Chinese Kidnapping in Bakassi: Nigerian and Cameroonian rebels deny involvement

Reading time 1 min.

Nigeria’s Niger Delta Militants have denied any involvement in the kidnapping of five Chinese fishermen in the Bakassi Peninsula, an area ceded by Nigeria to Cameroon in August, last year. Many international fishermen, licensed and unlicensed, fish off the coast of West Africa.

Bakassi Freedom Fighters, a rebel group in Cameroon, has blamed militants of the Niger Delta opposed to the transfer of the oil-rich region from Nigeria to Cameroon, of the crime.

But according to the spokesman for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said the group was unaware of any kidnapping.

There is no official comment yet from the Chinese embassy in Yaounde.

In 2008, a rebel group from Bakassi kidnapped 10 people – mostly French nationals from an oil vessel in the Bakassi peninsular.

The rebels threatened to kill the hostages if Cameroon did not re-open talks on the status of Bakassi.

Nigeria handed over the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, bringing an end to a 15-year dispute over the territory.

In 2006, Nigeria withdrew its troops from Bakassi in line with an international court ruling which awarded sovereignty to Cameroon.

But in November 2007 the Nigerian senate passed a motion declaring as illegal the Nigeria-Cameroon agreement for the Bakassi Peninsula to be handed over to Cameroon.

There has been reports of social unrest and insecurity as a result of increased attacks at sea, off the peninsular, spreading from the Niger Delta.

MEND has been accused of carrying out a spate of kidnappings, mostly of foreign oil workers, the theft of crude oil, extortion and destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

Cameroon  Read latest news and features from Cameroon : business, politics, culture, life & style, entertainment and sports
Support Follow Afrik-News on Google News