By Anne Kurian-Montabone

Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala, Cameroon, who was abducted on November 5, 2020, was released the next day, reported Vatican News in the early afternoon. Aged 90, known for his action in the service of peace, he is the first Cameroonian Cardinal.

The local media announced his release, at first denied by the present Archbishop of Douala, Monsignor Samuel Kleda, then confirmed a few hours later. His abduction took place in the Northwest of the country, on the road linking the cities of Kumba and Bamenda, the capital of the region. According to local sources, the individual responsible is the General of the English-speaking separatists of the “Republic of Ambazonie,” in the South of the country. The King of Kumbo is also implicated.

The Cardinal was in their line of sight after encouraging the education of children, while massacres of schoolchildren and kidnappings of teachers multiply.

Born on October 15, 1930, at Kikaikelaki in the diocese of Kumbo, he is a laureate of the 2019 Nelson Mandela Prize for his peace efforts for divided ethnic groups in the Southwest region, and for his fight against discrimination of the English-speaking minority (20% of the population).

He was created Cardinal in 1988, then appointed Archbishop of Douala in 1991, a pastoral office he held for 18 years.

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