Six civilians, who were kidnapped a week ago in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region of Southwest, were released on Monday after “severe beatings”, according to local authorities.
“We paid a huge ransom before their release. We have taken some of them to the hospital because of the cruel treatment they received in the hands of their captors,” a family member of one of those who was kidnapped told reporters but preferred not to be named.
The six, all of them women, were abducted at their business premises in Bonakanda, a locality of the Southwest region, which along with the Northwest region is home to most of Cameroon’s English-speakers.
Armed separatists, who claimed responsibility for the abduction, said on social media that the women were guilty of “defying laws” put in place by them.
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.
On Saturday, fighting in Bamenda, Cameroon Anglophone’s most populated city, led to the death of seven separatists and two security forces, according to the army.
Since 2017, separatists have been fighting to create an independent nation in the two Anglophone regions of the largely-French-speaking Cameroon. Enditem