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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-12-31 18:27:10
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A kidnapped catholic priest freed in Cameroon

A French priest kidnapped in northern Cameroon in mid-November has been set free, French President Francois Hollande's office said Tuesday. Fr. Georges Vandenbeusch was kidnapped by heavily armed men on 13 November in the far north of Cameroon, about 30 kilometers from the border with Nigeria. There was never a claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram which operates in the area and Ansaru, a Boko Haram splinter group responsible for most kidnappings of foreigners. The Koza region has been labelled as a risk for terrorism and kidnapping, but the priest, who cared for Nigerian refugees, chose to stay on to ``exercise his mission,'' the French Foreign Ministry said at the time. The French president thanked authorities in Cameroon and Nigeria for their ``relentless'' efforts in helping to free the priest. He ``particularly'' thanked Cameroon President Paul Biya for personally working on the case, but provided no details on how the release was secured (AP).
Priest - Fr. Lombardi
Meanwhile, the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See has welcomed the release of the priest but also called for the release of other hostages been held around the world. ''On this eve of the World Day of Peace we hope that every form of violence, hatred and conflict in the troubled regions of Africa as well as in other parts of the world can be overcome”, said Fr. Federico Lombardi. “We renew the remembrance and prayer for many other people unjustly held in captivity in different parts of the world as a result of conflict,” Fr. Lombardi said.


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