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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora