The 20 students abducted from the University of Buea (Southwest region) on Wednesday, March 20, were released late (local time) on Thursday, March 21. The students were reportedly received by their families at the Molyko area of Buea at around 20:30 after their families paid a ransom. Authorities reported that the students were tortured by Anglophone militants and are in the hospital for treatment.
Additional kidnappings remain possible and increased security measures are to be expected in the area over the coming weeks.
On March 20, gunmen abducted twenty students from the University of Buea. The students abducted were members of the university football team who were conducting their regular training exercises.
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 (Northwest 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 March 19 and then later released that evening.
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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