Cameroon Separatists Abduct 30 Women Protesting Illegal Taxes

Separatists have taken 30 women from the Babanki village, near the border with Nigeria. An official said the women were protesting against the monthly payments demanded by the separatists from women, men and children in the village. Taxes are also imposed on couples before their marriage and the separatists are forcing families to pay U.S.$1,000 to bury their relatives, Deutsche Welle reports.

Separatist leader Capo Daniel told Associated Press that the women were abducted in the middle of May, 2023. He said they were being punished for allowing themselves to be manipulated by Cameroon's government.

Cameroon has been plagued by fighting since English-speaking separatists launched a rebellion in 2017. The militant group wants to separate from the area dominated by the French-speaking majority and creating an independent, English-speaking state.

The conflict in the north-west and south-west of the country has claimed more than 6,000 lives and forced more than one million people to flee their homes, according to the International Crisis Group. In its most recent report Human Rights Watch was critical of the government clampdown on the separatists, while also critical of the rights abuses committed by the separatists.


Displaced people in the North West region (file photo).

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