Thursday, April 16, 2020

Crisis in Noso: assassinations and kidnappings reported in Buéa

At least one civilian was killed and six others abducted by armed separatists on Monday evening in Bonakanda, a town in the English-speaking region of southwest Cameroon, local authorities announced on Tuesday.

Heavily armed separatists raided the area, killing a woman and kidnapping six other civilians after accusing them of "defying the laws" put in place by the separatists, witnesses said. 

The military has launched a search and rescue mission to the area, officials said. 

Clashes between government forces and separatists in the region have "dropped sharply" since the first case of COVID-19 diagnosed in Cameroon on March 6, according to security sources.

"Most of the boys who kidnap people for ransom and now steal are actually thieves, not separatists," an army official who asked not to be named told Xinhua. 

Since 2017, the separatists have been fighting to create an independent nation in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, which are largely French-speaking.