Commonwealth Games: Cameroonian Athletes disappear from Games Village

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"While the athletes are free to travel within Australia, we share the concern of the Cameroon Commonwealth Games Association of the safety, welfare and whereabouts of the athletes".

"We wouldn't be surprised that they would be seeking Australian protection, given the situation in Cameroon where the minority English speaking Cameroonians are persecuted at the moment", said Robert Mukombozi, president of the Queensland African Communities Council.

"Right now we are anxious about safety and welfare of the athletes and we are taking this very seriously and monitoring the situation with team Cameroon", Mr Grevemberg said.

The Australian Associated Press quoted Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso as saying weightlifter Olivier Matam and boxers Ndzie Tchoyi and Simplice Fotsala had been due to compete Tuesday but could not be found.

England's netballers proved their big-game credentials by beating New Zealand for the first time in Commonwealth Games history on Wednesday to finish the group stage unbeaten and boost their hopes of a first appearance in the final. If there is a breach then Peter Dutton and his department will deal with it.

Illegal immigration is a highly contentious political issue in Australia and Peter Dutton, the country's Home Affairs Minister, issued a warning to athletes in January that they would be deported if they overstayed.

"Government is especially elated at our star athlete Caster Semenya's smashing win in which she broke the world record in the 1500m race and finished in a time of 4:00.71", the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

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"But this is obviously an issue that Team Cameroon is monitoring very, very closely".

"While it's depleting we still have plenty left", Ms Jones said, adding her advice for those looking for love was simply to "be safe".

Asked why the athletes might have left, Mr Molombe said: "I can't answer that - only they know the reason".

But he said they should abide by their visas and return home with the team to Cameroon.

"No, no, no. They are here", he said. But I think it will be hard.

Molombe expressed sadness following the disappearance of the eight athletes.

Previous year there were violent clashes as protestors took to the streets in Cameroon's Anglophone regions calling for symbolic independence from the country's French-speaking majority.

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