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Cameroon says it busted regional child trafficking ring

The Observer | Cameroonian authorities say they have dismantled a network of child traffickers responsible for dozens of abductions in the region over the past several months.

The network is said to have extended into neighbouring Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad. The operation intensified after three young children were found dead in the back of a truck, prompting angry residents to torch a hotel owned by alleged traffickers.

Hundreds of people are still visiting the neighbourhood where the inn was razed last Tuesday by an angry mob in Cameroon’s southern town of Kiossi, on the border with Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Thirty-nine-year-old Vanessa Nzali was among parents of missing children who arrived in Kiossi Friday. She says she had traveled some 280 kilometers from Cameroon’s capital Yaounde when she heard that unidentified children had been found there by Cameroonian police. She says she immediately decided to travel to Kiossi to see if her missing 11-year-old daughter was among the children.

Nzali says four months ago she returned home from work and was informed by her neighbours that her daughter went to fetch water from a well and four men forced her into their car and drove off. She says her neighbours also told her there was a baby crying in the car.

Quetong Handerson Kongeh, the most senior Cameroon government official in the Ntem Valley administrative unit that includes Kiossi, says the inn was razed after a vehicle belonging to its owner was found with the three dead children who, as determined later, were aged two, four and seven years old.

“At about 2 p.m., their parents started looking for them and could not find them. These children had been kidnapped by some suspects who took them into an inn deep down into the quarter in Kiossi. They administered some toxic products and these children went off [died]. They now put these children inside bags and tied them, and put all of them in the back booth of a vehicle.”

Handerson Kongeh says 15 people suspected to be members of a network of child traffickers operating in Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea were arrested when investigations were opened.

In 2016, the Yaounde-based Interpol office for central African states reported that thousands ofchildren, alongside men and women, were forcibly abducted in Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo to be used as combatants, cooks, guards, sex partners, servants, messengers, and spies.

Patricia Asta of the local non-governmental organisation Children’s Rights says child kidnapping has increased in Central African states because many childless couples and mothers are ready to buy from the black market.

She says some are forced to serve as commercial sex workers, while others are recruited or kidnapped and then transported to far away places where they are forced to work as pickpockets, beggars and drug transporters.

Asta says within the past several months at least 26 cases of abductions have been reported to her NGO, with parents saying their children either were tricked, forced or persuaded to leave. She says they also have had cases of children who were held for ransom.

She says her organisation has decided to educate parents to be vigilant. It is also asking all victims to join the associations’s lawyers in legal processes that will protect and free children from predators who are out to target mainly naive teenagers. She says it is her wish to see to it that all child traffickers are punished.

Cameroon, according to the 2012 trafficking in persons report by the U.S. State Department, also is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

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  1. This now confirms that the many road checkpoints are for the collection of money
    and nothing else. No checks on overload, light failures, bad tires etc etc.
    This is the emerging cameroon of bi nvondo, the man of rigour and moralization.
    A fake politician.

  2. Paul Biya’s fake administration is too busy trying to keep him in power for life they cannot even check people traveling around with stolen humans! Bribe collection points here and there pretending like they are too busy while no work is being done at All! We Need a change of Guard in Cameroon!

  3. Sad as it is, I am not responding to this article–I am resorting to the the Ambazonian Statehood. To all Ambazonians with knowledge of citizens of LRC who live and work in Ambaland, compile and post their names online so that we can give them one more ultimatum to leave or get neutralized. They should go back home, we are very capable of managing our own affairs.

    • You are a terrorist using one impersonating someone else to spread your message of HATE.

      May the ancestors punish you and your kind for eternity.

      You are no different from the cult that has destroyed that country.

      You blood thirsty coward!

    • @ impersonator “zamzam”, have you taken the time to ponder over the faith of all the Anglophones living in French speaking regions? Thank God all you represent is madness and not the majority of the English speaking people of Cameroon. I am not going to ask you to stop endangering and terrorizing our people. I won’t give you that glory. I’ll rather plead on all level headed citizens to seak peace with all, as they go about their day to day lives.

    • @Zam-Zam
      Are you sick or you smoked that you rubbish?

      • Kikikiki,

        James, you sef!

        I know who’s doing that impersonation, but let him go ahead.

        Big Bro is watching…

  4. Always looking for ways to create violence. Because that’s the only way your virtual republic can existe.I bet you it has collapse to rise no more .These are people who are allergic to even their neighbours naturally.

  5. The US state department could say that about many other countries aswell .I hope when anyone involved in these types of crimes get caught a complete detailed investigation is neverending so everyone involved get caught .Cameroon should become famous as the number one no-go area for these types of crimes .If a kid dont know the local language of who they are living with and theres no back up reasons for this it could be a red light ?Maybe anyone under sixteen leaving the area of where their parents are ,without a parent should be obbliged to travel with papers unless its for schooling and its reported back to their birth police station via the new area police station , if staying away from parents , for more than 30 days .

  6. In the 80s in england they used to put photos of missing childern on milk bottles or cartons ….

  7. For ever young

    The failure curse regime of Mr Paul Biya most useless & corrupt despotic leadership can imagine ,brought all kinds of misery to Cameroonian, everywhere is the culture of death , either by road accident, famine, diseases, hunger due to food Security, lack of affordable health care system, bullets from the moronic thuggish army ,or dis satanic occultic bloody bastards preying/ killing the most vulnerable, our precious children for rituals money, upon all dis misfortune to Cameroonian dis useless wicked power drunk despotic Regime don’t wanna relinquish power back to the people

  8. @zam Zam! You are mad dog ? !

  9. If we depend on Cameroonian police on the road to check and pick up traffickers of innocent kids who ply our roads then we need a rethink. These guys are there to swindle money from people thats all they know. It is very easy for someone to traffic human head in Cameroon provided they have a series of 1000 frs CFA to but into their dossier for the police man to throw into his pocket. They are not only doing harm to the victims and or putting the security of the state at risk but they themslves. Their kids could be traficked as well and never cought if they continue to put the bribes they are taking ahead of the service they are supposed to be giving to the state. Our society is a typical example of a failed state and nothing seems to be done to ammeleorate the situtaion.