Africa-Press – Cameroun. Unknown gunmen believed to be of the non-state armed groups fighting to create a state called Ambazonia attacked the Francis Xavier Pastoral Centre Banquet Hall in Mamfe on Sunday around 8 pm during a Priest’s birthday party, The Advocate newspaper reported yesterday.
“They fired indiscriminately, killing one civilian (a driver) and injuring many, including kids,” the reporter said.
The attack on Francis Xavier Pastoral Centre comes days after gunmen kept Rev. Fr. Christopher Eboka in captivity for nine days.
The Mamfe diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Manyu Division, restive South West region of Cameroon announced the safe and unconditional release of Rev. Father Christopher Eboka abducted on May 22, 2021.
According to a statement from the church, the prelate was performing his duties as the Cathedral Administrator of the diocese when unidentified gunmen abducted him from Akwa and took him to a camp at Mbilishi in Manyu Division.
The priest remained in captivity for more than a week and reports went around that his abductors were requesting a huge sum of money for his release.
The priest was finally set free in the early hours of Tuesday, June 1 healthy and unharmed.
Sources say no money was given to his kidnappers.
A video of him and Christians of the Mamfe Diocese has been circulating on social media with the priest thanking the church for the prayers and support and God almighty for his safe return.
He is one among the many who have so far been kidnapped by suspected Ambazonia fighters and later on released in the course of the escalating crisis in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
Cameroon’s state forces have been battling to dislodge armed separatists who pitched their tents in the North West and South West Regions since Anglophone protests transformed into an armed conflict in 2017.
Corporate demands by Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers led to protests in November 2016. The street demonstrations later morphed into ongoing running gun battles between state forces and armed separatist fighters in the predominantly English-speaking regions, leading to untold destruction of human lives, their habitats, and livelihoods.
Tit-for-tat killings, kidnappings, arsons, maiming, and outright terror have become part of daily lives in some parts of the English-speaking regions.