Church service in a Presbyterian Church in Bali, North West Region of Cameroon on Sunday, August 22, 2021, was disrupted as one of her members met an instantaneous death from bullet wounds.

DHPI was reliably informed that the Christians of the aforementioned church, found in the locality of Ntanfoang were in for Sunday worship led by Pastor Muntoh Simon, the Presbyterian Secretary for Bali Presbytery when they heard sporadic yet sustained gunshots from very close range. However, in that state of shock and confusion and before they could react, a lady whose name DHPI got as Grace crashed to the floor and died immediately, hit by a bullet. The Pastor was the next victim as a bullet tore through his arm before the rest of the worshipping Christians scrambled to lie prostrate to avoid being hit by more bullets.

The same source told DHPI that the government forces started firing in all directions as they ascended towards the direction of the church, which is found at a major road junction in Bali.

Conflicting reports have emerged concerning what sparked off the shooting, with some sources claiming that the state military reacted in panic to the detonation of an IED by the ARFs and opened fire with no target in mind.

A Communique signed by Navy Captain Atonfack Guemo Cyrille Serge on Monday, August 23, 2021, denied the allegations that the state military was responsible for the killing of the lady and the wounding of the Pastor and blamed it fully on the separatists, claiming that “the first ballistic observations clearly show that all the victims were hit by shot and buckshot, local weapons produced illegally by the terrorists.”

However, the hierarchy of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon condemned the killing, called a ceasefire by both factions and urged the government of Cameroon and the International Community to conduct a full probe into the matter. The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon – PPC (the highest authority of the institution) wrote in this regard: “We, therefore, condemn in strongest terms this unnecessary and inhuman treatment meted on God’s children by those who are supposed to protect them. We call on both parties to cease fire unconditionally especially on Sundays and that a proper investigation is conducted by the government and other International Bodies and those responsible be brought to book.”

The National Episcopal Conference (of Catholic Bishops) of Cameroon issued an official Communique signed on August 24th 2021 condemning the killing and blaming it fully on the state security forces. The communique also condemned the burning down of 58 shops, vehicles loaded with goods and the Council building and the Mayor’s house in Elak Oku on Monday, August 23.

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