A Tunisian held hostage in Cameroon has died, according to the Tunisian Foreign Ministry yesterday, following an operation by Cameroon forces to free a number of hostages held by separatists.
“The Foreign Ministry unfortunately announces the death of Tunisian citizen Khaled Tinsa, one of the kidnapped by an armed group in southwestern Cameroon,” government spokesman and Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma said in the statement.
Another Tunisian captive, Mahrez Aouadi, was injured in the rescue operation and was transported to hospital where he will be treated before being returned to Tunis.
Tunisia is currently cooperating with the Cameroonian authorities to prosecute the armed group which kidnapped the Tunisian and Cameroon workers on 15 March.
The Tunisians were working for the Tunisian Soroubat Construction Company when they were captured in Cameroon’s Anglophone region where tensions have soared since separatists declared the area the republic of “Ambazonia” in October last year.
The workers, consisting of two Tunisian engineers and two Cameroonian technicians, were involved in building a road between the towns of Kumba and Isangele when they were kidnapped.
Separatists had threatened to attack foreign businesses but kidnapping was not a tactic authorities believed the group would use.
The security situation in Cameroon has deteriorated since January after 47 separatists, including their leader, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, were extradited from Nigeria. In Northern Cameroon, a Boko Haram insurgency has also added to the country’s turbulence with militants responsible for carrying out scores of attacks that have killed dozens of Cameroonians.