Gunmen Abduct 25 Cameroonians on Nigeria Border 

Security forces in Cameroon are searching for at least 25 villagers that gunmen abducted along its border with Nigeria. Locals are calling on the governments to stop armed gangs operating on both sites of the border. 

Officials in Cameroon say unidentified gunmen abducted the villagers during daily attacks and looting this week in Ako district, on its western border with Nigeria.

District officials say several hundred villagers fled from the attacks.

Ako’s mayor Nkanya Nkwai says the unidentified gunmen operate on both sides of the porous Cameroon-Nigeria border.

“25 people have been kidnapped so far, we fear that more may have been kidnapped because since Monday, we have not been able to reach out to people at Buku, Abafum and Akwancha border entry points far into Nigeria and no message has come from the kidnappers to let us know why they are doing this. We don’t know if those who have been kidnapped are killed, we don’t know if they are alive,” he said, speaking  to VOA from Ako via a messaging application.

Cameroon’s military says it has deployed troops along the border with Nigeria to rescue those abducted and stop the gunmen.

The Mbembe Cultural and Development Association is a Cameroonian aid group helping villages along the border with Nigeria.

President of the group Abel Shewa says the attackers are displacing scores of villagers every day, most of them women and children.

“Most of the villages have been abandoned as the population flee to Nigeria and to Ako town for safety,” he said, speaking to VOA from Ako via a messaging application. “So, we are pleading with humanitarian organizations to intervene, to come in and assist the population displaced from their homes and now they don’t have what to live on. Women and children are suffering, and the entire civilian population is affected, and people are living in total fear.”

Shewa called on Cameroon’s government to provide aid to the displaced and pleaded with host communities to also offer them food and shelter.

Local officials tell VOA they suspect the abductors are ethnic Fulani herders from Nigeria.

Officials say the herders seasonally cross into Cameroon with their cattle for grazing, leading to conflict with farmers.

Cameroon’s border villages have also suffered attacks by Islamist militants from Nigeria, such as the Boko Haram group.

But this is the first time in more than a decade that officials suspect a large-scale attack by Fulani herders, a nomadic people scattered across western and central Africa.

Cameroon’s military created a border post in Baoro village in 2012 after violent clashes between Nigerian Fulani herders and Cameroonian farmers over land rights.


leave a reply: