and French-speaking communities have escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region.

Advice

Individuals in the Southwest and Northwest regions are 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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