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Cameroon: Another Catholic priest kidnapped in Anglophone Region

A priest of the Diocese of Mamfe in the South West Region was kidnapped on Sunday, August 29, the Diocese…

A priest of the Diocese of Mamfe in the South West Region was kidnapped on Sunday, August 29, the Diocese has confirmed in a statement.

Mgr. Julius Agbortoko, Vicar General was kidnapped upon return to his base after spending the weekend in the locality of Kokobuma for a pastoral visit where he equally inaugurated the parish presbytery.

“Some young men who identified themselves as separatist fighters bumped into the Major Seminary compound and made their way straight to the residence of Bishop Lysinge. While there, they noticed the presence of the Vicar General whom they considered younger and stronger than the frail Bishop emeritus,” a statement from the Chancellor of the Diocese, Father Sebastine Sinju read.

The statement adds that the kidnappers are demanding a FCFA 20 million ransom for the release of the priest.

The kidnap comes just over three months after another priest of the Diocese, Fr Christopher Eboka was abducted and later released after nine days.

Mamfe has been a hot bed for separatist agitations since the crisis in the North West and South West Regions morphed into an armed conflict in 2017.

In 2018, the then-Bishop of Mamfe (now Apostolic Administrator of Mamfe and Archbishop of Bamenda), Mgr Andrew Nkea Fuanya, citing eyewitness accounts, blamed the Cameroon military of killing Rev. Father Cosmos Oboto Ondari a Mill Hill Missionary from Kenya.

The priest who was serving at the Saint Martin Parish in Kembong, was caught by a bullet as soldiers chased down separatist fighters around the parish on November 21, 2018, sources said.

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