South West: Freed Hostages Reunite With Their Families
The 15 people captured by separatist fighters in Bessali, Lebialem Division reunited with their families during a ceremony in Kumba on October 15, 2020.
Some 15 persons taken into captivity by separatist fighters in Bessali, Wabane Subdivision, Lebialem Division of the South West Region, liberated by elements of the Sixth Military Battalion of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, (B.I.R) in the South West Region have reunited with their families.
A ceremony to that effect took place on Thursday, October 15, at the B.I.R Military Base in Mambanda, Kumba, presided over by the Senior Divisional Officer for Meme Sivision, Chamberlin Ntou'ou Ndong, in the presence of the Commander of the Sixth Military Battalion of the Rapid Intervention Battalion for the South West Region, Lieutenant Colonel Maidoang Desire. Speaking at the ceremony, an elated Senior Divisional Officer for Meme Division reassured the freed hostages that the government of Cameroon will continue to protect the lives and property of the population. He reiterated the Head of State, President Paul Biya’s call on the Separatist fighters to drop their arms and get to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Centres in order to be reintegrated into the society, failure of which the consequences will be grave and weighty. While commending the efforts of Cameroon's military in liberating the 15 persons taken hostage, the Meme divisional boss gave financial support to help the freed hostages overcome some challenges as they were reunited with their families.
Speaking earlier, Lieutenant Colonel Maidoang Desire, narrated how they undertook the difficult operation that led to the liberation of the hostages from the dungeons of the separatist fighters in Wabane Sub division in which their notorious leader, the so-called Major General Ayeke, 33, was neutralized and a huge consignment of ammunition and other gadgets retrieved from the destroyed camps of the separatist fighters.
A representative of the various families who came to take their love ones home heaped praises on the military for their professionalism as none of the ex-hostages were harmed. The military operation that led to the liberation of the hostages took place for two days with the final onslaught on Tuesday morning of October 13, with the killing of the kidnap kingpin, "Major General" Ayeke. Most of those who were kidnapped were from the villages of Tali One and Two in Manyu Division. A ransom of FCFA 1.6 million was demanded from each of them, failure of which they would have been killed on the day of their liberation. Among the freed hostages were three ladies sexually abused by the slained separatist leader and his gang. The three are from the same family. Equally among the freed hostages was the father of the Divisional Officer of Douala V, Mr. Mathias Fombele, who said the kidnapped of his father, Pa Paul Fombele, came after that of his mother some months back. He showered praises on the military for a job well done. The freed hostages before joining their families underwent medical examination to ensure that they were in good health.
Some of them complained of losing their National Identity Cards but the Senior Divisional Officer for Meme Division gave them the reassurance of procuring a new one soonest. In all, it was a happy ceremony at the B.I.R military Camp as the various families celebrated with their love ones.