Catholic priest in Cameroon freed after three days in captivity

Catholic priest in Cameroon freed after three days in captivity Photo: Vatican News

A Catholic diocese announced last Wednesday that kidnappers had freed a priest seized in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region.

In a statement circulated September 1, Fr Sebastine Sinju, chancellor of the Diocese of Mamfe, said that Msgr Julius Agbortoko Abbor was released without payment of a ransom, reported ACI Africa.

“After three days in captivity, we are glad to announce that our brother and priest, Msgr Julius Agbortoko Abbor, has been released without any ransom paid,” Fr Sinju said.

Msgr Abbor, the vicar general of Mamfe diocese, was abducted from the residence of Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge, the 82-year-old bishop emeritus of Mamfe, at about 6.45 pm August 29.

Announcing the kidnapping August 30, Fr Sinju said that the priest had travelled to the village of Kokobuma “for a pastoral visitation and the inauguration of the presbytery of the parish.”

Around 30 minutes after he returned to his residence, “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,” the chancellor said.

“While there, they noticed the presence of the vicar general, whom they considered younger and stronger than the frail bishop emeritus.”

The kidnappers, believed to be armed separatists, demanded a ransom of more than 20 million francs CFA (around €30,000).

“We thank God for his release. We thank all those who joined us to pray for his unconditional release and for us in these turbulent days,” Fr Sinju said in a statement.