They returned to their homes on Wednesday 24 May, bearing wounds and other stigma, signs of torture and other violence.
Around thirty women abducted on 20 May in the village of Kdjom keku, Mezam division , were released on Wednesday May 24th . According to a statement by the Divisional Officer , Simon Emile Mooh, they have all gradually returned home. “On Wednesday evening, the women abducted by armed men were all released. Their release began mid-day. They were released in groups and by the end of the evening they were all free. They had returned to their homes“, said the administrative authority.
However, it is clear that the violence suffered by some of them requires medical assistance. The stigma on their hands and feet, the reddish marks and bullet wounds on one of them are evidence of torture.” The woman with the bullet wounds could have her limbs amputated,” explained the prefect. For their release, the administrative authority specified that no ransom had been paid to the kidnappers.
The kidnapping of these dozens of women took place on Saturday 20 May 2023, the day of the celebration of National Unity Day in Cameroon. As to this effect, the DO confirms that 30 women were abducted on this day at around 8am in the village of Kedjom-Keku, otherwise known as “Big Babanki”, in the Tubah district of the North-West region by the Takumbengs separatist militia.
The administrative authority points out that this is gender-based violence against civilians. DO Simon Emile Mooh also announced the opening of an investigation to bring the perpetrators of the kidnapping to justice, an operation which turned effective few days later.
The kidnapped women had risen up against the abuses committed by the separatists and decided to march. Their aim was to protest against the “war effort” levy imposed by the separatists. In retaliation, the separatists kidnapped them and threatened to kill them. Separatist militias active in the English-speaking regions are trying to obtain independence for the North-West and South-West regions.