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Gov’t watching reported abduction of Filipino seafarers in Cameroon

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Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
PHILSTAR

THE Philippines is monitoring the reported kidnapping of eight mariners of an oil tanker from a port in Cameroon, two of which were Filipinos, the Foreign Affairs department said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Philippine Embassy in Abuja was “coordinating with relevant authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino seafarers,” the agency said. It did not identify the Filipinos.

Eight people were abducted and one person was injured during an armed raid overnight on the Greek-registered tanker anchored off Cameroon, Greek authorities said on Tuesday.

The two Filipinos were among the eight seafarers kidnapped on Dec. 31, along with five Greek nationals and a Ukranian.

Greece’s shipping ministry said the Happy Lady tanker was two nautical miles off the port of Limboh in Cameroon when it was stormed by armed men.

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Five Greeks, two people from the Philippines and a Ukrainian were kidnapped and a Greek national injured, the ministry said in a statement.

The tanker has a crew of 28.

In November, pirates abducted two Filipino seamen along with two other crew members aboard another Greek-flagged oil tanker off the coast of Togo.

Before that, pirates also kidnapped nine Filipino crewmen in a Norwegian vessel in the West African nation of Benin.

Also yesterday, the Foreign Affairs department, through the Philippine Embassy in Libya, called on Filipino migrants near conflict-stricken Tripoli to relocate or be ready to evacuate in case of clashes.

This advisory was issued after armed men took over a residential building that forced 17 Filipinos, including five minors, to flee their homes.

The Department reported in a Dec. 30 statement that the government has so far repatriated 149 Filipinos since the conflict started in April last year. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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