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Cameroon: 34 soldiers missing as military ship sinks

17 Juillet 2017

He also ordered the establishment of a crisis unit in the Defence ministry to coordinate the operations.

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. Three soldiers were rescued but the boat seems to have sunk to the bottom of the waters.

The ship reportedly left the coastal city of Limbe to deliver building and food supply to Rapid Intervention Battalion troops in Bakassi.

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Assomo explained that the military had been deployed to search and rescue mission. Helicopters are believed to have been able to spot traces of fuel, after which patrols were sent to the likely location of the wreckage. "Thirty-four personnel have so far been reported missing", said a ministry statement.

Cameroon and Nigeria had been locked in a dispute over the ownership of the 1,000sq kilometre peninsula on the Gulf of Guinea, but Yaoundé formally took control of the region in 2008, following an International Court of Justice ruling.

Cameroon: 34 soldiers missing as military ship sinks