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Religious Leaders Caught in the Cameroon Conflict

Clergy in Cameroon have appealed to both sides in the country’s separatist conflict to stop abducting and harassing priests. Within the past two weeks, six Roman Catholic priests and missionaries were abducted, and a church attacked, leaving at least two dead and 11 wounded. The Roman Catholic Church in Cameroon says its priests and missionaries are suffering assaults, abductions and torture in the country’s separatist conflict. Rebels on social media claimed government troops organized the attacks on churches to give the rebels a bad image, an often-repeated claim, which the military denies. Cameroon’s military on state radio confirmed the rebel attacks on the church and past abductions but did not mention taking any priests into military custody. Cameroon’s government says civilians suspected of collaborating with rebels are placed under investigation, but a spokesperson would not say how many priests or missionaries have been arrested.