Former Cameroon minister, 15 university football players kidnaped in restive Anglophone regions

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Cameroon’s former Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice in charge of Penitentiary Administration, Dr. Emmanuel Ngafeeson Bantar, has been kidnapped, by yet to be identified armed men. He is said to have been taken away by unknown gunmen Tuesday night in his Bamenda-Ntabessi residence.

The abductors, we learned, took him away onboard his vehicle to an unknown destination. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though fingers have since been pointing at Ambazonia separatist fighters who for now time now have engaged in the rampant kidnappings and ransom collection in the restive English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

It has not been known why he was kidnapped but separatist fighters have, since the escalation of the armed conflict in Anglophone Cameroon, targeted government functionaries and other individuals loyal to the Biya regime. The government has not commented on the incident. It is reported that his abductors are requesting 4million francs CFA ransom before his release.

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In a similar development, over 15 footballers of the University of Buea, UB, football team, were Wednesday kidnapped by suspected separatist fighters.

At least seven people have been arrested by security forces in relation to the kidnapping.

They are said to have been taken away during a training session on campus. The incident occurred at the main football stadium of the University of Buea popularly known as “Wembley”.

Reports say the footballers were seized by unknown men during their regular training around 9:00 am.

Their kidnap, local reports hold, came barely hours after the coach of the team was involved in a serious car accident.

We gathered that players were training ahead of this year’s University games billed for Dschang in the weeks ahead.

While the students were being kidnapped on Wednesday, the coach of Cameroonian first division club Yong Sports Academy of Bamenda, Emmanuel Ndoumbe Bosso who was kidnapped on 19 March has regained his freedom. He refused to make any public declaration about his abductors or if he paid a ransom to secure his release probably for fear of retribution.

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AMOS FOFUNG Nkunchoh is a multi-talented journalist with an intrinsic passion for investigative, politics and conflict reporting. He's based in the U. S.A.

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