Eleven officials kidnapped in Cameroon rebel region


Suspected rebels from Cameroon’s Bakassi Peninsula kidnapped 11 local government officials and killed two gendarmes in separate attacks in the oil-rich region, says a local mayor.

Cornelius Edonde, mayor of the town of Kombo-Idinti, said the mayor and 10 other officials of nearby Kombo-Abedimo were kidnapped in a pirate attack on their boat on Sunday as they returned from a function in waters just off the Bakassi coast.

Two local gendarmes were shot in a separate attack onshore in the same region early on Monday, Edonde said by telephone, Reuters reports.

Edonde said both incidents were suspected to be the work of a local rebel group which calls itself the Africa Marine Commando (AMC) and has carried out past kidnappings to demand the release of their fighters held by the authorities.

The AMC is a splinter faction of the Bakassi Freedom Fighters group which is seeking compensation on behalf of Nigerians compelled to leave the Bakassi Peninsula after the disputed land was handed over to Cameroon in 2008.

The hard-line AMC group broke away from the Bakassi Freedom Fighters in early 2009 in a dispute over whether to open up a dialogue with Cameroon’s government.