Page last updated at 23:57 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Abducted Chinese fishermen freed in Cameroon

Cameroon with Bakassi Peninsula

Seven Chinese fishermen kidnapped off Cameroon's disputed Bakassi peninsula have been released.

The seven men were abducted from two fishing boats on 12 March by a previously unknown group called the Africa Marine Commando.

They are due to arrive by boat in the coastal town of Limbe, sources told China's Xinhua news agency.

It is unclear if any ransom was paid. AFP news agency says the kidnappers were demanding up to $25,000 (£16,000).

The release was secured after negotiations with Chinese and Cameroonian officials, said China's ambassador to Cameroon, Xue Jinwei.

The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah in Yaounde says the Africa Marine Commando is a previously unheard-of group, alleged to be Nigerian.

The disputed oil-rich Bakassi peninsula has been relatively stable in recent months after a series of kidnappings of foreign nationals in 2008 and 2009, our correspondent adds.

The Cameroon government has since deployed a rapid intervention battalion to control the area.

Bakassi juts into the Gulf of Guinea, an area which may contain up to 10% of the world's oil and gas reserves.

Print Sponsor

Feeling like fish out of water
02 Oct 09 |  Africa
Chinese 'kidnapped off Cameroon'
08 Jul 09 |  Africa
Cameroon rebels release hostages
11 Nov 08 |  Africa
Nigeria cedes Bakassi to Cameroon
14 Aug 08 |  Africa
'Blood oil' dripping from Nigeria
27 Jul 08 |  Africa
Cameroon country profile
19 Apr 11 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific