News / Africa

Cameroon Blames Seleka Rebels for Hostage Taking

Cameroonian troops have crossed over to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) and freed eight of 20 people kidnapped recently by Seleka rebels.  The military says no one was killed in the operation. Seleka rebels in the C.A.R. have increasingly resorted to kidnappings and ransom demands to fund their activities.  

A confrontation erupted when Cameroonian soldiers blocked armed Seleka fighters from entering the border town of Garoua Boulai. The armed men from the Central African Republic retreated but later crossed back over into Cameroonian territory and kidnapped 20 people.  

The governor of East Cameroon, Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua, told VOA in a telephone interview that some of the captives were seized from a public transport bus.

"In the vehicle we didn't have more than six people so they took all of them," he said. "We got the information and asked our forces to go to the field.  So they met them and they [the rebels] started to shoot, two of them escaped at midnight.  And we are just asking people to see the [military] forces to give them assistance when they are traveling in the night."

Diboua said although one of the captives, against the wishes of the government, paid $150,000 of the $500,000 requested as ransom,  Cameroonian forces crossed over into neighboring C.A.R. and freed eight of the hostages.

The spokesperson for Cameroon's military, Colonel Didier Badjeck, says they are still working on a strategy to liberate the remaining hostages and secure the border with C.A.R. from future armed attacks.

"We still have the situation under control and the population has to be reassured that their security is guaranteed," he said. "We have occupied the field so that the response should be more spontaneous.  We have also improved our equipment which has also helped the flexibility and the strength of our units."

VOA asked Colonel Badjeck to comment on newspaper reports that some Cameroonians are collaborating with the Seleka fighters.

"We don't want to imagine at all that the population can connive with our enemy," he said.

Cameroon is also facing disruption on its western border with Nigeria, where the military has clashed in recent months with suspected Boko Haram militants.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid