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21 Persons Kidnapped In A Month In Touboro, Far North Cameroon

The kidnapping cases have been linked to a Boko Haram return to the Far North region of Cameroon, where they had hitherto vanished.

Within the past month, at least 21 persons were abducted in the Touboro sub-division in the Mayo-Rey division of the Far North region of Cameroon.

After a period of relative calm in the area, kidnapping for ransom has returned to the Touboro subdivision.

Varvara Ndjidda, a farmer in Mbilougui, one of the victims of the kidnappers, was abducted on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

“They chained me and forced me to follow them. They took me at around 10 a.m. in the morning and we trekked the whole day and part of the night before reaching their camp,” Ndjidda revealed.

“There were three other hostages in the camp and they put me together with them after chaining my legs. The following morning they came and took me and subjected me to torture in order to force me into giving them information. They eventually demanded that my family pay them a ransom.”

Varvara Ndjidda was released six days later after his family paid a ransom of 3.5 million FCFA (about US$7,000) to the abductors.

Another victim, Goudkoye Viche, was abducted and held for 15 days. He was only released after his family paid a ransom of 10 million FCFA (about US$20,000).

According to the mayor of the Touboro Council, Celestin Yandal, the increased insecurity is occasioned first by the “geographical location of the subdivision which is between the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic followed by the political crises in the Central African Republic with its corollary which includes numerous armed groups which parade our frontiers which in turn are unfortunately porous.”

“Finally the fundamental reason is the land area of the Mayo-Rey division which is 36,529 square kilometres and bigger than Belgium. Touboro subdivision on its own has a surface area of 16,610 square kilometres, which is larger than the West region with a surface area of 14,000 square kilometres,” Yandal said.

“All these factors facilitate the movement of numerous groups of criminals who disappear into nature after committing crimes in all serenity.”

Though the Mayor and the inhabitants in his area of jurisdiction were reluctant to mention the name “Boko Haram,” the return of abductions and other crimes has a link to the increasing presence of combatants of the terrorist sect who have recently been returning to the zone in their hundreds.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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