Abducted on September 16 in the village of Nschang, near the town of Mamfe, the Catholic priests and faithful regained their freedom last Saturday.
All of the 9 Catholics kidnapped in mid-September in the crisis region of the South-West have been released after more than a month of detention, announced on Sunday October 23, Mgr Aloysius Abangalo Fondong, the bishop of the diocese of Mamfe to which they belong. “I am sincerely grateful to all who have joined us in this collective effort in praying for the safety and release of our brothers and sisters. Words will do little justice to express my feelings of gratitude to all those who collaborated with us in the negotiation process for their safety and release,” the prelate said in a statement, without specifying whether a ransom had been paid.
The kidnappers demanded $100,000, then $50,000 for the release of the hostages. “ The kidnappers ask for money each time, but we have never paid anything and this will remain our position for these abductions ”, affirmed Mgr Andrew Nkea, Archbishop of Bamenda (North-West) and President of the National Episcopal Conference. of Cameroon (Cenc), in an interview with the Catholic newspaper La Croix Africa. This release comes the day after a video of the hostages calling for help widely relayed on social networks.
The five priests, the nun and the three lay people were abducted on September 16 from the Catholic parish of Saint Mary of Nchang. The attackers, suspected of being separatist fighters, later set fire to the parish. The Roman Catholic Church had condemned this kidnapping and invited the Christian community to pray for their release. Pope Francis joined this union of prayers to ask for their release, also imploring the return of peace to Cameroon.