YAOUNDE, May 22 (Xinhua) — Scores of women have been abducted in Cameroon’s English-speaking region of Northwest where an armed separatist conflict is underway, security and local sources said Monday. The women were abducted by separatist fighters in Big Babanki village of the region after they staged a protest demonstration against a tax imposed on them by the fighters, a family source of one of the kidnapped women told Xinhua by phone.
“They are about 50 women in captivity. They are between 30 and 70 years old. Some of them were shot in the legs and beaten by the fighters. They were kidnapped over the weekend and they are still in captivity,” the source said and asked not to be named for security reasons.
A propaganda video released by separatists showed the kidnapped women in distress sitting on the bare surface in an undisclosed location. “They say they want to fight Amba (separatist fighters). We have already captured them. We do not yet know their fate. It might be death,” a voice is heard saying in the video.
Local officials said a search and rescue mission by security forces in the region was in progress.
Abductions are common in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to create an independent nation they call “Ambazonia.”