Some 63 civilians who were kidnapped on Monday in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region of Southwest were released Wednesday night, according to local authorities.
“They (kidnappers) released 25 people on Tuesday and the rest of us were released late Wednesday. Some of us who could afford paid a ransom before we were freed. We were maltreated,” one of those who were kidnapped told Xinhua but preferred not to be named.
The army said, the abduction was led by a separatist commander nicknamed “general Aekeh” who is “notorious for atrocities against civilians” in the locality.
The 63 civilians who included children and women were abducted at their homes and a bar in Mmouck Leteh, a locality in Lebialem division of the Southwest region, which along with the Northwest region is home to most of Cameroon’s English-speakers.
The two regions have seen a rise in clashes between government forces and armed separatists in spite of repeated calls by the United Nations for the establishment of a ceasefire amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2017, separatists have been fighting to create an independent nation in the two Anglophone regions of the largely French-speaking Cameroon.