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Seven Cameroonian athletes disappear, search for jobs the expected culprit

Thomas Essomba, in red, is one of the athletes who left. (AP)

Seven Cameroonian athletes have gone missing from their delegation in London. Five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player are gone. The reason? Officials expect they are staying in Europe to look for jobs.

"What began as rumor has finally turned out to be true. Seven Cameroonian athletes who participated at the 2012 London Olympic Games have disappeared from the Olympic Village," David Ojong, the mission head said in a message sent to the ministry.

Boxers Thomas Essomba, Christian Donfack Adjoufack, Abdon Mewoli, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo and Serge Ambomo left after being eliminated from competition on Sunday. Swimmer Paul Ekane Edingue left after competing in heats in the 50m freestyle, and soccer player Drusille Ngako left the delegation after not being selected to the team's final roster.

[ Related: Sudanese embassy denies runner sought asylum before Olympic Games ]

The lack of surprise from officials comes from two things. For one, it's happened before. During Commonwealth and Francophonie Games in the past, members of the Cameroon delegation have left without permission.

Secondly, unemployment is a persistent problem in Cameroon. According to a report from 2011, the country of 20 million has 12 million unemployed.

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