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Search launched for over 30 victims of military boat capsize

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Security forces have launched a search for more than 30 people who went missing after a military boat capsized between Bakassi and Debunscha in South West Cameroon.

A press release issued by Joseph Beti Assomo, Minister delegate at the presidency in charge of defence, said the boat which overturned on July 16, had 37 people on board. Only three soldiers of the rapid intervention unit (commonly known by its French abbreviation, BIR) were rescued.  The Cameroon News Agency, CNA reported earlier today July 17, that five dead bodies have been retrieved from the sea.

Going by the minister’s statement, the boat which was transporting provisions for soldiers based in Bakassi was struck by sudden strong waves. The boat, the communique said, appears to have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. A commission of inquiry has been set up to get to the root cause of the incident.

The commission created on the behest of Paul Biya, Head of State, Chief of Armed Forces, is headed by Jean Baptiste Bokam, secretary of state in charge of the national gendarmerie at the defence ministry,.

The incident comes after the Nigerian government accused Cameroonian security forces of killing 97 Nigerian fishermen in the Bakassi Peninsular which had been a bone of disagreement between the two countries for decades. Nigeria handed over the Peninsular to Cameroon after the UN’s Koffi Attah Anan successfully brokered a Green Tree Accord between the two countries.

Published on 28.04.2020

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