Another kidnapping of the Cameroonian politician John Fru Ndi

John Fru Ndi of Social Democratic Front John Fru Ndi of Social Democratic Front REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

11 July 2019

John Fru Ndi reported his 24-hour kidnapping from his home in Bamenda in the English speaking Northwest Region in Cameroon

John Fru Ndi is a well-known cameroonian politician and founder of  the Social Democratic Front (SDF) which is the main opposition party in the country. For the second time in less than one year, he was kidnapped on Saturday 29 June.

The attack against Fru Ndi happened in the English speaking Northwest Region of Cameroon where kidnappings have intensified due to the current crisis. Local politicians, leaders, soldiers, police officers and civilians are often targeted.

Current conflicts in Cameroon, which is mostly French-speaking, began when Anglophone teachers and legal practitioners protested against their marginalisation by the central government. Anglophone militants declared an independent state in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest Regions. In these areas, since 2017, armed separatists have kidnapped hundreds of people. Although Fru Ndi has been an important advocate for the rights of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority,  he does not support the creation of the independent state wanted by the separatists. Fru Ndi explained that his kidnappers were the group of Ambazonian separatists who broke into his house, beat him and then took him to an abandoned building. There, at least 15 separatists, armed with assault rifles and under the effect of drugs, intimidated him and attempted to coerce him to withdraw his party’s representatives from the parliament.

“The separatists pretend to be protecting the Anglophone people, but they are just abusing them”, explained Fru Ndi in an interview with RFI. “They do all this because they accuse me of not supporting them and they want me to remove my deputies from the Cameroonian parliament. I was not in a good mood to negotiate, but I asked them to release me so I could talk to my MPs, senators and mayors to see what approach to take”. 


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Author: Giulia Francescon; Editor: Aleksandra Kròl

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