LAGOS, Nigeria – Catholic church officials in Cameroon say a prominent Catholic bishop kidnapped in the country’s volatile English-speaking Northwest region was released late last Saturday.
“Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo Diocese has been released by his captors. He is back in the parish and in good health,” Church’s officials said in a prepared statement.
According to sources, armed separatists claimed responsibility for kidnapping the bishop, claiming that they “wanted him to pray and bless us.”
The bishop’s abduction took place just a week after gunmen kidnapped two Catholic priests in the region.
The kidnapping of priests in Cameroon has become widespread in the region since armed conflict began in 2017.
Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions are English-speaking, while about 80 percent of the country is French-speaking. Separatists in the two English-speaking regions of the country have been battling the Cameroonian government forces to secede and establish a separate state.
Since the secession effort started about 530,000 people got displaced internally and hundreds killed by the conflict, according to the United Nations.