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US citizen detained in Cameroon for more than 3 months

Fabian Fomuki, a Canton resident, had just returned to his hotel in his native Cameroon in June when a group of masked men armed with guns abducted him, threw a bag over his head, and loaded him into a car, according to his family.

More than three months later, Fomuki, an American citizen, remains in the custody of government authorities in Cameroon, but hasn’t been charged with a crime, US officials said. His sister, Harriet Fomuki, said he was targeted due to his activism on behalf of Cameroon’s English-speaking minority.

“The world needs to know what’s going on,” Harriet Fomuki, 41, said Saturday in a telephone interview. “We’re hoping that someone will come to our rescue.”
Fabian Fomuki, 45, is married and has three young sons in Canton, she said. He works as a mental health counselor at a group home.

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His ordeal began June 20 when he was captured in Douala, but the conflict between English speakers and the government in the largely Francophone country stems from colonial times when separate parts of the nation gained independence from the French and British.

Fabian Fomuki was born in the country’s English-speaking region, which joined Cameroon in 1961. Over the last year, the area, also known as Southern Cameroons, has been the site of violent clashes with government forces. The conflict has led to school closures, Internet blackouts, and the jailing of dissidents.

Last week, government security forces shot dead 17 people, Amnesty International said, during gatherings on the 56th anniversary of the incorporation of Anglophone regions into the country. The protests were in support of independence for some English-speaking sections of Cameroon, the Associated Press reported.

The US State Department condemned the deadly violence in a statement and issued a travel warning to Americans considering trips to the Central African country.

“The Cameroonian government’s use of force to restrict free expression and peaceful assembly, and violence by protestors, are unacceptable,” the statement said. “We urge the Government of Cameroon to respect human rights and freedom of expression, including access to the internet.”

Harriet Fomuki, a US citizen who lives in Lexington, said her family learned of her brother’s abduction in June after he missed business appointments, didn’t answer his cellphone, or respond to instant messages.

Fabian Fomuki

Fabian Fomuki was in Douala to visit relatives and help with his family’s auto parts business, his sister said.

Cameroonian authorities later informed US embassy officials in Yaoundé, the country’s capital, that he had been detained, she said.

The government let a Cameroonian lawyer hired by Fabian Fomuki’s family and some of his brothers visit him at a police station in Yaoundé, Harriet Fomuki said.

During the meeting, her brother said his captors beat him and injected him three times with an unknown substance, she said. Harriet Fomuki said she hasn’t spoken with her brother since his detention, but has learned details of his situation from others who have talked with him.

In the last month, she said, Fabian Fomuki has been transferred to the Kondengui Central Prison. Harriet Fomuki described the detention facility as a “concentration camp” where prisoners have been killed.

“Conditions are horrible,” she said.

She said she believes Cameroonian officials had tracked her brother’s political activities in the United States, where he protested against the government’s treatment of English-speaking citizens at demonstrations in Boston and at UN headquarters in New York.

The protests were organized by the Southern Cameroons Public Affairs Committee, a promoter of the rights of English-speaking Cameroonians. Harriet Fomuki is the group’s treasurer.

She said she believes her brother was photographed by Cameroonian spies during a UN protest, which was held last March.

Cameroon is led by President Paul Biya, who came to power in 1982. His office said Saturday no one was available to discuss Fabian Fomuki. Cameroon’s embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have also written to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Fabian Fomuki and Patrick Ndongo, a US resident from Maryland who was also detained in Cameroon.

“We urge you to call upon the government of Cameroon to abide by its commitments to respect the rights of its citizens and to either appropriately charge or release imprisoned US citizens and residents,” said the letter signed by US Representatives Stephen Lynch, James McGovern, Niki Tsongas, and Joseph P. Kennedy III.

The Boston Globe

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69 comments

  1. A wake-up call to those who think that a western passport makes them immune to Cameroon realities…

    • I carry a Russian passport and my wife if from North Korea. I dare your animals in uniform should lay a finger in we when we are there for Christmas and risk the obliteration of that massive slump.

      • ‘Your’? Really? and by the way, you think Russians and Koreans will team up to come to your rescue right? The Russians are better at Kidnapping than all African countries put together; they do not hesitate to execute those who have a different opinion than King Putin. Not sure what the hell you are talking about!

        • I’m talking about being a Nuclear Arsenal Maintenance and Upgrading staff. Investigate what it takes to obtain a Russian passport instead of just talking too much. They will level mountains to get me back after pledging my loyalty to Mother Russia. That Uranium in the Lake Chad basin is part of my visit purpose.

      • can an African with his or her senses marry a none African?

        • Hihihi @ Bah,
          Où est le rapport avec cet article??
          C’est une question pertinante en tout cas.

      • they say empty vessels make the biggest noise.

      • I lived in Russia for seven years as a student, and the guy who claims to have a Russian passport and is involved in a nuclear project is full of it. Russians don’t employ Foreigners, especially from Africa in their military, classified research or intelligence agency. The best is working in a restaurant, nightclub or an IT programmer if you are educated enough. Even if you are married to one of Putin’s daughters you will never be involved in a nuclear project. there is a whole list of subjects you cannot be allowed to study in Russia as a foreigner. Except, Mr. Kurva probably got his nuclear physics or engineering degree from the US or from Cameroon, China etc and later traveled with Denis Rodman to N. Korea and met his wife.

        • Well said David.

          That man called Kurva should just shut up instead of exposing his ignorance and stupid pride here. Who is he trying to impress here? Stay abroad and don’t go spend Christmas in our beloved nation if you are planning to defy our policemen foolishly. Once you are on that soil, you must comply to it’s rules and regulations… full stop. Some people can really be foolish … hear him brag about a foreign passport…Nonsense!

        • Johny Jumper

          Did you guys knew that Kurva is actually the “F-word” in Polish, so I guess this guy live in Poland

    • @ Confucius… How many people carry their passport with them? I can assure you those men didn’t know he is a US citizen.

      • yet the article said at least according to his sister that the usa embassy was noticed. so they just picked an embassy randomly?

    • I’m shocked this particular breed of creature is taking pride in what his keens are doing! Who is this degenerate filth masking behind one of the world’s best ever philosopher? Change your moniker to Forchive, Goebbels or Rasputin NOW!

  2. Épée Dipanda

    Fools falling in the trap that those in the west are setting for them.
    You take an American citizen and it’s only a matter of time before they come for you.
    Ce n’est pas comme la France.

  3. Pompidou Mensah

    This is just more proof of crimes against humanity, These French slaves think they will get away with murder, witchcraft and underdevelopment. Hitler did not. The hutus did not.

  4. what did the lawyer say he was arrested for ?? tell the whole story..

  5. The delay to release him even when the embassy etc cries foul, is the over bottleneck,
    that Trump denounced in his first address to the UN, as president.
    What more, it adds to the number of points necessary to see LRC, as a dictatorship.
    What less, it adds to reduce the credibility of the UN, a world body, that is slow to the
    the cries and sufferings of ordinary folks.
    What stops the UN secy, from rushing to Cameroon, even for an hour, to save humanity?

  6. At this point we only have one side of this story.
    Until we have the other side, please do not be partizan.
    I really do not believe he is detained simply because wify says he took part in some manifestations.

    BTW, why is that the American government is not sending “Tomawaks” to free him up….

    • Listen monkey French Slave!!!

      I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed more if only they knew they were slaves..Harriett Tubman.

      Thank God the sisters name is Harriett too. You are in big trouble monkey.

      Keep adoring your slave masters but they are no match for the Yankees.

      • You listen, hugly grassfielder moron, you can go low, but I will not follow up there.
        You guys love the mud and you shall stay there.
        When you have nothing to add just zip it.
        I still do not see the correlation between you and Harriet Tubman.
        Your fight is of no real purpose, except you want to be in “ambazonia”.
        If that is your fight, then you are really bringing this great LADY
        ‘s fight to “oyur level”

      • as far as the entire world is concerned you are the slaves, suffering from inferiority complex, and seeking validation from a small town council, how sad. since the UK have rejected you have been reduced to beg cities in far away usa to recognize your poor hamlets

      • You are already deep down in a hole green teeth gorilla. IDIottt!

        • so when does Lowell send its army to free you or defend your pseudo independence .oops i forgot ,never. ah ah wake up from your slumber you unrpentant m0r0n1c bastardo, your poverty stricken hamlets will forever remain under our till we say otherwise. now run along bamenda

        • under our boots*

  7. Africans For Donald Trump

    There are American citizens in jail in countries all over the world.

    The article says Cameroonian officials informed the US embassy that he had been detained. The guy is not innocent!

    Having a US passport does not give you the right to violate the laws of other countries! If you commit a crime in Cameroon, you will be arrested and locked up in Kondengui! The government of Cameroon definitely has a strong case against this individual.

    • Because it is y`de and not in `d`la, this is a political victimization – one of those
      from the diaspora {USA}. So far, Kondengui, remains the center for such cases
      and there is no reason to deny the fact.

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        Your comment makes absolutely no sense!

        What facts are you talking about?
        These are the facts below:

        When you commit a crime against a country you do not chose what jail you are taken to.

        Being a US citizen does not give you the right to commit crimes and go unpunished.
        US officials are aware Fomuki is in jail.
        The government of Cameroon has the right to lock up any US citizen who commits a crime in Cameroon in the Yaoundé central prison at Kondengui .

        The Yaoundé central prison – Kondengui was made for criminals like Fomuki. I bet he will come out of Kondengui as a vegetable!

        The fact that you sympathise with him is evidence that he is a criminal because you are a terrorist. You posted messages here urging people in Cameroon to go burn down the home of Atanga Nji!

  8. The US foreign policy is the job of the US president or his appointees. As a US citizen, who mandated Fomuki to actively engage in destabilizing a foreign country, even if that was their birth place? Is gaining US citizenship a passport for messing with government around the world?

    • How did he destabilized LRC? By posting activist info online? Wandas!

    • But when he came with his dollars for business etc, he was a patriotic Cameroonian, living in
      the US.
      The kind of mentality the black man has, amounts to `why black man di sofa today`,… Fela.
      See how the Asian tigers, Isreal etc have developed, because of the good heart that they have
      for fatherland.

      • Those who actually come with significant dollar amount for business never talked about it.

  9. For ever young

    I think we’ve meet several times I was introduced by his late father a king (Fon) from MoMo division knows my dad with some delegation from Cameroon meet in New York & some nice folks from Boston Massachusetts , true activist of the liberation movement & successful business men, what a way for dis useless despotic Regime to pay back his fathers for their loyalty, GoD willing we shall break free from dis GoD forsaken union by any means necessary with moronic clowns east of the mungo has killed , rape, beaten imprisoned,destroyed & steal our resources etc

    • Don’t be blindsided by the “useless despotic regime” and refuse to see his wrong doing here. If he is a foreign national, he must abstain from implicating himself in government business of another country, unless mandated as a diplomat by his country. He must be really lucky.

  10. so how do they know he was abducted by masked gunmen and what made them think these were government forces? rubbish. your smear campaigns shall not, Cameroon is a peaceful and free country, our law enforcements are very professional and abide by the law of the land and human rights in general. this can be seen in their handling of the bamenda crisis where only 08 violent thugs were neutralized in the so called genocide sending despair in the enemies of Cameroon camp, who wished more of their people were killed to paint the govt bad and draw attention to their sorry case who has already lost steam. As far as we our concerned this guy may have well absconded in order to not pay all the debts he owes in America. or maybe he is a scammer seeking refuge in Cameroon, who knows.

    • Hey drunk, people of your ilk who are only good at eating , drinking and stealing should not pretend to have a clue about public debate. You sheepishly sought to know why someone would think he was abducted by masked men and gov’t forces and you conclude that it’s rubbish! As expected, the blind bat you are concluded that he MAY, not might have well absconded not to pay taxes. You are accusing others of smear campaign and shooting off your French trained thuggery by engaging in weak knee public Lynching. “ As far as we are concerned “, you who? And why are you cocksure he “ MAY “ have well absconded? I thought you learnt a lesson not to make threats of violence by the Police on Anglophones? You know who is going to go on an apology tour and claim that we are brothers, don’t you?

      • no i don’t, who needs to apologize to anglofools and for what reasons actually? is this another one of you pipe dreams? i mean come on now man, didn’t this teach you anything? you guys are nonentities the 2008 which only lasted for 3days had more airtime and coverage than your 1year long crap, guess why because no one cares about you and your fight for recolonization, your are insignificant both in cameroon and outside cameroon and it shall forever remain so, till you sink in your heads that there is no angloofol problem and cameroon shall forever remains one and indivisible. meanwhile how you reconcile yourself when deep inside you you wished more of your people were killed so that it could advance your cause how sad, anglo saxon heritage of bloodshed and escalating issues. pathetic

  11. how can an African be a US citizen?is this not miss identity?

  12. For ever young

    Stop talking nonsensical stuff here pinguiss , dis guy employed more Cameroonian than u bad-mouthing here in the internet, besides his successful in his car/ parts business in the U.S & in Douala & a nice guy thus his not a scammer but was arrested for his political activism plan & simply besides how can he be a refugee when his late father is a FON in MOMO,/ government official ?????don’t think u are not serious

    • Africans For Donald Trump

      He was arrested for his ambazombi terrorism activities.

      All those ambazombi terrorists with US passports who think they can plan and coordinate terrorism activities in Cameroon and go free should watch out!
      Kondengui is waiting for you guys!

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        The fact that his late father was a fon in Momo does not mean that he is free to plan and coordinate terrorism activities in Cameroon!

        Alfred Dasi alias Momo grass bird sniper has given the government the names of his fellow ambazombi terrorist collaborators to the government and the government will arrest them and torture them in Kondegui where they belong.

        He will come out of Kondengui as a vegetable! Kondengui show ye no hear ye!

  13. UNITED WE STAND is an oft quoted mantra but not mentioned along is the quality that goes with such a union. How strong is a union with no integrity, no solidarity, fake components? How strong is a union that lacks compassion?
    Erecting an artificial wall between NW and SW is an exercise in futility as demonstrated by events of the past month. Preaching “one and indivisible” yet unleashing death and destruction on elements of the one and indivisible is no way to keep the union. If troops need citizen solidarity to fight an outside enemy like Boko Haram, how can such solidarity be obtained with the kind of mayhem unleashed on the people by troops, some clearly of foreign nationality?

    The endless list of comparisons with South Sudan or break-away Biafra do not help the cause in Cameroon. For

    • Quite apart from the fact that there is no law against secession, South Sudan did secede and in spite of the horrors they face today, returning to re-embrace the north is not on the agenda. Biafra tried but failed to secede but Biafra was never ever an independent country like Southern Cameroon. So the comparison falls short.

      A better comparison would be the secession of Gambia from the short-lived experiment with Senegal called Senegambia. So quixotic pronouncements about secession being a taboo subject reflects only the false cocoon in which its proponents live.

      Is cohabitation still possible? The leaders of contending parties will decide this.

      • lies and deceits will not advance your already sorry and lost case, Southern cameroons independence was conditioned by either joining nigeria or cameroon, therefore it was never and independent country prior to that, the letters of the british are very clear on this, the mandate called souther cameroons was deemed too poor or not economically viable to be one country, so how do we go from not being economically viable to be a country, and having to join either nigeria or cameroon to being an independent country? old man locate your nearest old people house/center and die there, it is ludicrous that an old person such as you who is supposed to teach pure and undiluted history has decided to twist it for its own pleasure because this is not about your perception or what you but about facts

        • You owe a duty to moderate for appropriate language, violence and hate. I struggle to understand why this individual continue to categorise and derogate certain people. This is frankly appalling!

          Pinguiss,

          For your information, there are laws in the land you live in. You cannot go on violating people in the name of animosity. I have monitored you for a while, I have sufficient evidence on you and I will demonstrate systemic pattern. Finally, I have your IP, but for the fact that I am a law abiding individual I’d happily publish it on here and in the dark web. I leave that to the authorities.

        • @ LAWs my arse,

          Liaten you don’t scare anyone here ok? use you bully tactics from our english culture to your ass ok? you will be smoked out when time comes…did you watch the video our sister from southern cameroon did to your leader seseseko? be careful

      • @ John. That’s not true. South Cameroon was never a country on its own. This was part of Kamerun that was given to the British after the world war. The SW and NW people have nothing in common except the English language that was imposed on them by the British.The Nigeria Biafrans are of same ancestry with a common culture unlike the SW & NW Cameroonians.

    • and as usual you had nothing to say about the war drums beaters, who flooded this Cameroonian beti owned forum with their genocide alert/accusations against a population that has never harassed them, never assaulted or attacked them, i guess that’s how from your anglo saxon heritage you build trust right? anglofools are saints and whatever they say are sacrosanct truths. well guess what we are tired of your bullshit , and over her we find it very funny that the people you call cam nogo have suddenly become your brothers and it is the rest of the country that is trying to divide you, ah ah the joke of the century, i am pretty sure francophones wrote Mussongue and Ekema speeches.only babies can’t be held responsible for their actions, it is time for you to grow up and own your shit.

  14. A lot of the guys who are US citizens who have had problems home because they posted something on social media have simply been put on plane and sent back to the US once they embassy intervened. I know more than 5 that it happened that way. If this guy is in jail for months, then they might be some real issue other than him supporting the struggle

  15. being in possession of a us passport does not gives you the right to engage yourself political matters of another country be it your country of birth. this man is no more a cameroonian due to his us passport so let him respect himself as far as politics are concerned in cameroon.

  16. Hope he got injected with HIV.

  17. @pinguiss Have u for once asked yourself how SC managed to quit Nigerian politics and became independent from 1954?That SC was asked to become independent by integration with an Independent Nigeria or Reunification with LRC does not mean SC was suppose to be part of independent Nigeria or LRC.That is where u get it all wrong.If u did not get it wrong,why did the 1961 constitution states that there are two independent territories,west and east CMR? Why did the 1972 Constitution states that the united republic of CMR will constitute the territories of West and East CMR? and to make it worse,why did Biya gave the country,an east CMR name in 1984.What is he hiding? D’ont worry,u will cry more,becos Ambasonia is real. No schools in our territory.HE Sesekou Ayuk Tabe calls the shots.

    • lies and deceits will not advance your already sorry and lost case, Southern cameroons independence was conditioned by either joining nigeria or cameroon, therefore it was never and independent country prior to that, the letters of the british are very clear on this, the mandate called souther cameroons was deemed too poor or not economically viable to be one country, so how do we go from not being economically viable to be a country, and having to join either nigeria or cameroon to being an independent country? old man locate your nearest old people house/center and die there, it is ludicrous that an old person such as you who is supposed to teach pure and undiluted history has decided to twist it for its own pleasure because this is not about your perception or what you but about facts

    • @ KONGOSA

      Don’t mind this lop-sided moron called Pinguiss. The chatter box is so ignorant of the history of Cameroon to the extent that he continues to make a fool of himself here. He has not listened to Mr. Biya’s speech in Buea in which he said “I know Buea was once the capital of Southern Cameroons. I know Buea was once the capital of German Kamerun.” Let him stop exposing his buffoonery here.

  18. Pinguiss.: ” Lies and deceit will not advance your already sorry and lost case, Southern Cameroons independence was condition by either joining Nigeria or Cameroon, therefore it was never an independent country prior to that…”

    One Day Later: Agbor: ” Lies and deceit will not advance your already sorry and lost case , Southern Cameroons independence was conditioned by either joining Nigeria or Cameroon, therefore it was never an independent country prior to that…”

    CAUGHT IN THE ACT! Folks see what this cretin from the epicenter of corruption excels at! Stealing is in his DNA!

  19. @ FIRECRAKER,

    I just read the post Pinguis made and I liked it and agreed with him thus I copied it and pasted it. Stop the paranoia ok? Pinguiss is now to me an intellectual I can quote…

    • Mbappe Pinguiss alias Agbor! 99 days for restless grasshopper, one day for end up inside bird yi mouth! You overplayed your hand and shot yourself in the leg! You have been exposed! These are the tactics you use to destroy La Republique! You are now butt naked in front of everyone here! Sad!

    • “Intellectual”, like “elite” has one meaning in the rest of the world while Cameroon has a unique plumage for it, often denoting anyone who has left hamlet or village and come to settle in the towns and cities.To make up for a dwarf stature, they conjure fantastic Lilliputian utopias like “one and indivisible” and “shape of the state non-negotiable” totally oblivious to the fact that the so-called “indivisible was a product that resulted from negotiations. While intellectuals solve problems elsewhere, the local breeds create problems for others to solve.

      • By the way, the commentary you are alluding to was made by Firefighter, not Firecracker!

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        John Dinga

        You are anything but an intellectual!

        You will never be described as a successful person in the United States despite your age and the decades you have spent in the US.
        Now you want to blame the government of Cameroon for your failures in life.?

        Go ahead and blame the government of Cameroon but it is obvious to the objective people in your community and your neighbours that you are a failure because you are a lazy and dumb old man!

        Shegeue!

  20. @Pinguiss Aka Agbor
    U can answer all the names from SC,but just know that we are keeping traces of u.

    • Épée Dipanda

      Kongossa,
      We don’t need to keep track of him as we are already on our way to Buea, Ambazonia – West Africa.
      Crackheads like Pinguiss can go climb a tall tree.