The Northwest regional chief of Cameroon’s Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection was kidnapped early Sunday by “unidentified gunmen” in Bamenda, Cameroon’s largest Anglophone city, local authorities said.
“The regional chief, Mr. Henry Awah was abducted alongside his wife by unknown gunmen. We are still trying to locate their whereabouts and secure their safe release,” a government official who asked not to be named told Xinhua.
Awah is among about six government officials that have been kidnapped in the Northwest, one of the two troubled English-speaking regions of Cameroon, since the armed conflict started in 2017.
Early last year, two top government officials were abducted in the restive region and were later declared “missing” by the government.
Kidnappings have become rampant in the two troubled Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest where armed separatists are fighting to secede from largely French-speaking Cameroon and create a new nation they called “Ambazonia”.
The United Nations estimates that at least 430,000 people in Cameroon have been displaced internally by the conflict.