"The Minister of External Relations hereby informs the public of the return of eight of our female compatriots who were in distress in Kuwait, on Sunday, 14 October 2018, through the Douala International Airport, Flight No. ET915 of Ethiopian Airlines.
They were welcomed at 2:30p.m on the runway of the Douala International Airport by the officials of the Douala Protocol and Consular Outpost of the Ministry of External Relations, the General Delegation for National Security and those of the International Organisation for Migration in Douala. The ladies reunited with their respective families after going through the relevant administrative, health and police procedures.
The Government is indeed pleased with the happy denouement of this first phase of repatriation which, undoubtedly, is eloquent testimony of the excellent cooperation ties between the Governments of Cameroon and Kuwait. As a matter of fact, as soon as the Embassy of Cameroon in Riyadh was informed of the situation, it immediately drew the attention of the Authorities of Kuwait. Based on information thus received, laissez-passers were issued to these compatriots who accepted to go through formal identification procedures. Furthermore, the Cameroon Embassy in Riyadh which has constantly been in touch with our compatriots in distress, is working relentlessly with the Authorities of Kuwait, in planning for the voluntary repatriation of all Cameroonian citizens duly identified.
On another note, an inquiry is currently being conducted by our Forces of Law and Order, to dismantle the networks for the trafficking of human beings to countries of the Middle East and other regions. So far, the investigation has already led to the arrest and detention of several traffickers.
The Minister of External Relations hereby expresses his gratitude to the Authorities of Kuwait for their kind assistance and expediency that helped to identify, assist and finally ensure the effective return of our citizens.
He further reassures the Esteemed Authorities of Kuwait of the total readiness of Cameroonian Authorities to continue cooperating closely with them, within the framework of combating illegal migration, trafficking in, and exploitation of human beings. Meanwhile, the Minister of External Relations deplores the following:
- the negative attitude of some individuals and NGOs who have repeatedly and shamelessly used the distress situation of these young compatriots for their selfish ends; - the media hype of these young ladies who, as a matter of priority, need protection rather than media exposure, especially from people involved in human trafficking networks;
- the extortion of these young ladies by these unruly traffickers, who extorted money purportedly for the issuance of laissez passers, which were later issued to them free of charge by our Embassy in Riyadh. The Minister of External Relations hereby calls on our citizens at large to demonstrate a higher sense of self-control and caution by avoiding to disseminate false information just for the buzz which, far from helping the situation of our other compatriots, could rather complicate ongoing procedures in one way or the other.
Similarly, the Minister of External Relations calls on youths to be vigilant in the face of the multiple enticing invitations by human trafficking networks that lure them with prospects of easy migration, crowned with readily available job opportunities abroad. That said, the Minister of External Relations enjoins all people of good faith, associations and NGOs that wish to lend their support to this ongoing procedure and/or possibly provide any relevant information concerning our citizens that are still in distress and have not yet been identified, to kindly get in touch with the Department of Cameroonians Abroad, Foreigners in Cameroon, Refugees and Migratory Issues of the Ministry of External Relations.
The Minister of External Relations hereby reiterates the determination of the Head of State to guarantee the consular protection of all our compatriots in distress, as can be illustrated by the assistance provided to 2,146 of our compatriots who were in Niger, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco. In this regard, the Authorities of Cameroon remain confident as to the happy end of this issue, building on the frank and sincere collaboration of the Authorities of Kuwait." The Minister Delegate (s) Félix Mbayu