On Friday May 7, 2021 separatist fighters had an intense gun exchange with the Cameroonian military near the premises of St Augustine’s Catholic Secondary School Kumbo, where the Bishop of Kumbo, Mgsr George Nkuo, together with the Archbishop of Bamenda, all the priests of his diocese and priests from other dioceses plus a mammoth crowd of the lay faithful was celebrating a Mass in commemoration of his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination on the playground of the college.

The provocation from freedom fighters or Amba boys, as the armed separatists are called, and the consequent response from the military which resulted in a sustained shootout between the two camps, from all indication, was not aimed at disrupting the religious exercise, but rather because of the heavy militarisation of the area as the Governor of the Northwest Region Mr Adolphe Lele L’Afrique was participating at the Mass. The situation became as tense as the Christians were most of the time lying prostrate in order to avoid being caught by stray bullets. Fortunately, the ceremony went on till the end and there was no human casualties.

However, the convoy of military escorting the Governor back to Bamenda after the event was hit by an IED, and rumour has it that 4 military men were killed and 2 civilians who were part of the convoy. The government has not confirmed deaths from the attack, although there is a video circulating on social media purportedly shot by an armed separatist, and in his commentary viewers are guided to see how part of the military convoy escorting the Governor gets to a targeted area and there is a massive explosion.

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