Kenyan priest killed in restive Southwest Cameroon

Thursday November 22 2018

The restive Cameroon regions. MAP | NATION

The restive Cameroon regions. MAP | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NDI EUGENE NDI
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A Kenyan Roman Catholic priest has been killed in the restive Southwest Cameroon where government troops are battling armed separatists, sources said Thursday.

Father Cosmas Omboto Ondari, a Mill Hill priest serving in the Diocese of Mamfe, was killed on Wednesday, local media reported without giving details of the circumstances surrounding his demise.

Fr Ondari was ordained in Kisii, south-west of Nairobi in March last year, together with two others and appointed to the Diocese of Mamfe, according to the St Joseph Missionary Society.

Men of God

Bishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea of the Diocese of Mamfe was not reachable for comments Thursday, but a close aid to the clergyman said he was preparing a press release to that effect.

The death of the Kenyan clergy has increased the number of men of God killed in the midst of the two-year long escalating conflict that has gripped the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Last October, a US Baptist Missionary Charles Truman Wesco was killed in the Northwestern town of Bambui near Bamenda.

A Roman Catholic priest, Fr Alexander Nougi Sob, was also killed in the Southwestern town of Muyuka in July.

Security forces

The crisis in the English-speaking Cameroon started as an industrial strike by lawyers and teachers in 2016, but snowballed into an internal armed conflict since last year when separatists joined and symbolically declared the independence of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.

At least 400 “ordinary people” and more than 175 members of the security forces have been killed, according to statistics by local and international groups that have been documenting abuses in the escalating violence, including Amnesty International.

More than 300,000 people have fled the violence, many of them now living from hand-to-mouth and exposed to varied dangers in the forests, and some across the border into Nigeria.

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