News / Africa

    Boko Haram Suspected in Cameroon Kidnappings

    Kolofata, CameroonKolofata, Cameroon
    x
    Kolofata, Cameroon
    Kolofata, Cameroon

    Suspected Boko Haram fighters have kidnapped an influential traditional ruler and Muslim spiritual leader in northern Cameroon along with his family.  The kidnappers also seized the wife of a government minister during their raid in the border town of Kolofata, near Nigeria's Borno State.

    Residents of Kolofata say heavily armed men stormed their locality late Saturday and started shooting indiscriminately in the air, ransacking houses and looting.  They seized the town's mayor, Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also a traditional ruler and Muslim spiritual leader.

    Adviser to the cleric, Alidou Dandama, told VOA in a telephone interview what happened.

    He says the assailants kidnapped the Lamido or traditional and Muslim spiritual leader of Kolofata and all of his family and they also took the wife of Ahmadou Ali, a deputy prime minister who handles relations between the national assembly and assemblies of other countries.

    According to Dandama, the armed men headed toward Nigeria's Borno state with Ali's wife.  He adds the assailants surrounded the minister's house for nearly an hour.

    Cameroon's military has not commented directly on the kidnappings, but communication officer Frederick Massogui said on state radio there has been fierce fighting between Cameroonian soldiers and heavily armed men from Nigeria.

    He says northern Cameroon has again been attacked by hundreds of heavily armed Boko Haram members and the country's military is bravely defending its territory and its citizens.

    Ignatius Ndi, a resident of Maroua, regional capital of Cameroon's Far North Region, told VOA in a telephone interview soldiers fighting in the border area have been receiving reinforcements from Maroua.

    "The atmosphere here is that of fear and uncertainty because of repeated attacks," he said.  "The atmosphere is really tense and there are military helicopters circulating in the air, a thing people here are not used to.  The population has embarked on serious prayers in mosques and churches, praying that nothing should happen to them."

    Ndi adds that lots of people have been fleeing the border with Nigeria to other parts of Cameroon.

    "People who are living in the frontiers have started migrating to Maroua and it can actually degenerate into an explosion and to start handling those who are moving from the peripheries to the town will be a difficult situation for the government," he said.

    This is the second reported kidnapping of Cameroonians by the Nigerian Islamist group.  Earlier this month, suspected Boko Haram militants kidnapped two teenaged children of one of Cameroon's most influential Muslim spiritual leaders, Bieshair Mohaman.  The abduction occurred in the town of Limani, also on the border with Nigeria's Borno state, which is the home base of the Islamist group. 

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Louis Edward Brown
    July 27, 2014 5:29 PM
    Is Cameroon going to do anything about this or are they going to use the Nigerian military tactic of talking about it for months?

    by: Harry Kuheim from: USA
    July 27, 2014 3:03 PM
    Now, now...let's not jump to any conclusions...this is a Religion of Peace you know.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    July 27, 2014 11:32 PM
    There's only ONE truly peaceful religion on this earth and that's Roman Catholicism. The rest are inherently violent and bogus. Got it, gringo?

    by: Harry Kuheim from: USA
    July 27, 2014 12:23 PM
    Can we get these Peace Lovers to do a little job at the White House?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora