- Central Africa
Cameroon president rushes back home after massive Bakassi abductions
Following the abduction of 11 government officials including Ayuk Edward Taku, Sub-Prefect for the Kombo Abedimo commune in the Bakassi Pennisula of Cameroon between late Sunday night and early Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya Yaoundé has cut short a visit to Switzerland and returned home.
According to corroborating sources, the kidnapping of the sub-prefect of Kombo Abedimo, also Commissioner of Special police officers and gendarmes, has been claimed by the Bakassi Freedom Figthers, an armed group known for their reign of terror in the Niger Delta as well as attacks in the Bakassi Peninsula.
The attack, according to reports, was carried out with disconcerting ease by the armed men as the police stood powerless with almost no means to repel the attackers, who took 11 government in officials in Cameroon’s Bakassi area hostage.
A few days prior to Monday’s abduction, pirates had attacked and killed two policemen in the small island of Bonjo in the same district.
Sudden return of Paul Biya
Following the removal of Ayuk Edward Taku and his staff, President Biya and his entourage cut short a month long visit to Switzerland. An attitude which, according to observers, is highly unusual and confirms the seriousness of the situation.
According to the Cameroonian media, after claiming responsibility for the attack, the Bakassi Freedom Figthers are now demanding a large ransom. The amount has not been disclosed to the public.
To date, no official statement has been made on the issue.
Bakassi is widely known for its rich natural resources: oil, natural gas as well as fish. Since its handover to Cameroon by Nigeria in 2008, the area has suffered numerous attacks,, including abductions and indiscriminate killings, by armed groups.