By Eric Tataw – Monday October 21, 2019.
Two catholic priests that were held at two separate locations; one by the Cameroon military and the other by Ambazonia fighters have been released, Monday October 21, 2019, National Telegraph has confirmed.
The Coordinator of the Catholic Relief, Development and Social Service – CARITAS, Rev Fr Paul Fru Njokikang serving in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bamenda, arrested early Sunday October 20, 2019, by the Cameroon military has been released late Monday, a source has told National Telegraph.
Fr Paul Fru Njokikang was arrested after Mass at Mbingfibieh, a precinct in Bamenda, capital city of the country’s North West. Additional reports say he was detained at a military camp at the Bafut Airport, a not-too-far town from Bamenda.
Elsewhere, a Nigerian priest from the Diocese of Awka serving in the Diocese of Mamfe, in Cameroon’s South West Region that was picked up by Ambazonian fighters late Sunday October 20, 2019 has also been released, late Monday October 21, 2019, National Telegraph has confirmed.
Rev. Fr. Felix Ezeaka, serving as Parish Priest of Afab in Eyumojock Sub-Division was picked up after Sunday morning mass in Mbakang, a village in Manyu, a division in Cameroon’s South West Region.
Reports say a group of armed men who said they were Ambazonian fighters claimed responsibility and demanded twenty million (20.000.000) F CFA from the diocese as penalty for the Bishop’s attendance of the just-ended National Dialogue in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital.
Sources close to the Mamfe See have confirmed that the priest has been released and safely returned to his Parish residence without any ransom paid. The Bishop of Mamfe, Msgr. Andrew Nkea has not commented on the issue.
All these are happening in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of the North West and South West wrapped in a deadly armed conflict where armed groups are battling regular government soldiers to secure the Independence of their own country; Amabzonia.
Over two million (2.000.000) people, mostly women and children have been either internally displaced or living as refugees in Nigeria and other countries, way over thirteen thousands (13000) killed, over four hundred villages (400) burnt down by the Cameroon military with something in the neighbourhood of five thousand (5000) held as war prisoners across detention facilities in the country.