Nine persons held hostage by separatist fighters in Pinyin, Santa subdivision in Mezam Division of the Northwest region of Cameroon, have been rescued by the country’s army.
“Our men conducted a cordon-and-search operation during which they were able to free all the hostages, who were civilians and nine in number,” said Nka Valere, a Brigadier General and Commander of the 5th inter-army military region while presenting the hostages on Sunday, April 18, 2 in Bamenda, the chief town of the Northwest region.
Valere said no life was lost during the rescue operation as all went as planned.
The military chief revealed that his men also arrested some of the kidnappers and recovered some arms, ammunition, improvised explosive devices, and other dangerous objects.
“Security measures have been reinforced, and we are calling on the populations for frank cooperation with the defence and security forces,” he said, adding that the hostages, all of them men, were kidnapped in Santa five days earlier.
The separatists had been wreaking havoc along the Bamenda-Babadjou road where the hostages were held and have since forced road construction companies working on the dilapidated segment of the road linking the French-speaking Western region to the English-speaking Northwest region to abandon the project.
The separatists burnt down road construction/maintenance equipment before chasing the workers away.
Abductions from individual houses, workplaces and on the streets followed by executions or liberations against the payment of ransom have become the stock-in-trade of the separatists against civilians and uniformed men in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
Most of these exactions have been condemned by some of the separatist leaders themselves who say these despicable actions have had a big negative impact on their cause and on how the international community perceives them.