The leader of one of Cameroon’s main opposition parties was released by his
captors on Saturday after being abducted by unidentified gunmen in the
country’s restive Anglophone region a day earlier, his party said.
Separatist rebels have been battling government forces for nearly two years
over perceived marginalization of English speakers by the central African
country’s Francophone-dominated government.
John Fru Ndi, who heads the Social Democratic Front (SDF) and finished runner-up
to President Paul Biya in the 2011 election, was taken from his home in the
city of Bamenda on Friday, the second time in two months he had been kidnapped.
Jean Robert Wafo, an SDF official, said in a statement that Fru Ndi had been
released on Saturday evening. He provided no details about who had taken him or
where he had been held.
The SDF blamed his previous abduction in April, which lasted a few hours, on
Anglophone secessionist rebels. The SDF has criticized Biya, who has served as
president since 1982, for his handling of the crisis, but has not endorsed
separatist demands for an independent English-speaking state.
The United Nations estimates the conflict has killed about 1,800 people and
displaced over 500,000 since 2017.